When working on details for any story, there’s this delicate balance of too much and too little. Writing a science fiction romance short makes that line even slimmer, which I discovered upon penning Solid Ground. Cadets falling in love, the end of school, and the embarking on missions seemed pretty clear to me, and since I adore writing those young adult themes of graduation and moving forward with or without regret, the emotional heart of the story came easily.
However, the trickier aspect to a story like that lies with the setting and details. After all, if you don’t include enough worldbuilding, it’s just a contemporary story about graduating from high school or college and leaving love behind. Just as bad though would be adding too many details to the short, because with something of that length, you have to focus on fewer, better words to pull the weight. Long explanations of the atmosphere of Planet X or departures to discuss the politics of Spacekeeping Organization A would detract from the character dynamics, and for a romance, those have to be the focus.
So, in Solid Ground, ambassadors are mentioned, but I don’t really go into the specifics—as I’m assuming many readers will fill in the blanks themselves. (Sometimes with cleverer or more imaginative ideas than I could ever come up with) I gave the setting Tritania a little flavor and changed small things, like smart books instead of paper for students or the advanced fabric of uniforms. In that way, I allowed readers a familiar jump into science fiction without explaining all the transit, the new technology shifts, or even where Earth falls—or if it falls—in this universe. All of that wasn’t necessary, because the biggest focus was on the regret Mags Javiks felt at never telling her long-time crush and best friend, Lex, her feelings for him.
So for some sweet romance with sci-fi flair, be sure to check out Solid Ground, coming out with Boroughs Publishing Group!
By Katherine McIntyre
Mags Javiks has one day left until she boards a spaceship to start her ambassador training, one day in which to admit her love for her best friend Lex. To do so, she will have to trade the solid ground of a comfortable past relationship for the unknown frontier of a possible future together.