Welcome to Issue 1
It’s all Heather Massey’s fault! If she hadn’t written an article at her Galaxy Express blog that highlighted the problems with discovery and SFR (science-fiction romance), I wouldn’t be in this pickle! But it was obvious that, while a wonderfully burgeoning cross-genre, there didn’t seem to be one static place that readers could go to get the low-down on upcoming SFR releases. And so here we are.
I say “static”, because we often just want the world to stand still for a second, while we munch on book details, promising plots, the latest from our favourite authors, and so on. And it doesn’t, does it? Stay still, that is. Everyone’s lives are in such a chaos of jobs and chores and errands, and that’s before we introduce blogs and news and social media and all the things we now feel are critical to our lives. It makes my head ache just thinking about it. So, with that in mind, I’m hoping Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly will become the go-to magazine that you use to just sit for a while, sip at that favoured beverage, and immerse yourself in a world of what-ifs.
While we’re on the topic of what-ifs, what exactly is SFR? We went around and around this question until I almost used Damon Knight’s definition of science-fiction; to paraphrase, “SFR means what we point to when we say it.”
Does SFR include steampunk romances? Oh, absolutely! What about cyborg/android love stories? Yep, of course! What if there’s no hard science in it whatsoever? Well, okay, but there is an sf element in there somewhere, isn’t there? What if someone wrote a sociological romance based on an alien planet? Okay, rather than throwing my hands up in despair, why don’t I open things up a little? To me, at its foundation, SFR is “SF with heart”.
What do I mean by that? While I have adored science-fiction since I was little, that doesn’t mean I’m blind to its failings. To me, SF has always had a distinct white male (and chauvinistic) bent. If I browse through the hundreds of SF novels that comprise our home library, I can barely find any mention of minorities. And as for women in capable roles, forget about it! If there’s one thing SFR does, is widen that perspective. Did I say, widen? It blows the doors off! It takes people of all colours, all creeds, all sexualities, and puts them in an alien environment to see what happens.
SFR uses politics, manipulation, weaponry, environment, psychology, hate, love, and every point in between, to illustrate and (hopefully) solve people’s problems. In other words, SFR is an exotic way of portraying the way the world works every day! It doesn’t matter how strong you are, how lantern-jawed, how heroic…how much is that worth if you can’t even share important moments with someone? So, back to my definition: “SF with heart”.
In the following pages, we’ll be giving you snapshots of SFR releases for the current quarter. We also have reviews, a couple of articles and a short story to round things out. I really hope you like what you read, and if you have any feedback, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line at editor ~@~ scifiromancequarterly ~.~ org I’d love to hear from you.
Before I throw the magazine open to the rest of the news, I’d like to use this very first editorial to thank Heather Massey and Diane Dooley for their support, enthusiasm and can-do attitude. Or, to put it another way, if there’s anything you don’t like, you can blame them as well! 😉
I would also like to give a special thanks to those authors who supported us by buying ads in this issue. Considering that all we were selling a couple of short months ago was vapourware, their trust, generosity and good wishes were overwhelming and very much appreciated.
Stay safe and all the best for the holiday season! See you in 2014!