I read a good one recently and I can feel a futuristic reading marathon coming on. I know this genre isn’t for everyone but it’s one of my favourites. I’ve read them for years but I seemed to have gotten away from them for a while. After thoroughly enjoying the book I read, the fire is back again. Before I start blogging about the futuristic books I’ve read recently and/or are planning to read, I thought I’d explain why I like them so much and what I find appealing about them.
To do a well written futuristic, I find the author has to have a limitless imagination. There’s a specialty channel here in Canada with the catchy phrase – Space – the Imagination Station. I think that applies to futuristic books too. With a historical the boundaries are already set. There’s the ton with all the rules and regulations, the seasons, the country homes and parties; the dukes, the earls, the marquis etc. etc. etc.. What the author does is follow the parameters already set up. She/he adds their interpretation, storyline and characters within the outline already done in history. The same goes for medievals and westerns. Since it’s already happened, there is no need to create something different or unique. With romantic suspense and contemporaries, the same holds true. But with futuristics, the sky is the limit (so to speak).
The author can have a setting on earth in the not too distant future with still recognizable events or places such as the In Death books or Susan Grant’s The Star King, The Star Prince and The Star Princess. Or they can take place in a world completely unrecognizable such as Robin Owen’s world.
If we are far into the future the ruling empire can be evil such as the Coalition in Justine Davis Lord of the Storm and Skypirate or looking out for the greater good such as futuristic world in Angela Knight’s Jane’s Warlord (I wish we had seen more of it than we did. Hopefully for the futuristic lovers she will revisit it someday)
**** And she does have another one coming out in this series!! I just noticed this the other day and I was one happy camper! In fact I ordered it and since it's out in July, 2008 I don't have to long a wait.****
The author can create regular type heroes and heroines or the unusual such as Kathleen Morgan’s Heart’s Lair or Christine Spangler’s Shadow Fires (*note: this is one I haven’t read – just the reviews). The hero’s can be a ruler, an escaped convict, a bounty hunter or a pirate or any other creation of the author’s imagination. There’s also a wide variation for the heroine too; princess, convict, healer or empath (although if the heroine is either of the last two, the author may face the wrath of Mrs. Giggles – she’s tough on them healers (grin).
Another issue that doesn’t necessarily have to be dealt with in futuristics is unwanted pregnancies or STD’s. Since they take place in the future is seems almost a given that this is no longer a problem. Science and advanced medical treatment will have taken care of this. While I applaud authors who deal with this issue in contemporaries, wouldn’t it be nice to know that in the future it’s something we won’t have to worry about? And honestly, in RL instead of RW, there would be a whole lot of heroes in historicals running around with syphilis and a whole lot of heroines who were inconveniently pregnant
It seemed for a while like futuristics were on their way out. I’ve read that Justine Davis had a third book in mind for her journey into the futuristic but was told not to bother, that it wouldn’t sell. I’m sure there were other authors who were told the same thing. And at the time they probably wouldn’t have. But one of the things I most admire about Love Spell which I believe is a division of Leisure Publishing is they never gave up. They published them in 1995 and they are still publishing them today. I hope they and other publishers continue and that readers who are loving paranormals discover that futuristics can be just as good and different a read. Berkley is also publishing some good ones these days.
So if you’ve never tried one before, try that final frontier, explore strange new worlds, seek out new adventures, go where you the reader has ne're gone before.
There are some crappy ones out there I know – same as crappy historicals, medievals and every other genre, but there is also some very very good ones.
For anyone interested here are a just a few of my favourite favourites.
Banner’s Bonus by Carole Ann Lee (1995): I loved this book. One of my all time favourite furturistics, it was the only one I’ve ever been able to find by this author. This will be the first in line for a reread. There were some secondary characters who would have been great with their own books but alas – whatever happened to the author and/or sequels is a mystery
Lord of the Storm and Skypirate by Justine Davis: I wish more had been written. She did a wonderful job with these. And yes, I know. *sigh* They are Very Bad Covers.
Knighthawk by Kristen Kyle: After reading a few other books by this author and loving them and seeing she had a futuristic I knew this was one I had to have. It took me a while to track one down and I finally ordered it from Amazon but it was well worth the effort.
Heart’s Lair by Kathleen Morgan: This one was thinking on it now, was ahead of it’s time. The hero is part man, part lion. I found it a very interesting book.
There was a prequel to this one, but I didn't like it nearly as much.
Kinsman's Oath: Sadly, very sadly, she quit writing Futuristics after this one. I hope some day she goes back to them
I’m really looking forward to finding some new ones.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*And luckily, over the years I have found new books and new authors. I've discovered Linnea Sinclair. Susan Grant still continues to impress. Patricia Waddell wrote a nice book that I quite enjoyed. And of course I'm still as deeply in love with the In Death books as I was in 2005.