Most Romantic Moment - Ghost Planet, Sharon Lynn Fisher
In Ghost Planet, Sharon Lynn Fisher creates a world where every human colonist who arrives on the ‘ghost planet’ is tethered to an alien who manifests in the form of a dead loved one. I’d never read anything quite like it and I was completely enthralled when I realized the story was told from the point of view a woman who is one of the ghosts. She has no knowledge of what is behind the ghostly phenomena and is in effect, the woman she appears to be with all the memories, emotions, and intellect of the original – and she is falling in love with the man who created the ‘ghost protocol’ that instructs colonists to ignore their ghosts. This is one of those books that raises big moral and ethical questions, but the romance never suffers. From the moment the hero drops his coat on the ground, so he can give it to the shivering heroine without overtly breaking his own rules I was hopelessly in love with the book. Ghost Planet was published by Tor, October 2012.
Best Enemies to Lovers Story - Fortune’s Hero, by Jenna Bennett
In Fortune’s Hero, by Jenna Bennett, Quinn Conlan is being held in the Marica-3 prison colony where he has been tortured, died, and revived repeatedly. When his chance for escape comes he must rely on the cooperation of the woman who has stood by and watched his torture with cold, emotionless eyes. This story builds on some of my favorite SFR elements and shapes them into a convincing and memorable journey, providing many trials and dire circumstances, to bringing these two opposing characters together. Fortune’s Hero was published by Entangled Press, December 2012.
Best Alien Hero - Alien ‘N’ Outlaw, by KC Burn
Author, KC Burn, has a serious talent for making all of her characters richly drawn and complex. In Alien ‘N’ Outlaw, she did an amazing job of using the alienness of her hero, R’kos, as a source of trouble and conflict in the story. R’kos may be humanoid but he is still very different culturally and physically. R’kos’ species has a complex and demanding expectations that any human would find hard to live up to. Physically his species has an excellent sense of smell but poor vision. His poor vision turns simple tasks, like climbing a ladder or navigating a sewer tunnel, into a challenge and an act of bravery. Both this vulnerability and his willingness to face those obstacles to aid the other hero Darien, made R’kos my all time favorite alien hero. Alien ‘N’ Outlaw was published by Carina Press, July 2012.
Best Depiction of Reality Entertainment in the Future - Alien Blood, by Melisse Aires
I have been a fan of the Survivor reality TV series for years. Alien Blood starts with the hero and heroine landing on the uninhabited wilderness planet that will be the setting for a Survivor-type reality show. Kellac is Puregen, tall, handsome, athletic. Gema is of mixed heritage and lame to boot, but she’s smart and determined. The two work together well and quickly come to respect each other. Not long into the competition something goes terribly wrong with the show, and the spaceship carrying the show’s production team crashes onto the planet. That’s when the fight for survival really begins! I loved this story. The love story is solid and the way the reality show elements were handed simply thrilled my little Survivor-loving heart. Alien Blood was published by Grand Street Publications, July 2012.
Best Use of a Historic Monument in A Future Setting - Bitter Harvest, by Kim Knox
Bitter Harvest, by Kim Knox, takes a dark look at a future where a nano-virus has decimated Earth’s human population. The virus is the world’s scariest sexually transmitted disease. Anyone infected becomes part of a hive and is compelled to carry out the work of spreading the virus. The story centers on a group of survivors making a last stand in the Tower of London. The Tower is a wonderful back drop for an intense relationship, burdened to either save the world or end it. The setting and its grim history is perfect and provides the reader with the shock of seeing something well known from present day, being used in a very different way in the future. Bitter Harvest was published by Carina Press, March 2012.
About Charlee Allden
Charlee Allden is a long time fan of SciFi, love, adventure, and happily ever afters. She grew up in Florida where a huge fallen oak tree in the swampy woods near her home served as her very own Star Ship Enterprise. By day she’s a technical writer and in her spare time she pursues a variety of geek endeavors, including blogging about SFR. When the moon is full, she writes fiction. She’s a veteran of Dragon*Con, a member of Romance Writers of America©, and has a tendency to take on more projects than any sane woman would. Sanity is over rated, anyway.