Please welcome author S.B.K. Burns to Galaxy Express 2.0! S.B.K. Burns’ sci-fi romances blend “science and spirituality” and “explore different kinds of consciousness.” It struck me that her angle is one I haven’t often encountered in this genre and therefore was interested in learning more about it. I love it when SFR authors find new ways to surprise us!
Her books also feature time travel, diverse characters (including ones with disabilities) and all kinds of scientific fun. S.B.K. Burns joined me for an interview so I could help share the news of her work, in particular her newest releases ENTANGLED and FLY LIKE AN EAGLE.
First, here’s the cover and blurb for FLY LIKE AN EAGLE:
It’s 1824 Philadelphia at the opening of the Franklin Institute of Science, and one of its founders, Samantha’s father, wants her to marry his business partner, a much older man, to keep their war industry dealings secret.
Looking for a way out of the arranged marriage, tomboy Sam finds it in Eagle, the half Native American son of the man she is to marry.
Eagle brings Samantha into his spiritual world, his bimijiwan, in order that she might stop their father’s preparations for an ironclad Civil War at sea. To do this, Sam might have to convince Benjamin Franklin to abandon his kite experiment.
And now for my interview with author S.B.K. Burns!
Galaxy Express: There are bunches of genres authors can choose from. Why did you decide to write science fiction romance?
S.B.K. Burns: From an early age, I read plays from both my parent’s Theatre Arts Magazines and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. That led to writing and composing romantic plays and musicals in high school. I went on to study science in college, but it wasn’t until I became serious about character development and joined RWA in San Diego that I started novel writing. And what better topic for a multi-degreed scientific generalist than science fiction romance.
Galaxy Express: What is the least readers need to know about your time travel series Ages of Invention?
S.B.K. Burns: The novels feature forbidden romances (think ROMEO AND JULIET). Electress Sophia of the House of Hanover (18th century ancestor to all British royalty) saves the great scientists of history from a time quake in her Crystal Quantum Computer (the C-Q). In the 21st century a Stephen Hawking character designs an Electronic Quantum Computer (the E-Q) that is in competition with an entourage of college misfits who enter their past life bodies through meditation to stop him from messing up the timeline. Newton and Franklin make guest appearances.
Galaxy Express: Tell us a bit about the couples from your newest releases, ENTANGLED and FLY LIKE AN EAGLE.
S.B.K. Burns: In ENTANGLED (science history of 1717), the lovers are from different sides of the track. Dawn is a Hume’n spy, she believes in the David Hume philosophy that love is not just a word but a deep experience that goes to the very center of her being. She’s undercover for the Hume’n Hacker Underground championed by CEO, Marrick, an anti-establishment Wolfram type. Taylor Stephenson is the Olympic weightlifting brother to the Hawking-type physics prof who invents the E-Q. Taylor suspects that he’s not like his brother, a rational, upper class Cartesian, but more like Dawn, an emotional lower-class Hume’n.
In FLY LIKE AN EAGLE (science history of 1824), the heroine, Samantha, is a tomboy and a bookworm who loves nature, but her father, an industrialist and one of the founders of the Philadelphia Franklin Institute of Science wants her to marry his business partner, a much older man. Fortunately for her, the man she is to marry has a half Native American son, Migizi (Eagle) who designs hanggliders and knows all about the other secret Victorian world of Electress Sophia. Samantha discovers a way to ride Eagle’s bimijiwan, his flow, that takes them into alternate realities of the future. To counter damage done by the E-Q, and their fathers’ preparation for an ironclad ship civil war, they must determine if Franklin’s kite experiment is a go/no-go.
Galaxy Express: Which scientific/technological element(s) in your books do you think will turn readers on the most?
S.B.K. Burns: In ENTANGLED, the warring factions use focused brainwave technology to spirit themselves into their past lives: 1) a past-life-regression lab in Marrick’s secret bunker versus 2) the science lab E-Q, fashioned like a submarine control room.
In FLY LIKE AN EAGLE, the lovers take a ride together on the plummet of a giant swinging pendulum, and, also, they fly over a river valley together in the faring of Eagle’s delta wing glider. Dirigibles races abound in Victorian Piscatawnia, New London. And Bertie, H.G. Wells, makes an appearance.
Galaxy Express: How would you rate the heat level in your books?
S.B.K. Burns: Not erotic, but medium rare. Love scenes are part of the flow and the disruption of travel in time. Sexual relations tastefully follow the inner emotions of the lovers.
Galaxy Express: What makes you geek out more than anything else?
S.B.K. Burns: Romance writers who don’t spend enough time looking up at the night sky to, at least, notice the phases of the moon to accurately insert them into their stories.
Galaxy Express: Do the Ages of Invention books stand alone or should they be read in order? Where do you plan on taking the series?
S.B.K. Burns: ENTANGLED and FLY LIKE AN EAGLE can be read alone, but the back history is developed more in ENTANGLED. The next book in the series will probably be about the time traveling pilot of the C-Q, Naomi, and her relationship with the very special “schizophrenic” brother of the heroine, Dawn. Most of the action takes place with an entourage of college misfits from ENTANGLED’S 21st century hacker underground.
My WIP is a stand-alone space-opera romance between an alien woman held captive by the President of the North American States and one of his elite aerospace-plane test pilots.
S.B.K. Burns: The movie of a play was from a little know TV series and titled Murder And The Android, it starred Suzanne Pleshette and Rip Torn.
Rip Torn plays an android that falls for a real human. The android becomes self-aware and gets in trouble with the law and is to be terminated. Pleshette, the daughter of his designer, fakes Torn’s death, and I suppose they live happily ever after.
My sci-fi, light-urban-fantasy romance, LOVE ME, BITE ME, involves a love between a psychic vampire and a spacefaring android.
I always seem to put threads of forbidden romance and diversity through my work, probably because, as a creative person, I’ve felt the sting of being different.
Galaxy Express: Where can readers find you?
Ms. Burns, thank you for coming aboard Galaxy Express 2.0 and for your SFR art!
Authors S.B.K. Burns and Marie Andreas (of RWA San Diego) will be making an appearance at CondorCon (March 3-5, 2017). Visit the Mysterious Galaxy table where you can meet the authors and nab copies of their books. S.B.K. Burns will be featuring her LEGENDS OF THE GOLDENS sci-fi light urban fantasy series, which includes spacefaring vampires, androids, and shapeshifting flying saucers.