Monday, November 7, 2011

I've Got It! A New Acronym for SFR

Laurie's Journal

I think I've got it!

The whole "Should we Still Call it SFR?" debate seems to be firing up, and we're kicking around a few new labels and acronyms for our subgenre (that may be emerging from subgenre status).  The theme most often repeated in our discussions is that it's character-driven SF.  Love the description, but it's more than a mouthful to say. So how can we shrink that down?  When someone asks us what we write, what do we tell them?


Followed by an explanation that stands for Character-Driven Science Fiction: Science Fiction about the characters, or as one eloquent writer recently put it [paraphrased]:

Not about the buttons, but who's pushing them...

And not only that but why are they pushing them? And, perhaps most important of all, for whom?

The interpersonal relationship(s) in our SF are at least as important as the science, technology or sociology. Our characters can be caught up in intergalactic wars, apocalyptic futures, alien confrontations, extra-dimensional adventures or alternative history explorations (to name a few)--with scenarios that can capture and stretch the imagination--but ultimately, the stakes are just as much personal as they are historical. And often the personal stakes conflict with the historical stakes.

And that, my friends, is what makes a great CDSF story.

So what do you think?

Ping Pong

Sharon's post on G+ (and suggestion I try it out) has been a boon for me. I now have almost 200 people in my circles including readers, writers, publishing industry professionals and a dedicated circle just for SFR Brigaders. I absolutely adore Google+!

Donna, let me also answer your question by saying this is a great place for you to start in connecting with thousands or others readers (and writers, which are voracious readers) to see what you think.  It's easy to use, gives you much more control than FB and to some degree, Twitter, and I think those are reasons a lot of people are going to move over.

I also found this article which explains why G+ may become the most used social networking platform in the future, The Top Five Ways Google+ Will Take Over the Web.

My Journey

After some real soul-searching, I've decided I'm all in for the Golden Heart. I registered all three manuscripts for the 2012 competition. *hyperventilates* Now the real work begins. Putting together six, as-close-to-perfection-as-possible printed entries of each novel, proofing, tweaking, re-proofing, printing and proofing again, before final preparation to check each and every page is there, in order and is in the correct format. It's an OCD nightmare. And then there's the chore of trying to silence the nagging little voice in my head that says the stars aren't going to align again and it will all be for naught. Well one thing is sure. You can't final if you don't enter. No guts, no glory. Cowabunga!


Readers Rule! The Ultimate Gatekeepers of Publishing and the Rise of the Author
Maybe it's time to put emphasis where emphasis is due. It's the readers who control our destiny. That's the message behind a blog post by Bob Mayers (the Atlantis series). Well worth a read at Write It Forward.


Zoom, zoom, zoom
Even closer than the Moon, Moon, Moon!  

That's how near asteroid 2005 YU55 will come to Earth this week. (Thanks to Katy Perry for the borrow/mangle of her lyrics.) Another year, another near miss. Is it really happening more often, or were we just blissfully unaware of these close passes in years gone by? History tells us another strike is inevitable, so these rocks that pass so near we can feel the breeze is definitely something to make us sit up and take note.

For an animation of the asteroid's course by NASA, click here.

Great Quotes

No one promised it would be easy...
                 they just promised it would be worth it. 
                                                    - Sean Combs

Love that.


  1. CDSF (SFR) is my favorite. I think that would cover a lot more than SFR. I am reading A Soldier's Duty by Jean Johnson. This does not have a romance and could fit in Military Science Fiction but would fit better in CDSF. I think this is a very good acronym and will post it in that section of my blog as well as a link to your post.

  2. Lots of good info, Laurie. CDSF will certainly need to be explained, but if everybody started using it, then it new news will spread.

  3. CDSF? It is creative and cool, but... SFR is so very cool.

    Good luck with GH. Hey you know it can strike again!

    I think we are due to be hit by something soon. Maybe not in our lifetime, but soon.

    Good post.

  4. Thanks for your comment, JC. And thanks for the link, too. :)

    Thanks, Marva. I suppose it could also be CD Sci-Fi. Either way works for me.

    Thanks for the wishes, Kaye. This is probably the last year I'll enter. I know the chances of lightning striking again are pretty low, but it's a goal worth shooting for.

  5. Not sure I can go with you on CDSF when it cuts out the romance audience altogether, an audience which, I believe, ultimately is bigger and more welcoming. What I write is closer to romance than to SF strictly speaking, and SFR as an umbrella term has always allowed for a broader "family" of work--from erotica to military SF with romantic elements. I don't think that's a bad thing.

    I am getting closer to doing the Google+ thing, but I definitely need geek help to get started. I'm such a dinosaur!

    Good luck with GH! Who says lightning can't strike twice? Sharon has the singe marks to prove it!

  6. So a couple of thoughts about CDSF. I do see where you're going with it, and think it's an interesting idea. However, that original great quote from the SF Signal article was applied to SF in general. The author was asserting that all SF is character driven.

    Writers may devote more word count to science and technology in some types of SF, whereas in romance more word count is given to relationship development, but in the end I think both are still more about the characters than the buttons they push. So I am not sure that this label is clarifying things for the potential reader.

    Donna makes a good point, as well. It's not likely to be recognized by the romance audience. The SFR label has already made a lot of progress with regard to recognition, and the new label would mean starting over with that.

    Anyhow, just my 2 cents. It's tricky!

    Good luck to you and Donna in the GH! Between the two of you it's possible SF/SFR/CDSF could take five finalist slots...

  7. All great points. It's possible different tags might appeal to different situations.

    For instance, CDSF may be more attractive if you're promoting at ComicCon, Dragoncon, or the like, where SFR would be more appropriate to RT, RWA or a Romance conference.

    You say tomato... :)


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