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  1. #1
    Junior Member piloting's Avatar
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    Default "Romance" in planetary romance?

    The Barsoom series apparently started the genre but they don't actually have much romance in them besides chivalorous romance to accentuate the adventure.Are there are any adventure driven sci-fi books with meaningful levels of romance that develops as like a sub-plot?.

  2. #2
    Modus omnibus in rebus Roquefort Raider's Avatar
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    One of the most engaging aspects of Norman Spinrad's Russian spring is the bond between the main character and his (eventual) wife. They go through the flirtation, the romance, the marriage, then the bickering and the divorce, but it's obvious they never ceased to love each other. As a result, it's not a romance; it's more like a real-life sad love story.
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    Mattress Tester T Hedge Coke's Avatar
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    Romance, in this context doesn't mean loveydovey expressly, but really, there's heavy romancing in Princess of Mars and its sequels. If you don't find John and Deja's romance "meaningful," I figure that's your loss, but to each their own.

    Robert Heinlein's "Number of the Beast-" starts out with love at first sight and a quick double marriage before jetting off to other planets and other entire universes. The foregrounding of the, intentionally too-quick and absurd, romances is a source of frustration to some readers, but also glorious to the right sort of reader.

    Michael Moorcock's Blood: A Southern Fantasy, is about two couples that can't hold it together, again, on various planets, ships, galaxies, nations, times, and realities. It's bittersweet and opens up a beautiful trilogy with Fabulous Harbors and The War Amongst the Angels. Highly recommended to anyone who wants to smile, laugh, cry, and cheer with a book, and on occasion throw horns of appreciation at the pages.

    I like how chaste E. E. Smith's interplanetary romances are, but they're still sweet and loving, for that, when it goes that route.

    That's sticking to "interplanetary romance," of course. Outside of that, there's a ton. Oh, hell yes, there's a ton.

    Moorcock's Jerry Cornelius novels (and some of the short stories and comics) live and breathe by the love stories and romantic surges.

    Vladimir Nabokov's King, Queen, Knave is a story of an affair first and the story of how to market robots second (and more beyond both). Nabokov's alternate history/reality novel, Ada, is gorgeous, sumptuous, brilliant, and centered around a lifelong romance between Ada and Ivan.

    Philip Farmer's Lord Tyger foregrounds the title character's growing sexual awareness and a sequence of romances, while he's being shot at, bombed, punched, or getting into knife fights, because that's how life goes when someone's trying to raise a pet Tarzan.

    Hideyuki Kikuchi's Vampire Hunter D novels ride a line between being fantasy/science fiction, with no definitive evidence that it isn't all just high science, and evidence that most of it is, but there's consistently romances that are integral to the novel, whether a romance with D or with someone else, either full-blown commitments, passing relationships, or unrequited loves.

    I'm tempted to say, Crash, but I won't.

  4. #4
    CotM Member Rob Allen's Avatar
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    The word "romance" didn't always refer to love, etc. Here are some definitions from dictionary.com:

    1. a novel or other prose narrative depicting heroic or marvelous deeds, pageantry, romantic exploits, etc., usually in a historical or imaginary setting.
    2. the colorful world, life, or conditions depicted in such tales.
    3. a medieval narrative, originally one in verse and in some Romance dialect, treating of heroic, fantastic, or supernatural events, often in the form of allegory.
    4. a baseless, made-up story, usually full of exaggeration or fanciful invention.

    Barsoom qualifies for 1, 2 and 4.
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  5. #5
    Idaho Spuds Slam_Bradley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Allen View Post
    The word "romance" didn't always refer to love, etc. Here are some definitions from dictionary.com:

    1. a novel or other prose narrative depicting heroic or marvelous deeds, pageantry, romantic exploits, etc., usually in a historical or imaginary setting.
    2. the colorful world, life, or conditions depicted in such tales.
    3. a medieval narrative, originally one in verse and in some Romance dialect, treating of heroic, fantastic, or supernatural events, often in the form of allegory.
    4. a baseless, made-up story, usually full of exaggeration or fanciful invention.

    Barsoom qualifies for 1, 2 and 4.

    I was literally just queuing up this thread to post almost exactly the same thing.

    Romance does not just mean bodice jerkers...especially not 100 years ago.

  6. #6
    CotM Member Rob Allen's Avatar
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    Hmmm... The Bodice Jerkers would be a good name for a rock band.
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    Mattress Tester T Hedge Coke's Avatar
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    There's a lovestory of some sort at the spine of (nearly) every Barsoom novel. I can't see how they aren't significant, even if they aren't tales of macking or bodice rippers/jerkers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Allen View Post
    Hmmm... The Bodice Jerkers would be a good name for a rock band.
    The Bodice Rippers are a bit hammy, but otherwise a good blues and rock cabaret band.

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    Just in case the message hasn't gotten through, I'd reiterate what Rob Allen said about the shifting meanings of the word "romance": for example, think about the Romantic Movement in western literature or classical music; and for another example, when ERB's first Tarzan novel was titled "Tarzan: a Romance", it wasn't referring to the Tarzan+Jane "romance".

    However, in terms of the modern connotations of the word, the relationship between John Carter and Dejah Thoris was one of the biggest things the movie got wrong.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by piloting View Post
    The Barsoom series apparently started the genre but they don't actually have much romance in them besides chivalorous romance to accentuate the adventure.Are there are any adventure driven sci-fi books with meaningful levels of romance that develops as like a sub-plot?.
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