Thursday, January 31, 2013

SFR Galaxy Awards 2013: Round Eight by Anna McLain

Best May-December Romance Keir, Pippa Jay.

Tarquin Secker has spent centuries pursuing the alien monster that destroyed her homeworld. Her chase brings many unexpected joys and conflicts, but perhaps most unexpected of all is true love. Despite their many differences Quin and Keir find a common ground between them and build upon it. This story kicks butt with sea monsters, dragons, psy, time travel and more. The romance builds slowly and realistically between them. Keir was published by Lyrical Press, Inc., released on August 1st 2012. 266 pgs

SFR Galaxy Awards 2013: Round Seven by Heather Massey

Best Heavyset Hero - A Gift For Boggle by PJ Schnyder (Free short story at the author’s site)

A Gift For Boggle pushes sci-fi romance boundaries—and romance boundaries in general—in the best way possible. A spin-off of the author’s Hunting Kat (and I strongly recommend you read that one first), the story gives Boggle a romance of his own. Not only is Boggle overweight, but he’s also physically disabled, a nerd, and a loner. Despite those seemingly non-hero attributes, PJ Schnyder made him superlative hero material. A Gift For Boggle is a truly innovative science fiction romance.

SFR Galaxy Awards 2013: Round Six by Rae Lori

Best SFR Adaptation from An Unrelated Genre Classic – Romeo and Juliet: The War by Max Work, Skan Srisuwan, Stan Lee, Terry Dougas

We all know the story of the Montagues and the Capulets, but did you read the version where the Montagues are war mongering cyborgs and the Capulets are enhanced humans with molecular regenerative abilities? Both are created by patriarchal scientists with a goal to enhance humans for war. After the enemies of the countries have been dispatched, the only thing left for these warriors is to fight each other. This is a graphic novel that almost went under my radar but the blurb was too juicy to pass up. Verona is now and empire complete with lasers, a dystopian future and fast paced classic tale of star crossed love. This is a fast paced story that reads like a movie and will keep readers on the edge of their seat to the end.

SFR Galaxy Awards 2013: Round Five by Jo Jones

Best I Will Remember you even if I forget you - Balance of Terror by K.S. Augustin

SFR Galaxy Awards 2013: Round Four by Marlene Harris

Best Excuse for a Re-read – Break Out (revised and expanded edition) by Nina Croft

When Break Out came out in 2011, the premise was one of those things that could have gotten seriously, seriously out of hand. Just think about this for a second: "Vampires in space." If you don't hear the Muppets saying "Pigs in SPAAACE!" somewhere in the back of your mind, you've missed some great Star Trek parody. But Break Out and its sequel, Deadly Pursuit, aren't intended as camp. Rico Sanchez ' character is a vampire for a reason, and it worked for the story. But the original version of Break Out was too damn short at 140 pages and there wasn't enough worldbuilding. I still loved it. In 2012, Croft released the expanded edition. At 400 pages, there's enough time and space for the backstory and the worldbuilding I craved, and still a kick-ass story. My award for the Best Excuse for a Re-read goes to author Nina Croft for seamlessly adding marvelous new background and sideplots into what was already a great story in the expanded edition of Break Out from Entangled Publishing. Published August 14, 2012.

SFR Galaxy Awards 2013: Round Three by Laurie A. Green

Most Fascinating Hero Award – Mako's Bounty by Diane Dooley

It isn't often that a SFR can surprise me in such a good way, but this one boldly ventured into rarely explored territory with a bad boy hero who comes complete with unique twist--he's a man of faith. When confronted with a feisty heroine who's hot on his trail and after his head, Vin 'The Saint' Sainte resorts not to emotional manipulation but...prayer? And it works beautifully! I found this a fascinating character facet seldom seen in SFR (or most Romance genres, for that matter) and it made for a refreshing, endearing--and sometimes humorous--leading man. Mako's Bounty was published by Decadent Publishing, 1NS Series, March 11, 2012. 38 pages.

SFR Galaxy Awards 2013: Round Two by Donna S. Frelick

Best SFR Film of the Year – Looper, written and directed by Rian Johnson, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis and Emily Blount

This surprisingly thoughtful shoot-’em-up about gangsters in the near-future takes us through alternate timelines to an ending worthy of a Phillip K. Dick short story.  Although **SPOILER ALERT** the lovers in the tale don’t get their HEA, the romance is the driving motivation of the characters’ actions throughout, qualifying the film as an SF-with-strong-romantic-elements, at least.  The acting is first-rate, and the ending certainly stands out as one of cinema’s more creative resolutions to the time travel paradox.

SFR Galaxy Awards 2013: Round One by Charlee Allden

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.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Welcome to the 2013 SFR Galaxy Awards!

After nearly a year of planning, the first annual SFR Galaxy Awards is ready to launch. On January 31, you’ll discover which science fiction romances from 2012 made a lasting impression on the judges. (For complete information about the Awards, click here.)

Among the winners, you’ll encounter a wide selection of sci-fi romance stories from various mediums. Each of the judge’s award descriptions has a personalized touch, going beyond the title in order to provide useful information about the stories.

The awards will be posted throughout the day in alphabetical order by judge.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

How the SFR Galaxy Awards Was Born

[I, Heather Massey, am cross-posting most of this piece from my blog, The Galaxy Express]

A little over a year ago, author Ursula K. LeGuin wrote Literary Bests, a post on the topic of literary awards. One passage in particular caught my eye:

I wish that, instead of picking one and dumping all the rest, we celebrated our writers continually and in droves.

I wish we gave literary prizes freely, the way they used to give prizes at the Pet Show at Codornices Park in Berkeley when I was a kid. Every kid in the neighborhood brought their pet, and every pet got a prize, an ad hoc, unique prize: for Soulfulness — for Loud Meowing — for Unusual Spot Placement — for Being the Only Skink…. There was no Best of Breed (in those days there were many mongrels and few breeds), and certainly no Best of Show.

I‘d have some trust and interest in literary prizes like that. For Soulfulness — for Sitting Up and Begging Nicely — for Passion Well Expressed – for Excellent Use of Semi-Colons — for Being the Only Novel About Elderly Female Entomologists in Love…."

After absorbing her insights, a big light bulb went off in my head. I began to reflect upon a) the role of science fiction romance sites as gateways to books and b) the current lack of a general SFR award (meaning, one that isn’t dependent on RWA membership or similar restriction).

As the two paths of reflection merged, I wrote Laurie A. Green, founder of Spacefreighters Lounge and the SFR Brigade to discuss the issue. We decided that the idea of giving “literary prizes” away “freely” would serve SFR very well as an award event.