Please welcome Heather Massey of The Galaxy Express blog for today’s Guest Post. Heather’s debut book ONCE UPON A TIME IN SPACE is available starting today. See the end of this article for more information.
Science fiction has a long history of Earth-in-peril stories. The three main culprits threatening Earth are alien invasions, interplanetary war, and environmental disasters. The stories can be found in books, anime, films, television series, and manga. There are too many stories to list, but here’s a down and dirty sampling:
- War of the Worlds
- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
- Space Battleship Yamato
- Isaac Asimov’s Foundation & Empire series
- Titan A.E.
- Phillip Reeves’s Mortal Engines Quartet
- Peter F. Hamilton’s The Night’s Dawn Trilogy
I can’t think of a better time to start popping the popcorn, can you? Seriously, the idea of Earth’s destruction is so terrifying to me that I often seek ways to process my feelings, primarily through science fiction stories dealing with the subject. I’m not afraid that I will die; rather, I fear for the obliteration of the whole human race. We have our flaws, to be sure, but I believe we have enough potential to do some very wonderful things in this universe. But could we even survive long enough to reach those goals?
Who knows what dangers yet lurk in the dark regions of space, or worse, in our own proverbial backyard? Aliens, if they exist, are more likely to exterminate us and grab our resources than they are to extend a hand/tentacle/claw in peace. But why wait for aliens to take the initiative? At the rate we’re going, we’re on track to suck the life out of Earth all by our oh-so-special selves. Or bomb each other into the next dimension, whichever comes first.
On the plus side, Earth-in-peril stories tap into a patriotism that goes beyond borders, cultures, and ethnicities. If there’s one factor that is pretty much guaranteed to unite the people of Earth, it’s an external threat to our very existence that demands an immediate solution. Not only that, but the population numbers are seriously compromised in this scenario. Either deadly missiles are raining down on the planet, or various disasters are killing us off and/or making the planet uninhabitable.
So what’s an Earthling to do?
Fall in love, of course! Think about it: a very advantageous time for romance is while Earth is in the throes of destruction. Why? First, there’s that unequaled high of falling for someone, especially if that person is your one true love. Second, there’s the delicious sexual tension and mind-blowing sex that follows (timed to occur in between the missile attacks, thank you very much). Third, romance often results in babies (regardless of the reproduction method).
The obvious advantages aside, the couples of Earth-in-peril stories have two levels of motivation: they are fighting to save Earth, and they are battling external forces to save each other. Through the lens of the romance, I can experience both the tragedy of the threat to Earth as well as the hope of a people united.
The sexy aspect of science fiction is that we can have all kinds of Earth-in-peril stories. Some may choose to focus on the bleak reality of such a situation, and goodness knows a reality check never hurt anyone. And then there are the stories that invite us to contemplate life and love beyond Earth’s destruction or near-destruction. What will we learn from such a life-altering event? Will the couples who survive the danger teach their children more adaptive strategies?
Whatever the outcome, I can’t help but think the love shared between these couples will taste a little bit sweeter. Now there’s something to look forward to.
Recommended Earth-in-peril romance: Metal Reign by Nathalie Gray
About the Author
Heather’s debut sci-fi romance novel, Once Upon a Time in Space (Red Sage Publishing), features the last living descendant of Christopher Columbus on a desperate quest to find a new world. Standing in his way is Raquel, the deadliest space pirate in the galaxy.
To learn more about Heather, visit her at www.heathermassey.com.