Fantasy, race & romance

Via Isobel Carr, there’s an interesting article up about how race is used in the fantasy genre, and how that might be improved.

I’ve read a couple of fantasy/science-fiction romances that I felt were a little…weird this way. The way that they work is that the Protagonist is secretly an X. Then they meet Romantic Object…who is also an X! This means that they are soul mates who will bond and marry and live happily ever after, the end.

I mean, I know I’m a hard sell on romance, but I can’t be the only one to think this is lazy as shit. Why bother trying to generate chemistry between two characters when you can just make them both, I dunno, androids or empaths or Greek gods or aliens from the plant Blorn! Easy-peasy!

Except it’s not very engaging, and it’s got this weird, forced, essentialist element to it. I mean, if I’m from Blorn, and you’re from Blorn…there are probably a billion or so other Blornians back on our home planet, so what makes our relationship so damned special? Maybe we feel a connection because we are two lonely Blornians on Earth, but it’s going to take a bit more than that for our relationship to move past the hot fling stage into love eternal.