Guest Post – Science Fiction Author J. L. Hilton

I’ve been reading J. L. Hilton’s Stellernet lately. Since the second book just came out, I thought I’d ask her for a guest post. I’m hoping to get back into more guest posts in the next few months, so look for more of these. She has a blog tour going on at http://jlhilton.com/2012/10/stellarnet-prince-schedule/.

She also has some contests going on if you want to get in on them. Just click the Rafflecopter link.

A “r’naw eye” necklace giveaway through Nov 30:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Nov 4-11 giveaway of digital copies of both Stellarnet books:
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J.L. Hilton on love triangles

I’ve avoided talking about this for more than a year, because it’s a spoiler. But Stellarnet Rebel [ http://www.stellarnetseries.com ] has been out since January, and the upcoming sequel Stellarnet Prince certainly gives it away, right there on its Amazon page [ http://amzn.com/B0092MTI9Q ]: Human blogger Genny O’Riordan shares two alien lovers.

Genny is soul bound to Duin, who is fighting for the liberation of his people, and married to Belloc, who is fighting for his identity. They don’t carry on like cats or bunnies – it’s not an erotic series. In fact, many readers and reviewers say it’s not “romance” at all but science fiction “with romantic elements” because the series is also about action, adventure, planetary war, ecological devastation, first contact, video games and lots of other things. Their relationship might be unconventional for us, but Duin and Belloc aren’t human, they’re alien. They’re not going to be exactly like us, physically or culturally. Their world is dangerous, and exclusive pairing would impact their species’ survival.

But it’s time for me to admit that the real reason they’re in a polyamorous relationship is because I’ve had a lifelong frustration with the 1967 movie Camelot. I can’t remember exactly when I saw it for the first time. Maybe around age 8, when I also developed an interest in Shakespeare because of my mother’s 33rpm record with excerpts from Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet.

Throughout my childhood, teen and college years, I watched the movie more times than I can count, deeply moved by King Arthur’s heartfelt – entirely surprising and otherwise unrepresented in mainstream media – attitude toward his wife sleeping with his best friend. Portrayed by Richard Harris, he says: “Could it possibly be civilized to destroy what I love? Could it possibly be civilized to love myself above all? What of their pain and their torment? Did they ask for this calamity? Can passion be selected?”

It broke my heart that his beautiful kingdom had to fall to ruin simply because society wouldn’t accept what he himself accepted.

In interviews, when I’m asked about inspirations for the Stellarnet Series, I’ve answered – honestly – that I can pinpoint several influences: V for Vendetta, Beauty and the Beast, Les Miserables, Babylon 5, North and South. The one I’ve failed to mention is Camelot, because it was totally off my radar when I started writing my first book in 2009.

Just a few weeks ago, I watched it with my daughter. It was my first viewing in over twelve years. Duin bears an uncanny resemblance to Richard Harris bouncing about and pontificating, Belloc also comes from a far-off lake and can’t be defeated in battle, and “Genny” is what they call Guinevere throughout the movie. Only then did I realize how something buried in my subconscious had entered, unawares, into my writing. The relationship between Duin, Genny and Belloc was my attempt to resolve a lifelong and long forgotten heartache, in cyberpunk clothing rather than medieval armor. I wanted to give Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot a happily ever after, together.

Have you ever been heartbroken by a fictional romance that didn’t turn out as you wished? Do you find love triangles to be exciting or frustrating? Who are some of your favorite love triangles?

J.L. Hilton is the author of the Stellarnet Series published by Carina Press, including Stellarnet Rebel (January 2012) and Stellarnet Prince (November 2012), and a regular contributor to the Contact-Infinite Futures SF/SFR blog. Her artwork is featured in the books Steampunk Style Jewelry and 1000 Steampunk Creations. Visit her at JLHilton.com or follow her on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and deviantART.

19 thoughts on “Guest Post – Science Fiction Author J. L. Hilton

  1. Camelot. Don’t get me started. It was SUCH a disappointment compared to the book it was based on, THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING. If you have not read it, you really ought to, but be prepared for T. H. White’s quirky writing.

    The best friend/cheating wife thing is really explored in this novel and you don’t lose any sympathy for a single character.

    But I hated that they made Lancelot handsome in Camelot. It totally ruined the author’s intention.

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    • I probably have read it, but it’s been at least 20 years. I went through a Grail Legend obsession in my youth, and read or watched anything about King Arthur that I could get my hands on. But I saw the musical before I read any books, so I didn’t have any level of expectation or anything to compare it to. It was my first exposure to the Arthurian legends.

      Another interesting treatment of the love triangle was in “Mists of Avalon,” by Marion Zimmer Bradley (the novel, not the TV adaptation). In a way, I think Babylon 5 did its own version, with the Lennier, Delenn, Sheridan triangle (which also frustrated me, I felt so sad for Lennier).

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      • I actually read Le Morte d’Arthur! I found an edition that modernized the old English spelling but left the sentence structures alone. It was fun. My husband started reading it and for a while, everyone in my house got “wonderly wroth” instead of angry.

        Steinbeck also did a partial retelling but left it unfinished. I have that as well.

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      • I haven’t gotten around to Mists of Avalon, but I’d expect an intersting take on that love triangle from MZB. Over in her Darkover, 3-, 4-, and 5-way groups work out in intriguing ways, with sub-pairs and other groupings that never will simplify themselves. {Smile}

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  2. The Nicolai/Sonya/Marya triangle in “War and Peace” drives me crazy. I always felt like Nicolai tricked himself into thinking he loved Marya because he needs her money to rescue his family. Poor Sonya gave up everything for their family and was never even thanked. It’s like if Cinderella was left in the kitchen while the hansom prince ran off with a random princess of his own social class.

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    • Heartbreaking. Another triangle from literature is Cosette/Marius/Eponine in Les Miserables. On a lighter note, I was thrilled when Captain Jack kissed Rose AND the Ninth Doctor. lol

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      • For a really light take on a love triangle, find a libretto of Le Toreador by Adolphe Adam. Or find a recording, if you like French light Opera. (Yes, French; it’s just set in Spain.) There’s a retired toreador, the former operatic soprano he married for her money, and a bass player who admired her from the opera pit. {SMILE}

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      • I actually found the Eponine/Marius/Cosette thing a lot more frustrating in the musical than in the book. In the musical, Marius’s paring with Cosette feels really random- almost like it just happens to hurt Eponine. In the book you feel like Cosette and Marius really do have strong feelings for each other, and while you do feel really bad for Eponine she gets a little lost among all the hundreds of characters. (At least, that’s how it was for me.)

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        • Yes, the romance in the musical was quite rushed. It was so touching in the book. And Eponine is so selfless. Loved that the children of Thenardier turned out so different from their parents.

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  3. On Star Trek Voyager I always wanted Chicouti and Janeway to get together. I loved the conflict of the whole chain-of-command plus the Maqui issue. I was quite disappointed when Seven got Chicouti instead.

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    • I don’t know. I am watching the whole series now for the first time and I know this is coming. I wasn’t happy with any of the romantic pairings I’ve seen so far, so I’ll probably be equally ambivalent about Chicouti and Seven. That pairing doesn’t really work for me any more than Chicouti and Janeway would.

      On the other hand, they did a great job on Enterprise with Trip and T’Pol.

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      • In some ways, I like The Original Series’ lack of official pairings. That left fans free to match folks as they pleased without feeling frustrated because they knew it was supposed to go a different way.

        However, I found TOS’s love of the romantic interest of the week who never shows up again frustrating in its own way. So not much satisfys. {Smile}

        Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

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        • Yeah, back in the 60s and the 70s, series like Star Trek had very little continuity. I think that started to change in the 80s with those prime time soap operas that I never watched.

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          • You mean with DS9? That series was even described by the company as “like a soap opera.” I never got into it eitehr, but I think you’re right. They might have started working on continuity more with that series. They still had some continuity trouble on Voyager, I think. I could be wrong, tho. {Smile}

            A.E.B.

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