Please welcome Heather Massey, whom you will know from The Galaxy Express. Today, she is giving us a peek into A Brief History of Science Fiction Romance.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF
SCIENCE FICTION ROMANCE
by Heather Massey
How did science fiction romance evolve? That’s the question behind A Brief History of Science Fiction Romance.
Women have always been creating and consuming speculative fiction. Sci-fi romance is one example of such efforts.
This brief, easy-to-share document presents core information about the fascinating history of sci-fi romance, a genre with roots in fan fiction, Star Trek, and the passion of countless women determined to assert their interest in SF-romance hybrids. This collection of essays is a mix of original content and information culled from the author’s blog, The Galaxy Express.
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How did science fiction romance evolve? That’s the question behind this ebook.
The title says A BRIEF HISTORY OF SCIENCE FICTION ROMANCE, and I do mean brief! The goal is to preserve the core information about SFR’s history in an easy-to-share document. This collection of essays is a mix of original content and information culled from my blog, The Galaxy Express. Where applicable, I included a link to the original post.
Preservation of this knowledge is of paramount importance since it’s an example of many missing narratives, namely, the roles women have played in speculative fiction since Frankenstein was a gleam in Mary Shelley’s eye. Women have always been creating and consuming speculative fiction, yet accounts of their efforts are either ignored or written out altogether. Even giants of the science fiction literary field, like Octavia E. Butler, are rarely invoked with the same amount of respect and frequency as their male counterparts. Even more erasure has been happening to LGBQT and non-white female authors.
Another reason preservation is important concerns the need to validate the stories many women enjoy reading. The concepts of love and romance—never mind that they’ve been the subjects of scientific research—haven’t been traditionally valued as “speculative” enough and therefore are deemed unimportant by many in SF publishing and fandom. Romantic love with an upbeat ending expressed with a female gaze was a frontier SF feared to tread, and it showed. So fewer people view romantic SF and sci-fi romance as legitimate stories than might otherwise be the case.
Whether this aversion to exploring and reading about romance in a technology-based setting is based on a fear of women’s sexuality and sexual needs, the concept of a Happily Ever After, or outright sexism/misogyny, the end result is marginalization of epic proportions. Therefore, A BRIEF HISTORY OF SCIENCE FICTION ROMANCE aims to establish a course correction, even if by only a degree.
Heather Massey is a lifelong fan of science fiction romance. She searches for sci-fi romance adventures aboard her blog, The Galaxy Express and is the Releases Editor for the Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly.
She’s also an author in the genre. To learn more about her published work, visit heathermassey.com. When Heather’s not reading or writing, she’s watching cult films and enjoying the company of her husband and daughter.