11 August 2010

Alien Sex

I've been really lax lately about posting on my blog. My excuse is that I just bought myself an ebook reader for my birthday and I've been reading it virtually non-stop since it arrived. I got a nook and I've discovered how very, very easy it is to buy books with one click of the mouse. I've never been one to make impulse purchases, but that's changing. And instant gratification can become addictive.

Since I'm working on a sequel to The Antaren Affair, I've been reading a lot of SF. In short order, I read Doubleblind, by Ann Aguirre and Lost Star, by Morgan Hawke, both of which I recommend. I've also tried some new-to-me authors, with varying degrees of success. I'm currently reading The Short Victorious War, by David Weber, and Ender in Exile, by Orson Scott Card.

One of the things I've been thinking about is what does and doesn't work in cross-species romance. Where does one draw the line between alien sex that's hot and alien sex that's icky? I've read some of both, but I certainly only intend to write the former : )  Part of what makes alien sex "work" is the skill of the author.

A good author can make just about any sort of pair appealing, no matter whether it involves blue skin, reptilian DNA, or alternative equipment. At the risk of giving readers a TMI reaction, I confess that by the end of Doubleblind, I was willing to take Vel home with me. Vel is an insectoid bounty hunter who also happens to be smart, empathic, and resourceful. I'm usually not into insects, but I'd make an exception for Vel. Aguirre made his character so appealing that his alienness became all but irrelevant (though the, uh, alternative equipment is still an issue).

Paradoxically, the key to successful alien heroes or heroines is in humanizing them. It's that sort of challenge that makes SFR such an attractive genre to me.

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