By consensus, most readers agree that the modern genre of science fiction was created by Mary Shelley. She wrote her oeuvre Frankenstein about a scientist creating life in his lab… and the world changed. Writers became dreamers, looking to the future, and inspiring real-life scientists to create it. But what I love most about science fiction is what it says about us, its creators.
Science fiction doesn’t take place in the vacuum of space (although some of our stories might). It is written by people on Earth. And the best stories tell us something about ourselves, exploring the human condition and how we relate to our world. For example, what would the movie Blade Runner be without its heart-breaking assessment of mortality? Or Jack Vance’s illumination on body image perception in Abercrombie Station? Or Ursula LeGuin’s The Left Hand of Darkness and its study of gender roles?
And so many readers like myself also look for romance in our science fiction. Because to us, romance and love are an essential part of the human condition—to love and be loved is one of our basic human needs. Intimacy and connection are things that humans seek, even in the harshest environments on Earth—so why wouldn’t they also be sought in outer space?
Science fiction romance is also character-driven story. All the most amazing technology in the world can be described in a novel, but until you provide a sympathetic character to find awe in that technology, a book will read more like a manual than a piece of fiction. Character-driven stories allow readers to experience a world through the eyes of the protagonist, putting them in the story, and by extension, in the future.
And unlike our present day where the daily news is still inundated with stories about LGBTQ people being denied basic rights such as to love and marry a person of the gender of their choice, science fiction often occurs in a world where these restrictions have already been overcome. If a woman falls in love with a woman, it is something to be celebrated, not a touchstone for a debate. Science fiction romance is all inclusive of love, gender, and identity.
So what about you? Do you think love and romance are part of the basic human condition?
About the Book: Elusive Radiance
Title: Elusive Radiance
Author: Aidee Ladnier
Editor: Shannon Combs
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A young bodyguard finds her special abilities are no match for a flirtatious delegate willing to gamble everything on the galaxy trade talks.
Assigned to guard a diplomat at the galaxy trade talks, Security Officer Anais wants to shine during her first solo mission for the Chezeray Palace Conglomerate. An Elusive with the ability to make herself invisible, Anais knows her modified genes designate her servant class, but she yearns to be more than simply a protector to the beautiful delegate.
Savea Blackmun arrives alone to the trade talks with the weight of her planet’s future resting on her slim shoulders. Flirting with her pretty bodyguard reveals Anais’ knowledge of the colony markets and Savea realizes there’s much more to her protector than meets the eye.
As their attraction grows, will the diplomat and the bodyguard reject society’s rules to give in to desire instead?
Delegate Savea Blackmun lounged against the doorframe, ogling me. She swept her dark glittering eyes from my toes to my head.
“Are you supposed to be my bodyguard?”
Her overflowing breasts strained at the corseted front of her evening dress while her black hair cascaded from an intricate topknot. The sleeves of her burnished gold robe cupped her arms, half-revealing the tiny quatrefoil-shaped shoulder tattoos that signified her status and caste on her home planet.
“I am Sec Anais.” Feeling dowdy in my dun-colored jumpsuit, I offered a small bow. “Councilor Armen of the Chezeray Palace Conglomerate assigned me to you for the duration of your stay at the Levantar Los Ojos Spindle.”
She snorted. “I thought he’d send a male.”
My eye twitched. I’d been warned not to be offended by her ways and speech. Off-worlders from conservative planets like hers often had outmoded ideas. “I am female, but I assure you I am more than capable of protecting you while you conduct your business here.”
She raised an eyebrow but moved away from the doorway and spun into the room, her skirt billowing around her like a cloud. “Come in. I’m not quite ready.” Delegate Blackmun glided into the adjoining dressing room.
I hesitated but stepped over the threshold, the biometric scanner in the door confirming my identity even if the delegate had neglected to ask for it. I closed the suite door, my gaze sweeping the wide glass windows and ornately molded doors, checking entrances and weaknesses despite the fact that I knew this area well. This was my first solo assignment, but I’d been part of details around the hotel all my life.
About the Author
Aidee Ladnier began writing fiction at twelve years old but took a hiatus to be a magician’s assistant, ride in hot air balloons, produce independent movies, collect interesting shoes, and amass a secret file with the CIA. A lover of genre fiction, it has been a lifelong dream of Aidee’s to write both romance and erotica with a little science-fiction, fantasy, mystery, or the paranormal thrown in to add a zing.
You can find her on her blog at www.aideeladnier.com or on her favorite social media sites: