Sunday, April 23, 2006

In Space, No One Can Hear You Moan...

I've never been a fan of reading Science Fiction. That is not to say that I don't like Science Fiction at all. I've actually enjoyed quite a few Sci-Fi movies and tv series (I miss Farscape!), and we watch the Sci-Fi Channel all the time (which isn't exclusively you watch Ghost-Hunters? We want to move to RI and join up!)But for some reason, in reading it, I seem to get thrown off by the space jargon (frell, frak, krek...just say fuck, for fuck's sake), and the science-y stuff seems cheesy or boring. So I was a bit surprised at myself for picking up The Ultimatum by Susan Kearney at the library, but I was intrigued by the back cover blurb.
The Ultimatum has the most,uh, original set-up I've seen in a long time. Dr. Alara Calladar is a brilliant physiologist who specializes in the study of the females of the Endekian race that she belongs to. Due to their genetic programming, Endekian females of childbearing years go through these cycles (the 'Boktai'), where they are absolutely crazed with lust and will have sex with any willing male. It seems that their cells will degenerate and they will DIE if they don't get some "male essence" to regenerate them. Not only that, but the more they do it with a particular guy, their cells become attuned to him (or something), and they become dependent on his man juice to keep them alive. Seriously, doesn't this sound like a porno set-up? Total male fantasy. Apparently, Endekian males are all short and rotund, and they don't treat the ladies well because they know that they'll be getting some no matter how they act, since getting boinked is so necessary to keeping the females alive. But fear not, because this is not a porno, but a romance novel (i.e. female fantasy?), so our heroine will be spared an unhappy marriage to a Ron Jeremy look-alike by the arrival of a hot guy from space. Xander is a Rystani warrior, an enemy race, and he wants Alara to come with him to try and cure some virus or something. But, of course Alara is at the mercy of the Boktai, and they are in outer space...Cue Bamp-chicka-wow-wow porny music...

So I'm not going to write a review, because after much effort, I'm giving up. I only read about 125 pages in a week. A lot of it's my Sci-Fi prejudice. For example, it's not a penis, but a tavis. Tavis Smiley is a fellow with a PBS talk show, at least in the New York metro area. I just can't deal. I really wanted to like this, because of the wonderfully porn-worthy set-up, but I was bored out of my skull. But perhaps it will be some other reader's cup of tea. I couldn't let it go by without mention. Plus, I went to BJ's for a birthday cake this morning and picked up Dead and Loving It by Maryjanice Davidson, although I swore to the heavens I would ILL this after shelling out for two hardcovers and a trade paperback last year, all shitty. She's got a great a genuinely humorous, and snarky voice that really stands out. She's just getting extremely light on substance. But hey, it was 35% off. So yeah space rangers, you're getting tossed aside for obnoxious werewolves and vampires.


Bev (BB) said...

Owww, that sounds, er, ah, interesting? (And people thought Dara Joy took risks????)

I really identify with this one because I'm also extremely picky about romance/sci-fi combinations. Not so much with fantasy, i.e. magic, but give me technology overload and, yeah, I tend to get really snobbish. World-building ain't gonna cut it if I'm buried in techno-babble.

My recommendation would be to check out something by Linnea Sinclair. She started in ebooks but has now had almost all her books republished in print. Excellent merging of romance and science fiction without going totally mental on the techno-babble. The three titles to look for in print are GABRIEL'S GHOST (my personal favorite), ACCIDENTAL GODDESS and FINDERS KEEPERS.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she'll eventually get COMMAND DECISION also print published because it was so quirky.