Posts Tagged: Karen Lord

"Love and Social Science Fiction" by Karen Lord

It’s social science fiction, experimenting with questions of power, compromise, dependence and independence, identity and self-determination.

When I started thinking about how to describe The Best of All Possible Worlds, I decided not to call it a romance for two reasons. First, I didn’t think it was a romance. I have a certain admiration for romance writers because they possess a skill set that I don’t have, not yet. I knew that what I’d written lacked the tension and angst and passion I associate with the traditional romance template. Calling it a romance, then doing a bait and switch into Science Fiction, felt dishonest. Second, I couldn’t guarantee there would be any romantic subplots in the sequel (though I also can’t guarantee there won’t be).

Don’t think I’m being polite when I say I admire romance writers. Remember that Sturgeon’s Law applies to all genres. A good, well-written romance is as beautiful and rare as a good, well-written science fiction novel. Even better than both is a blend of genre, a book that can give you a little bit of this and a little bit of that and somehow bring it all together in a very satisfactory, holistic and human way. People fall in love in the future, they encounter mysteries both mundane and uncanny, have adventures, make bad career decisions, experience personal crises and grow – sometimes all at the same time. I don’t mean to suggest this should be all packed in haphazardly like a soap opera, drama piled upon drama for no good reason. There must be order: minor subplots tweaked to reinforce the main plot, characters and situations juxtaposed in ways that create resonance, themes and motifs orchestrated to please and satisfy the subconscious. Read More »