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RITA Celebration on Paranormal Unbound: Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher

It’s RITA time on Paranormal Unbound! Throughout May & June, we’ll be spotlighting some of the Romance Writers of America ® RITA award-nominated paranormal romance  authors and their books. Today, I’m talking about one of my recent reads, Sharon Lynn Fisher’s Ghost Planet.


Engage, baby.

I grew up on science fiction. First it was Star Trek: The Next Generation. Every Monday night, it was a family tradition: We’d pile onto my parent’s bed with frozen lemonades and listen to Captain Picard say, “Make it so.” I read Invitation to the Game so many times the cover nearly fell off, and as soon as I was old enough to buy books for myself, I devoured every one of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern novels.

I discovered romance novels in high school. My friends passed around She Who Remembers like I imagine our male classmates passed around Playboys. I discovered Nora Roberts. I discovered Julie Garwood and Loretta Chase and Jennifer Crusie. I couldn’t get enough.


Why, then, has it taken me until now to discover science fiction romance? It’s so obvious. Chocolate and strawberries, peanut butter and jelly, horse and carriage—you get the idea. The mix of space operas and sex should’ve been irresistable, but I’m ashamed to admit that Ghost Planet, which is up for a RITA for best first book, was the first science fiction romance I’ve read.

Wow, am I glad I did.

I’ve got a thing for brainy heroines, and Elizabeth has a Ph.D. in psychology. That degree isn’t just wallpaper, either—the plot hinges on her ability to research the peculiarities of her new planet and figure things out. The hero is no intellectual slouch, either, and I loved that the chemistry between them was sexual and intellectual. Take, for example, this exchange:

My hand shot out, grabbing a fistful of shirt, and I pulled him down onto me. “I need you right now.

He pinned my wrists down to the bed, lowering his lips to my ear. “Response to stimuli confirms sufficient level of arousal.” I could hear the smile in his voice.

“I concur. Please proceed, doctor.”

It’s nerdy dirty talk! My geeky little heart is melting.

Another thing that made my geeky little heart melt was Fisher’s accurate use of biological concepts. As a biologist myself, I loved that Elizabeth cited theories about the role of symbiogenesis in evolution and got them right. Sure, Ghost Planet‘s premise is a little outlandish, but that’s the fun part of spending time in an alien world, and Fisher totally makes it work.

Nerdgasms aside, the best part about Ghost Planet was the smoldering chemistry between the leads. I was fascinated by the fictional planet where the story was set, but it was the progression of Elizabeth and Murphy’s relationship that kept me up past my bedtime.

What about you, dear readers? Have you devoured any fabulous science fiction romances lately?

22 thoughts on “RITA Celebration on Paranormal Unbound: Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher

  1. I don’t know what took me so long either. I didn’t discover Sci-fi romance until I realised I was writing it and searched it out. Now I’m devouring all I can find. I haven’t read this one, but it sounds good. Going to add it to my ever growing TBR pile!

    • Ha! That’s a bit how I feel about paranormal romance. I hadn’t read very much of until I realized I was, in fact, writing a romance with a vampire in it. That book is in a drawer, but the paranormal stuck with me.

      Ghost Planet is awesome! I hope you love it.

  2. I love SFR! One of my favorites is An Accidental Goddess by Linnea Sinclair. I just won a copy of Ghost Planet, so it is next in my TBR pile.

  3. Oh you should for sure check out Linnea Sinclair! And for more SFR books, check out Heather’s Massey’s Galaxy Express blog for more nerdgasms (LOL love that). Ghost Planet is awesome and I’m glad it is drawing attention to SFR. It’s totally my favorite genre to read (and write –though I came to it by accident, too. LOL) I liked all of Linnea’s books, but Accidental Goddess, Finders Keepers and Games of Command are my favorites. Her Down Home Zombie Blues is being made into a movie…

    • Hi, Pauline, thanks for the recs! I popped over the Heather’s blog, and it looks great and very nerdgasmy :). (She mentions a book by Kim Knox (Synthetic Dreams), which I ran across whill looking up other SFR’s–anyone read that one?) Anyway, with two separate recs for Accidental Goddess, it looks like that one’s definitely going in my TBR.

      Isn’t it funny how we often end up writing things by accident? I always say we don’t get to chose these things. They chose us. Happy writing 🙂

      • LOL I think you’re right. Hmmm, maybe a blog post on tripping and falling into our best genres? LOL I got such a kick out of Accidental Goddess. It was my first Linnea Sinclair and I went on to glom her other books. But I do have a particular fondness for fish out of water stories. 🙂

  4. Great spotlight on Ghost Planet! The premise had me riveted. I’m excited to see it attracting so much interest!

    AJ, Kim Knox’s Synthetic Dreams is a great place to start if you’re looking for cyberpunk SFR. Kim’s been writing SFR for some time now so you can’t go wrong with her stuff.

    You also might enjoy Cathy Pegau’s CAUGHT IN AMBER, recently out from Carina Press. That book has a noir flavor.

    @Pauline Thanks for the shout out!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Heather! I love cyberpunk–I’m a *huge* William Gibson fan–so I’ll definitely check out Synthetic Dreams. Caught in Amber sounds intriguing, too. Thanks for the recs!

  5. Thank you for reading and spotlighting GHOST PLANET, AJ! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I LOVE: “It’s nerdy dirty talk! My geeky little heart is melting.” 🙂

    Laurie Green sent me a Kindle copy of ANCHORED. I’m looking forward to reading it!

    • Hi, Sharon! I really loved the book. It was great to indulge my geeky side and my romantic side at the same time. Nerd bliss!

      So kind of Laurie to foist my little novella on you! LOL I hope you enjoy it. 🙂

  6. AJ, great post! One of my critique partners, Ed Hoorneart, is a man who writes SciFiRom and I love his straight up Sci Fi book The Trial of Tompa Lee. I’ve got Tangled Web by Crista McHugh on my TBR–its EROTIC SciFiRom and I’m really looking forward to it. On some of the writing loops I’m on, I’ve heard folks bristle over the gender issues in this genre, and I think it’s funny that apparently some men won’t read a book with a romance, or written by a woman. That’s probably the men who most need to learn some tips on being romantic from a sexy hero 😉

    • I saw a post on the Carina Press author’s loop today about romance and fantasy and how some readers don’t like the two to mix… I’ve never minded a little blending, personally.

      Erotic SciFiRom sounds like a ton of fun. I’ll have to check it out!

  7. Wonderful fun review, A.J. Like you I grew up on Star Trek…in all its incarnations. And the Dragonriders books were one of my greatest inspirations.

    Of course, I’m a huge fan of GHOST PLANET so I agreed with all your points! Love your nerdisms, especially “nerdy dirty” (perfect excerpt to illustrate that!) and nerdgasms. LOL

    As to favorite reads, many good ones have already been mentioned but I’ll chime in. Anything by Linnea Sinclair (GAMES OF COMMAND is my favorite), Sandra McDonald’s THE OUTBACK STARS (out of print now, sadly), Pauline Baird Jones’ (who commented here) KICKING ASHE, and Lois McMaster Bujold’s CORDELIA’S HONOR. If you love edgy/funny with a romance that spans several novels, you might enjoy Ann Aguirre’s Sirantha Jax series, starting with GRIMSPACE.

  8. Hi, Laurie! Thanks for stopping by! I’ve actually read Ann Aguirre’s Corine Solomon series and loved it, so I’ll have to check out Grimspace. I looked it up, and the premise is really intriguing. Thanks for the recs!!

  9. Actually, the last science fiction romance I read was Ghost Planet, but I adore Ann Aguirre’s Sirantha Jax series, all of Linnea Sinclair’s books, Patti O’Shea’s Jarved Nine series and Susan Grant’s many scifi romances as well.

  10. Great post, A.J. And now I have yet another book on my enormous TBR pile. I’ll add Pippa Jay to the list of sci fi romance authors here. And second the Linnea Sinclair rec. Cheers. -c-

  11. This sounds good, as I also adored all of Anne McCaffreys books. Have you tried Robin D. Owens or Jayne Castle books yet? Sci-fi/fantasy romance and I do love them very much.

  12. Pingback: It’s RITA month on ParaUn–Open Thread | Paranormal Unbound

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