I used to watch Star Trek with my grandma. An avid reader, if she were living today I think she would have loved genre fiction of all stripes.
I also remember watching the original Star Trek series with my dad. “Oh, I remember this one,” he’d say — and I would be amazed that he could recall every single episode. We watched the show in re-runs, so of course he’d already seen all seventy-nine episodes when they had originally aired, but my ten-year-old self couldn’t fathom remembering all of that information.
I vividly remember watching Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series – of the “billions and billions” fame — and being fascinated with a world beyond the night sky that we were only beginning to understand. Then I read Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series with my mom. Later I discovered Arthur C. Clarke, a man well known for his quote: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” I was hooked.
All of these experiences (and more: Star Wars, Blade Runner, the list goes on) infused in me that “sense of wonder” science fiction readers crave. The universe was vast and wonderful and I devoured stories offering some explanation of that. When I sat down to write THE SPIRAL PATH, I wanted to create a story that captured those early and treasured experiences. I wanted to share that “sense of wonder.” Of course, my favorite science fiction stories also offer some romance. Who can forget Star Wars’ Princess Leia and Han Solo? The Terminator’s Sarah Connor and Kyle Reece? The Matrix’s Trinity and Neo?
THE SPIRAL PATH, however, twists the usual idea of space opera, where enormous spaceships travel faster than light across the vast distances of space. Instead, this story explores not planets in far off galaxies, but the possible worlds just under our noses — so close to us that our universes are separated by fractions of millimeters. In other words, parallel universes.
Scientists in my fictional world soon realized that people and objects didn’t fare so well in the opposite dimension. In fact, after a short time, objects and even people began to fall apart. Turns out, at the Big Bang every dimension vibrated at its own frequency and never the twain shall meet. In the meantime, some travelers had developed relationships. Some had even conceived children.
This is the world Lara and Raphael Soto were born into, rare live births and even rarer twins. Children like them, called Chimerans, could live in both dimensions, but not their parents. So they grew up in fractured families, something many of us today — in our living rooms right here on planet Earth — can relate to.
Lara grew up and fell in love not with another Chimeran, but with a Star Union officer named Mitch Yoshida. Neither dimension knows just what to make of the Chimerans, but both also want to use them to their own advantage. The situation turned sour enough to force a mass Chimeran defection with Lara at the helm, but she had to leave Mitch behind. Not all Chimerans defected, however, and Raphael stayed on to serve with Mitch in the Star Union. When he goes missing on a dangerous mission, Lara and Mitch must team up to find him and dredge up their feelings for one another all over again.
If you’re new to science fiction romance, I hope THE SPIRAL PATH’s other world draws you in with its “sense of wonder” and that the love story keeps you interested. We all want to be loved, whether we live on a mid-western farm at the turn of the century, solve crimes in a giant metropolis, or travel faster than light to start a colony on Mars – or even in another dimension.
What about you? What science fiction books, movies or TV have captured your attention? Who are some of your favorite couples from science fiction romance?
Lisa Paitz Spindler is a science fiction author, web designer, blogger, and pop culture geek. Her debut space opera novella, THE SPIRAL PATH, will be released March 28, 2011 from Carina Press. In addition to contributing book reviews and television recaps to SF Signal, she also maintains the Danger Gal Blog hosted by her alter ego, Danger Gal, whose stiletto heels are licensed weapons and whose ninja stars travel faster than light. Lisa, however, gets through each day on caffeine and science blogs. Lisa can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.
Out Of This World Blog Tour Giveaway
As part of the Out Of This World Blog Tour, Lisa is giving away a copy of THE SPIRAL PATH and this Retro Saturn T-shirt to one lucky reader.
Everyone who enters will receive a door prize: THE SPIRAL PATH electronic trading cards depicting the four main characters in the story. Click here to enter.
On Sunday, April 3 Lisa will draw and announce the winning name on her blog.