07-14-18 Cassandra O’Leary

Saturday, November 19, 2011

SF Author Cathryn Cade: Why You Should Try a Sci-Fi Romance

Confession time—I've never been a 'science fiction' fan. 
Of books, that is. 
I grew up watching Star Trek and Space Family Robinson re-runs on TV. And I loved the original Star Wars movies. But what do they all have in common? They're not hard core sci-fi. They're all space opera—a lighter mix of action adventure, romance and human relationships set against the background of exotic galactic locales.
As an adult, I fell in love with Jayne Ann Krentz's fabulous Lost Colony romances, featuring space travelers trapped on a planet which enhanced their traces of ESP, and gifted them with additional paranormal abilities. She had discovered a way to write romance against the backdrop of light sci-fi.
So when I wanted to write a shape shifter romance in 2007, I turned to space opera as the perfect venue for my story of action, danger and sexy romance. Tyger, Tyger, Burning Bryght takes place aboard Orion, a space cruiser and transport ship in a galaxy far in the future. 
The sexual mores of the planet Bryght are a bit different than ours—they're governed by male and female mating moons. The hero's needs are exquisitely basic—mate or go insane. And since he's Orion's navigator, and the only one who can steer the huge ship safely through the asteroid belt around Bryght, the heroine's goal is basic, too. Save him, save the ship, save herself.
Neither of them bargain on the most powerful force in the universe—love. What begins as a sexual encounter quickly becomes a powerful love story. The hero doesn't actually say, 'Baby, this is bigger than the both of us,' but he realizes it. (Dang, maybe I should've borrowed that line).
I was lucky enough to find a publisher, Samhain Publishing, who saw the demand for stories like Tyger. Recently Romantic Times writers Faygie Levy and Elissa Petruzzi noted that 'it's among the independent presses where the genre is thriving, with books by authors like … Cathryn Cade.' Although they have broadened their genre base considerably, moving into the mainstream as one of the major epublishers, Samhain is still accepting sci fi romance submissions.

Readers loved Tyger, too, and to my delight, The Orion Series was born. And along the way, I discovered more space opera. What space opera fan hasn't seen Firefly? Or the new Star Trek movie, with all the great insider jokes? Or one of the best comedies ever, Galaxy Quest?
I love romance, in all its guises. Romantic suspense, Steampunk, Gaslamp, romantic comedy, erotic romance and paranormal.
If you do, too, pick up a sci fi romance today. You'll be surprised and delighted by what you find inside. Gadgets, exotic beings and locales, and heart-thumping adventure.
And maybe you'll decide it's the perfect venue for that romance you've always wanted to write.
Stop by my website for a pair of Free Reads, novellas set on the planet Frontiera. While you're there, read excerpts from Tyger and the other books in The Orion Series. 
Happy Reading,


Sarah Raplee said...


I love your definition of space opera as "a lighter mix of action adventure, romance and human relationships set against the background of exotic galactic locales."

What's not to like?

I have a question about Tyger, Tyger - Did you find it difficult to write the relationship from sexual encounter to True Love instead of the other way around?

Paty Jager said...

Cathryn, Your book has an interesting premise, but I have to admit I would read a book when my brother watched Star Trek, and I never understood the Star Wars clamor.

But I knnow there are many people who enjoy the genre and kudos to you for finding something to write about that you're excited about. That is what sells a book, in my opinion. When the authors love and excitement for their genre shines through.

maepen said...

Hi Cathryn. It was great learning how you came about to writing your first book. I look forward to being a life long fan. I'll be heading over to your website right now. Thanks Cathryn.

Christy Carlyle said...

Hi Cathryn,
Thanks for this post! Your confession that you were never much of a fan of straight sci fi books is very liberating! I don't tend to be drawn to sci fi writing, but I can definitely see the appeal of sci fi romance. It just broadens the options in terms of setting and allows a writer to build his/her own world.

Having read and thoroughly enjoyed your books, I know that sci fi and romance can be a delicious mix.

I look forward to everything you write and am so glad that your books were my first foray into sci fi romance!


Genene Valleau, writing as Genie Gabriel said...

Cathryn, I'm so delighted you've found a "niche" that you love to write and readers love to read!

I also loved Star Trek and Star Wars, though I don't read straight SciFi books either.

Cathryn Cade said...


thanks for asking such an interesting question.

Surprisingly, I found it quite natural to write Tyger from sizzle to sigh, instead of the other way around. The story actually evolved from a sort of naughty 'What if ...?' fantasy I had.

Then once I had the hero on the page,he showed me he was more than just a sexy cypher--he needed a heroine as emotionally strong as he. And he wanted an adventure worthy of him, too.

So the sex came first, then the romance developed between two beings thrown together to save not only themselves, but an entire space ship full of travelers.

I think the reason this type of romance can be satisfying is that many, many women have had the first sexual encounter that ended badly in one way or another. The guy turned out to be a frog instead of our prince. Love stories like Tyger give us a chance to re-do the past.

Is it fantasy? Yes, it is. But a little romantic fantasy can warm our hearts.


Cathryn Cade said...


Thanks for stopping by! I like to think of my heroes as space cowboys, ridin' the galactic frontiers.

I love a good western romance, sci fi romance just lets me add some cool gadgets and some quirky beings for 'local color'.

And like they say, space is the last frontier!


Cathryn Cade said...


Thanks so much for your wonderful comments. Readers like you make every bit of hard work worthwhile.

I look forward to taking you farther into the galaxy with the paraquel series to The Orion Series.

Sometime in the next year, I'll be re-introducing readers to Logan Stark, owner of The Orion, and his brothers ... alpha space cowboys, all.

Stay tuned,

Cathryn Cade said...


You are not the first reader and writer to say they don't do sci fi, but they'll try sci fi romance.

I'm the same way.

That's what is so much fun about writing romance today--we can tweak the genres to our hearts' content.


Cathryn Cade said...


You are brave woman, heading off to new worlds, lol.

Thanks for being willing to try a new genre. I know I continually surprise myself by the new genres I am willing to read, because an author's work has piqued my interest.

Makes it all fun!

Thanks for hosting me on Romancing the Genres,

Bron said...

Hi Cathryn

I think it's the characters that grab me in a story, so if it's a historical, paranormal or sci-fi, if I love the hero and heroine I'll read the book. I love the sound of your book and I'm heading over to check it out.

Cathryn Cade said...


I agree with you! I'll read new genres to follow fascinating characters on their journey, whether it be in a space ship, a car or on horseback.

Hope you enjoy reading my books as much as I love writing them,


Judith Ashley said...

Hi Cathryn,

I know I'm a day late in responding but I spent yesterday disconnected from computer, phone, people as a different way to celebrate my birthday.

Thank you for an informative post. I love your definition of sci fi romance and I'm glad your view of romantic sci fi is popular.

I loved the original Star Wars trilogy but I also loved High Noon and other great westerns. I watched the original Star Trek but couldn't get into the next generation.

However, if an author loves her characters, settings, story it shows and that does draw me in. Glad you found that for yourself and your readers!

Tam Linsey said...

Space Opera! I never thought of Star Trek that way, but you are right. Thanks for the great blog.

Cathryn Cade said...


a great story is a great story, no matter the genre. Sounds like we share some old favorites. And maybe some new ones, too.

So many fine works being created now.

Happy reading,

Cathryn Cade said...


Thanks for stopping by. It's fun to look at romance genres in a new way, isn't it?

I've recently begun writing contemporary paranormal, as well. But no matter where my characters lead me, I find my writing always has common elements of action, danger, and most of all, red hot romance.

After all, a great romance can happen anywhere.

Happy reading,