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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

TOPIC: In a galaxy far, far away...with Sara Creasy

Some of the most wonderful moments of my childhood included reenacting or creating my own scenes of such science fiction classics as George Lucas' Star Wars, Glen A.Larson's Battlestar Galactica (the original version) and Gene Rodenbury's Star Trek.

Most days my friends went along with my desire to turn the Jacaranda tree in my front yard into an Viper or X-wing fighter.

We fought over whether we were going to be Jedi's or belong to the Dark Side of the Force. And how we so wished transporters or the TARDIS were actually real!

In many ways I never lost that obsessions with all things sci-fi. I still love watching SF TV shows and movies - old and new - V the TV series, Dr.Who, Lost in Space, Farscape, Firefly, Stargate, ET, Tron, Dune, Planet of the Apes, Alien, The Terminator, Mad Max, Fortress, Waterworld, Pitch Black, Independence Day, The Matrix, Armageddon, I,Robot, I am Legend, Avatar, District 9, Cowboys & Aliens...the list is endless.

My love for sci-fi didn't stop at TV shows or movies. I loved reading the genre as well.

I became a huge fan of authors like Anne McCaffrey, Andre Norton, Patrick Tilley, David Brin and Sharon Green.

And then I discovered science fiction romance - the best of all worlds!

So, for those of you who don't know what it is, or for those who love it as much as I do, this is a blog series devoted entirely to science fiction romance and the authors who write it for our enjoyment.

Strap yourselves in, prepare to jump to Warp 9 and you never know...you might find yourselves in a galaxy far, far away...addicted to a new genre...and a new author... 

In a galaxy far, far away...with Sara Creasy
SARA CREASY grew up in the UK, moved to Melbourne as a teenager, and spent five years in Arizona, USA.

In 2010 her debut novel SONG OF SCARABAEUS was published by HarperVoyager, the same year she moved back to Melbourne with her husband and baby daughter.

CHILDREN OF SCARABAEUS came out in 2011.

Has the SF genre always fascinated you?
Absolutely! Growing up in the 70s, I watched everything from Doctor Who and Blake’s 7 to reruns of Star Trek and the Time Tunnel. I loved the idea of travelling to other planets and meeting aliens.

In grade 6 I wrote a story about going on a family vacation to the moon and collecting moon rocks. I also loved fantasy stories like the Narnia books, or anything with magic.

What SF/R addictions can you lay claim to?
I guess I used to be a closet Trekkie, especially Next Generation in the 90s, but I think I’m a bit too critical of that series to be called a fan. I do love science fiction art – spaceships, cityscapes, aliens and alien landscapes.

Is there any one author, TV show, movie, producer, actor, other influence that inspires you?
There are so many. I get inspired by images more than anything, like the retro rust-bucket spaceship in Firefly or the urban landscape in Blade Runner. 

What sucked you in to writing science fiction - as opposed to being just a fan or reader of SF and whether it's straight SF, space opera, SFR or any other combination?
I have always loved writing stories, so it was natural to combine that with my love of speculative worlds. I also love a good romance, and probably anything I write will always have that aspect to it.

As an author published in SFR, have you seen or do you see the genre gaining popularity in the marketplace?
Paranormal romance has obviously taken off in a big way. I’m not so sure about space adventure that combines romance.

There have been a few new names coming up in the genre in the past decade, like Linnea Sinclair and Ann Aguirre, but it’s nothing like the explosion of paranormal romance and urban fantasy – these subgenres have acquired heaps of new readers.

I think the SF tag scares people off. To many people, science fiction means nothing more than dorky Trekkies, UFO nuts, or incomprehensible physics. That’s a shame because so much SF is very accessible and fun and rewarding.

Published work in the SF/R genre: SONG OF SCARABAEUS (Amazon, Booktopia), CHILDREN OF SCARABAEUS (Amazon, Booktopia)
Publisher/s: HarperVoyager (US)
Your website: www.saracreasy.com

What unique slant have you given SF in your books?
I hope I’ve written a couple of fun stories that you don’t have to think too hard about if you don’t want to, but if you want to look deeper there are some important themes there, as well as what I hope is a plausible science basis.

The Scarabaeus books are primarily adventure stories, but I also used my biology background to invent a new genetic engineering technology that transforms entire alien ecosystems at the DNA level. I don’t know if that will ever be possible, but I tried to make it plausible – which I think is the essence of good science fiction. 

Have you received feedback from readers about your work and what did they like about it?
I’ve found that readers who generally read romance-heavy books appreciated the slow build-up of romance in the Scarabaeus books. As I said, it’s primarily adventure SF, so I didn’t write it as a romance book. This isn’t “insta-lust” and the romance is secondary to the main plot. Straight SF readers didn’t seem to mind the romance angle and appreciated the worldbuilding. 

Can you share a little about your latest release (or a series or a novel from your backlist)?
CHILDREN OF SCARABAEUS is the second in the series, and continues the story of Edie and Finn, who are on the run from the Crib (the galactic government) after discovering a powerful secret on the planet Scarabaeus.

They are recaptured and Edie is forced to work for the Crib in their bid for galactic dominance. The Crib’s methods include oppressing and enslaving people, and wreaking havoc on the ecology of entire planets.

Edie desperately wants to escape, but even more than that, she wants freedom for Finn. The story deepens their relationship and tests it to the limit. It also ties up some loose ends from the first book.

Think back to all the TV shows/cartoons, movies and books you've read in the SF/R genre and answer the following...
SF/R hero: Mal Reynolds (so unlike any hero I’d ever write, but he’s a blast to watch). 
SF/R heroine: Ellen Ripley from the Alien series. 
SF/R villain: The Silence from Doctor Who – these creatures look like that freaky painting The Scream. You forget their existence as soon as you look away, but retain suggestions they make – in this way they’ve been influencing human history. What spooks me is that they’re apparently responsible for the night terrors of toddlers. That’s just mean! 
SF/R alien race: Vulcans (they go overboard on the no-emotions thing, but I can’t fault their love of logic).
SF/R technology: Faster-than-light travel. 
SF/R space craft: Serenity from Firefly. 
SF/R TV show or movie: Aliens (an old favourite, but it hasn’t dated). 
SF/R quote made by a character/actor/person: “I aim to misbehave.” – Captain Mal, Serenity. Oh yeah!

If you'd like to know more about Sara, check out her website or blog.


  1. Hi, ladies,

    It's good to know that even though SFR is not igniting a firestorm of new readers as Paranormal Romance seems to be enjoying, it is going ahead. Maybe it will be like the old hare/tortoise fable and SFR will win in the end. :)

    Live Long and Prosper. :)

  2. Great interview Kylie and Sara! I loved the Scarabaeus duo - Finn is one of my fave all-time heroes ever!

  3. Hope you're right, Sandy! I've nothing against paranormal but nothing beats a spaceship and a ray gun!
    Glad you liked Finn, Bec. Sometimes I do wonder what he's up to now...

  4. Siiiigh. God how I love my SF/SFR. Am in the middle of watching the whole new series of Dr Who with the kiddies (yes, I'm taking them to the Dark Side with me!!) I think I'm winning, too - Miss Eight asked to take the Star Wars movie to her sleep over on Saturday night, LOL.

    Reading all the names of those books, series and movies gives me withdrawal for the ones I don't own!

    Lovely interview :) So nice to read a little more about the people behind the stories we see and want to read. Sara, both your books are on my TBR pile, waiting for the time I actually have some! Time, that is. The day will come that people will realise SFR isnt hard scifi and won't do their heads in with existential physics. Long live SFR!!

    I need to make that into a button...


  5. Great idea, Michelle! A 'Long live SFR' button. Must give some thought to that! :) And speaking as someone who has a post-graduate degree in Astronomy, I don't want to read about physics in my sci-fi novel, but romance? Heck, yes!!!

  6. Hey, more bling!!! I vote for your badge, Michelle, that's a great idea. And you haven't read Sara's books yet? Ack!!! Get your nose amidst the pages of SONG OF SCARABAEUS!!! Be addicted! Remind me to smack you upside the head Gibbs style when I see you next!!!

    And I second your statement, Sandy - while I do like some hard SF, I prefer lighter on the tech, more on the relationships of the characters. It takes a fine balance to meld both and Sara & Linnea certainly do it for me! :-)