Sunday, July 09, 2006

Isn't housecleaning romantic when an alien does it?

(Substantially, this is the same content as posted on my other blogs, Rowena Remarks, and Alien Romances)

Would I want to see a Mr Spock type vacuuming up my dustbunnies?
No. I don't think the spectacle would be either romantic or funny. Not for me, anyway.

I imagine that a highly logical alien, if confronted with the need to use alien household appliances, would locate the appropriate user manual, study the instructions, and carry out the domestic operation with great efficiency and a deadpan expression.

Maybe he'd raise a quizzical, flying eyebrow. Actually, that might be romantic in a traditional Regency romance sort of way.

Of course, in my home, a highly intelligent and efficient alien might have trouble finding instruction manuals. If I were to write a blow-by-blow account of the exercise, I think an alien would comment. His remarks would probably be very funny to everyone except myself, the butt of his cool wit.

I am sure many authors have written scenes where their aliens have issues with human housecleaning appliances....Dara Joy's splendid early novel, Knight Of A Trillion Stars, comes to mind. What was it her alien hunk attacked with his broadsword, thinking it was a rival? A TV? An answering machine?

That scene was so funny, and so "right" in its context. I really love Dara Joy's work. I adored Rejar, too. It was the cat that got me!

Is chopping up the furniture the closest that any alien hero has come to housework? If not, I'd love recommendations. Generally, I think alien heroes tend to be extremely macho. They are world rulers, starship commanders, space pirates, intergalactic diplomats or trading tycoons.... they have servants, or orderlies, or androids to do the domestic dirty work.

Maybe I just haven't read the right books. No one seems to wash their clothes, or scrub toilets in an alien romance. Susan Kearney said that her aliens' clothing was self cleaning (smart!!! and with nano-technology, this is becoming a reality). Intelligent spaceships have aircleaning devices that work a lot better than the monsters we keep in our human furnace rooms. I once thought of modeling an alien toilet on a whole-house vacuum.

Then I read a joke about a sexually adventurous man who did himself a mischief.

In FORCED MATE my alien prince does have a little bit of trouble drawing a bath, mostly because he takes a macho stand (sitting on its edge, waiting for the heroine to take her clothes off and get in) without realizing that human baths don't automatically stop filling once the water reaches a sensible level.

He also has trouble with a shopping list.

And... he has trouble with the heroine when she discovers that his spacecraft toilets perform automatic urinalysis and a few other functions and announce the results. Romantic? Maybe not, but it appealed to my low sense of humor.

And then, there's recycling. We all do it, I suppose. Like Susan Sizemore who blogged recently on , I like military books. I find them a treasure trove for research, for instance for battlefield uses for urine (to make communications equipment work).

My heroine of FORCED MATE is grossed out when she learns how spacefarers obtain yeast to make deep space bread. But that's getting into cuisine, and housekeeping, rather than house cleaning.

My "thing" is to gaze at the underbelly of an alien character's lovelife and poke fun at it. And, you might not have guessed it, but of all the sciences in science fiction, Biology is my favorite.

I'll be gone for the next four weeks. Do you know the ins and outs of a crab's sex life? I do. :-)


July/August newsletter
Warning, there is a completely nude guy in this issue.


Hope said...

well I guess if he dusted in the nude....

I'm working on a humourous sci fi book with a very perfectionist, anal hero (yes they can be heroes too!!). He eventually loosens up a bit when he finds a woman who likes cleanliness and tidiness as well as he does. Housework becomes foreplay..and as for rubber gloves and soap... :-)

Rowena Cherry said...


Thank you for the thought. Your book sounds right up my dh's alley.

I wonder how they keep their sex tidy...?

Best wishes,

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