We're continuing our look at Double Vision today.
As I mentioned yesterday, this book is labeled as "romantic suspense." That's not inaccurate. The main character, Dillon, is indeed caught in a romantic triangle that helps drive, if not the main plot, then at least the almost as important subplot. I know I was as confused as Dillon about who he should choose and pursue romantically.
But here's the thing: the book, in my mind, might suffer a bit from that distinction. Here's why: the MacGuffin for the story is a quantum computer. Specifically a biological quantum computer. Using this device, anyone would be able to decrypt any encoded database or message (truth be told, the plot reminded me of the movie Sneakers. That's not a bad thing. I love that movie). There are several times when we get lost in the technical explanation of how the quantum computer works and why it's such a big deal. During those times, the book seemed to stray very close to "hard science fiction," which isn't a bad thing as far as I'm concerned.
But I wonder what romantic suspense fans thought of those moments. I fear that they may have been turned off by it. Maybe not. I have no idea. I don't read romantic suspense normally, so I don't know what keeps readers interested and what doesn't.
This highlights one of the problems we have as a writers of Christian science fiction. It's obvious that, for whatever reason, the market is closed to blatant science fiction tales. Does that mean we should instead try to sneak them in, Trojan horse style, by pumping up a lesser quality and marketing it as a completely different genre?
In some ways, I think this might be the way we can begin to soften the market, so to speak. If people are exposed to genre elements in other stories (i.e. biological quantum computers) and like it, they may be more willing to try out "harder" sci-fi. Think of it as reverse innoculation.
At the same time, though, I suspect that there's a bright line that non-sci-fi and non-fantasy fans won't cross. A quantum computer as a MacGuffin? Well, okay. But a book with aliens? Forget it!
Time will only tell. Hopefully the market will open up to the harder stuff someday. In the meantime, we can celebrate when sci-fi or fantasy elements get "snuck into" a story.
Be sure to visit the others on the blog tour:
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Lost Genre Guild
Kevin Lucia and The Bookshelf Reviews 2.0 - The Compendium
Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte
Tsaba House Authors
Daniel I. Weaver