If Only Sci-Fi Romance Books Could Be Shared Visually…

I haz a sad. It’s something I probably shouldn’t be sad about…but I am anyway. My disappointment is that we can’t share visuals from sci-fi romance books.

SadScarletI know—books are their own medium. They’re not movies, TV, or comic books and shouldn’t be compared in that regard. I’m not saying books are lacking because they don’t feature visuals beyond the cover. It’s more that in this age of social media, I’m occasionally sad about the fact that I can’t share screenshots of favorite book moments or make gifs of SFR characters and their signature behaviors/expressions. Sometimes I encounter a cute or memorable scene and think dang, I’d love to go online and share this visually. All that lovely nuance of expression and nonverbal language! Unfortunately, I can’t take the visuals from books that I create in my head and use them to express myself online in fun ways. If I were an artist, that’d be a different story.

Speaking of art, I haven’t found any fan art based on SFR books (and if it’s out there, hit me up!). Why isn’t there fan art of SFR? There should be! This genre has so many compelling characters and scenes artists could render, especially given SFR’s action-adventure component. I would love to collect and share SFR fan art. Of course, fan art means a bit more if it’s generated by fans rather than authors, but I’ll take marketing-generated book-related art over nothing at all.

Another factor is that SFR is so doggone niche there simply aren’t enough folks to go around. In other words, the genre currently lacks a tipping point as far as the creation of fan art. Artists would not only have to know about the books, they’d also need time to read them. If SFR books were to be adapted into TV and/or films, that’d catapult things to the next level and the added exposure would likely result in a large enough fan base from which fan art might then be generated. But we’re not there yet, not by a long shot.

Herb haz a sad about this issue, too.

Also, commissioning fan art costs money. So many of us are on a budget these days. If I had the money, I’d commission pieces on a regular basis. But that points to another issue: I’d be commissioning art based on my interpretation of the characters and their descriptions, which might or might not align with anyone else’s interpretation (let alone the author’s canon!). And cover art doesn’t help matters since much of it is based on stock images. Still, if I could commission fan art, I would, and there’d probably be at least a few other readers who would enjoy it as well.

If sharing visuals from books could be a thing (e.g., illustrations), it’d be a cool way to share SFR. We could express our interest in a particular story without risking spoilers, or connect others with books they might enjoy. Words are a wonderful way to share our love of books, but they’re not always as accessible as images. Visuals are also convenient and efficient.

Author Linnea Sinclair once had her book THE DOWN HOME ZOMBIE BLUES optioned for a film (THE DOWN HOME ALIEN BLUES), and there are a few shots from the movie at IMDB and on the author’s web site.

There’s also a trailer:

Sadly, that’s kind of the closest this genre has come to high-profile visualization. And SFR films of that nature would benefit most from a higher budget. Still, the trailer hints at the potential. I mean, if I could share images like the following from books, I’d be plastering them all over the place!

DownHomeAlienBluesdownhomealienblues_kissFan art or other visuals from SFR books is the biggest pipe dream ever, I know. Trust me, I’m fully aware. But I still grieve a bit over not being able to translate book content into shareable images. Naturally, I’d love, love, love for there to be more SFR films and movies to serve that purpose/need. However, I don’t want it to be either/or. Call me wild and unrealistic, but I want both!

Author: Heather Massey

Heather Massey searches for sci-fi romance adventures and writes about them at The Galaxy Express and Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly. Her SFR musings have appeared at a variety of other places including LoveLetter Magazine, Coffee Time Romance, Tor.com, Heroes & Heartbreakers, and SF Signal. She’s also an author. Her stories will entertain you with fantastical settings, larger-than-life characters, timeless romance, and rollicking action. When Heather’s not reading or writing, she’s watching cult films and enjoying the company of her husband and daughter. For more information, visit @thgalaxyexpress and heathermassey.com Heater blogs on the 30th of each month.

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