November 19, 2019

The Mammoth Book of Futuristic Romance edited by Trisha Telep.

On sale now!

Ah, it’s the bane of many a writer, science fiction or otherwise; just how do you write a good sex scene? How do you “come at it” (bad pun intended) without sounding like the letters to the editor in the Penthouse forum? Where does romance end and erotica begin, and for us speculative fiction writers, just where do aliens and zombies fit into the mix?

As a budding (re: heavily rejected) science fiction writer, I’ve pondered these weighty questions myself. Hey, with 7 billion plus active examples of Homo sapiens currently roaming on this rocky world, some romance and sex is clearly afoot. Couple that (last bad pun, we swear) with a statement overheard at the 2012 Necronomicon that “the romance fiction genre has outpaced the pornography market,” and you’ve clearly got a force that modern writers should reckon with.

Thus, we picked The Mammoth Book of Futuristic Romance first off of the top of our monolithic pile of review books awaiting our return from our six week road trip. Edited by Trisha Telep and out from Running Press, Futuristic Romance is a great short story anthology which features top writers of the genre. From love in a time of alien invasions, zombies and more, it’s all here in a broad sweep of romantic speculative fiction. And yes, the tales run the spectrum from the “fade to black” of the classic romantic style to others that give you all the hot and steamy action.

Some honorable mentions include;

-The Noah by C.L. Wilson; a great post-apocalyptic tale of the watchers of mankind… what happens when a small colony of female clones is all that’s left of humanity?

-Nobody’s Present by Marcella Burnard; A near-future tale of space-based romance; could “weaponized Viagra” be deployed to wipe out mankind?

-End of the Line; by Bianca D’Arc; How would our cultural and sexual mores appear to an alien race? This story surprised us with the direction it took; you’d think being at inter-galactic war with an alien species that would not fight women would present us with a huge tactical advantage to exploit. In fact, the protagonist does do this to her own ultimate end, in an unexpected fashion. This brings to mind the chauvinistic Ferengi of Star Trek: The Next Generation fame.

Sure, perhaps sexual exchange between human an alien may never be possible, but what would-be Captain Kirk hasn’t imagined “Going were no man has gone before?” We’ll grant any story its Heinleindian “one science rule to break” in terms of telling the tale. Maybe they (and we) are part of a galactic diaspora that hasn’t quite speciated yet, y’know?

Scientific underpinnings aside, do give the Mammoth Book of Futuristic Romance a read either as a introduction to the realm of science fiction romance or a chance to witness some of the greats in action!

Next week: it’s our first science book review of 2013 with Clever Species, Perfect Planet out from Prometheus Books… there’s a great year of science fiction and hard science ahead!

 

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  1. [...] the genre, and especially the problems of melding it with science fiction in our recent review of The Mammoth Book of Futuristic Romance earlier this year. It takes most authors several attempts to get a romance tale right… heck, it [...]

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