Take Me To Your Planet
— or —
Writing Futuristic Romances
by: Myra Nour
Do you want to zoom away in a spaceship? Or be captured by a hunky alien? Perhaps your fantasy is to be whisked off to a far future society, where all diseases have been eliminated? Or maybe you’d prefer a society closely aligned with Earth’s medieval period-complete with warriors, sword fighting, and castles.
No matter how diverse all these different ideas seem, they all have one theme in common-they can all be found in futuristic romances.
Do you need to be an astronaut or have been abducted by aliens to write about other worlds? Certainly not! Studying the masters of s/f and fantasy for style is a great start. Look at the various ways the masters handle their worlds, such as: Issac Asimov’s technical expertise, Poul Anderson’s humorous touch, Andre Norton’s magic, or Robert E. Howard’s dark/magical adventures.
One aspect you need to consider is how hard you want the science to be in your story. In other words, do you like writing technical information with lots of details about the future society? Or do you prefer to concentrate on the characters/storyline and have softer science? For example, in Love’s Captive, the society I created is based on the Medieval system. It’s something I’m interested in, and I don’t care to read or write hard science fiction.
If you choose to go with hard science-you better have your facts straight or fans will call you on it. Study articles or books on science facts, recent discoveries, and future ideas. Maybe you can gleam something to incorporate into your story.
A good way to get the feel for what you want to write is to study your favorite authors style. There’s a reason you like their books-so study their works and see if you can incorporate some of their style into your work. Of course you must find your own writing voice, but imitation is the best kind of flattery. And there is no reason to reinvent the wheel. If you love Dara Joy’s Alpha males and the s/f plus fantasy elements she infuses into her stories, then perhaps that style would work well for you too.
Articles are a great resource in helping you seek information, check your facts, or maybe give you ideas. A good site where interesting articles can be found about different aspects of writing s/f romance stories, are at Science Fiction Romance. http://www.sfronline.com
I discovered several intriguing articles, such as Creating Believable Aliens, Worldbuilding, and Cursing in Alien Tongues. I think these would be worth a good “looksee”.
The different terms you hear in connection with the genre may confuse you. Is your book s/f romance, fantasy romance, or futuristic romance? Don’t worry about it. Write your story first. Later you can consider how to classify it. Friends can help by giving you feedback. Also, critique partners and writing groups can give their two cents worth. Ultimately your publisher will assign the subgenre they feel is appropriate for your work.
Now, write that exciting book!
Volarn is a planet with a medieval-style society. Its warriors fight with swords, made more powerful by channeling their psychic powers through arj’ak crystals, while their vassi/sorcerers act as healers and advisors. The warriors are an average of seven feet tall and muscular, with long black hair and violet eyes. This fantasy setting is replete with unicorn-like yasmirs that the warriors ride, as well as a multitude of exotic creatures and strange landscape.
Volarn has one disastrous problem – the majority of its women are sterile. Rhamus, the king of south Volarn hires space merchants to procure Earth women for mates.
In the opening scene, a west Volarnian soldier, an enemy of south Volarn, attempts to kill King Rhamus’ twin babies. The king’s sister, Kasha, spots the culprit and gives chase, ending in a fierce baTitlee and the princess’ serious injury.
In the meantime, Rolan’, one of the “flesh merchants”, notices how sad one of the beautiful Earth women is when speaking of her twin brother Eric, and her not knowing whether he lives or not. Rolan’ has had a crush on Olga since last year when she’d brought to Volarn as a bride. Seeking to please Olga, he talks his partner into looking for Eric when they return to Earth, using a DNA tracking device.
Back on Earth, Eric is alive. He is a handsome blonde hunk, an expert in Tae Kwon Do, and a Green Beret. Eric is being held captive in a South American guerilla camp and on the verge of death. The aliens decide to beam Eric aboard to save his life and then take him back to Volarn to visit his sister. Eric is excited by the space journey and the opportunity to see Olga again, but his visit takes a different direction once he sees Kasha, who he instantly falls in love with.
The princess finds Eric very handsome, an almost irresistible scamp, and is impressed by his fighting abilities, but is disturbed by his intense interest in her.
Although very attracted to him, Kasha’s not ready to quit the Getra (women warriors) for a man.
Eric pursues Kasha relentlessly, in a teasing manner that both attracts and disturbs her. He uses every opportunity to be near Kasha, including his training of the warriors in martial arts, and the Volarnians giving him fencing lessons. He gets numerous chances to caress the princess’ sensitive hands during encounters when she is teaching him equestrian skills. Although he can tell Kasha is aroused by their contact, she rejects his every flirtatious attempt. Frustrated and tired of Kasha’s non-interest in amour, Eric admits his love and asks her to marry him.
Kasha is angry at the Earthman for pushing their friendship past proper limits and confused at her feelings when he touches her. Neither could Eric ever understand the complications of his love interest and its implications. She is Getra, a warrior woman; therefore, supposedly sterile. But, Kasha is fertile, a secret known only to she and King Rhamus. To expose such a secret would cause ramifications to her brother and the throne, as well as Volarnian society.
Finally, to get Eric “off her back”, she throws out a challenge that I’ll marry you when you fly like the basami (Volarn’s dragon). To accomplish this challenge, Eric leads Kasha up a mountain cliff while being closely chased by an enemy patrol. To save them, he jumps off the cliff using a homemade parachute, with Kasha wrapped around his body.
Eric flaunts his success at meeting her challenge in front of her fellow warriors, causing Kasha to become angry and issue a new challenge – When I fly, by myself, like a basami, I will marry you.
Hoping to dissuade Eric from thoughts of marriage, Kasha decides the Earthman would make an excellent lover and seduces him. After one fantastic evening, Eric withdraws from the lover relationship; he knows that with such an arrangement Kasha will never consider marrying him. Now Kasha pursues a sad Eric.
Kasha talks Eric into going along on an alati (a large feline) hunting trip with her, during which he persuades her into exploring the outskirts of an old city within the border of the wastelands. Kasha is chilled by the ghosts she can sense but wants to please Eric. Unexpectedly, they discover the decaying carcass of a huge basami – thought to be extinct – and a baby dragon. The princess manages to seduce Eric one more time; the disheartened Earthman tells her why he loves her and why he won’t be satisfied with anything less than a life partnership.
Eric takes the small basami and they raise it together. To Kasha’s irritation, the dragon develops a “mamma” fixation to her and constantly drools on her feet, and has very bad breath until they discover it should be eating crespassno flowers instead of meat. In spite of its bad habits, she likes the basami Eric named Puff, and knows it will help her get closer to the Earthman.
Eric decides he must spend more time away from Kasha, hoping that becoming a better warrior will impress her; thus, he joins a distant patrol group. He takes the basami with him, but manages only one visit, once the dragon is old enough to fly.
Jarvic, Kasha’s cousin, is pleased by the possibility of a match between them and becomes Eric’s staunch supporter in his quest for Kasha’s love. Eric is often seen with his entourage of the basami, and a konkol (a spider-like creature kept as pets) Kasha gave to him.
During Eric’s visit, he tells Kasha that when Puff’s hungry, he rides on the dragon’s back as he flies to a distant food source. He tries to get her to go along, but she’s terrified of heights.
While riding on Puff to a crespassno field, Eric is captured by the enemy commander who he beat in hand-to-hand combat during an earlier skirmish. He is taken back to a fortress, put in a tower cell and beaten. Kasha realizes she cares for Eric and cannot live with the thought of him being killed. The fortress is heavily guarded and deep in enemy territory and Kasha knows no rescue can be mounted.
Though petrified with fear, she rides on the basami to the fortress and directs Puff to knock a hole in the tower, and rescues Eric.
Kasha realizes she has met her own challenge, and even though now acknowledges her love for Eric to herself, still fights the thought of marriage. During his capture, Eric received a wound on one thigh and Kasha nurses him back to health. King Rhamus convinces the princess that she can be taught to use the power of the Tarthra (the Volarnian’s way of picking a life mate), so that she can perform the “choosing” ceremony – and that he will deal with the consequences of her secret.
During the Tarthra, Eric and Kasha light up the area around them with the crystal’s power, proving their intense love. A short time after their marriage, Kasha goes into her ventyl cycle (time of fertility) and the newlyweds spend the week secluded in their chambers.
This is a fox and hound love story; with first Eric chasing the princess, then her pursuing him. It’s full of humor, action, a lovable dragon, and romance.
Myra Nour’s Bio
Myra Nour grew up reading s/f, fantasy, and romance, so she was really thrilled when these elements were combined in Futuristic Romances. She enjoys writing within all these elements, whether the hero is a handsome man from another planet, or a tiny fairy from another dimension.
Myra’s background is in counseling, and she likes using her knowledge to create believable characters. She also enjoys lively dialogue and, of course, using her imagination to create other worlds with lots of action/adventure, as well as romance. She uses her handsome husband as inspiration for her heroes – he is a body builder, a soldier, and has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.