Sunday, February 1, 2009

Paranormal or Sci-Fi?

My latest story, Perfect vessel, is about a green hunky alien (my editor claims Kry is sooo sexy) looking for a woman to help him save his planet. Since Kyr is an alien, so my story qualifies as a Sci- Fi. But he also possesses mental powers and can control people with his weird eyes. Now if magic is involved, can I say that Perfect Vessel is also a Paranormal?
Unlike Harry Potter or Star Trek the story happens in Seattle not in some imaginary world. Did I break the rule of Sci- Fi if there is one?

Perfect Vessel blurb:

Jade found herself in a quandary when she lost her job as an erotic dancer. But her problem is solved when she met Kyr who claims he's an alien. Kyr offers her millions of dollars if she agrees to have sex with him and carry his child. The child, a daughter, is the Rhynians only hope to continue their line. Jade is tempted to accept Kyr's offer and she is attracted to him. Unfortunately, he is green.

I updated my website. Check out the new Featured Author page at

Happy Superbowl Sunday!

Tierney O'Malley

16 deadly screams:

Susan Macatee said...

I vote for sci-fi, since he's an alien. Sounds like a great story!

Tierney O'Malley said...


Thanks! I enjoyed writing the story. I'm thinking about writing a series. :D

[[I'm also a Civil War civilian reenactor with the 28th Pennsylvania Regiment based in Philadelphia.]]

You got to tell me more about this! Sounds so interesting.


Margay said...

I'm not sure what to tell you regarding the genre, but I can tell you that I went to your website and poked around a little bit. I liked it. Very easy to navigate and clean-looking.

Susan Macatee said...

Although I'm still a member of the reenacting group, I don't do it as much as I used to due to time and money constraints. But it's a lot of fun when I can get out. I get to wear a hoopskirt and cheer my men on into battle. LOL.

NancyD said...

This is an interesting question cause I just submitted a short to my publisher and this was my first attempt at a paranormal. It takes place in the future so I just put Paranormal/SciFi as the genre.

I'd love to know if you get a definite word on this.

Sarah Mäkelä said...

Tierney, That would be Sci-Fi since it deals with aliens. Paranormals tend to deal with ghosts, vampires, werewolves, a psychic, etc. Even if magic were involved, since you have an alien, it'd still classify as Sci-Fi.

NancyD, I'm not sure what else your story includes, but it sounds like a Futuristic Romance (if it's a romance). That's its own little subgenre. I have a story that is a Futuristic Paranormal Romance since it's in the future with a changed Earth and has werewolves and vamps.

I hope I'm making sense. Let me know if you have any questions.

NancyD said...

Ah I see. Yep, Futuristic sounds about right. The characters also believe in multiple Gods and the basic set up is that these Gods sort of manipulate the male and female into a lustful frenzy. That's where the paranormal angle comes in.

Sarah Mäkelä said...

That sounds great, Nancy. Glad to be of help. =)

Tierney O'Malley said...

Hi Margay,

Thanks for visiting my site. I try to keep it clean :D Wish I could do the same with my house. Unfortunately, with two kids, a golden retriever and a husband, keeping a clean house is never easy.


Tierney O'Malley said...

Hey Susan,

I see you published a YA. Congrats. I have a YA sitting in my back burner. Hopefully, I can focus on it this month and sub it in March. We'll see.
Hope to see you again, Susan.
I always wonder how the war enactment was done.

Tierney O'Malley said...


Goodluck on your short.
I find Sci-Fi fun to write. Like you this is my first attempt. Glad the editor liked it.:D

Sarah, thanks for post. :D

Talk to you later, ladies.


NancyD said...

I usually write historical or contemporary but I had this idea for a sci-fi and I wanted to dip my toe in the paranormal too so I thought I'd give it a shot! Hope it works! (laughs)

Tierney O'Malley said...

I got this email from a Sci-Fi author. He said that my story (Green alien :D)is a Futuristic Romance, which is about right. I'll post the copy of his email as soon as he gives me the okay to do it.

Nothing wrong with trying new things. :D Gah! I started writing a paranormal last night instead of polishing a draft. *snort*

Keep me posted!


Rick Taubold said...

Comment from Sci-Fi author, Rick Taubold


I saw your TWRP post (I'm a lurker and a sci-fi writer) about the alien who has mind-control powers (called psionic abilities). Sci-fi and paranormal are not mutually exclusive. Both fall in the broader realm of speculative fiction.

Unfortunately, romance fiction has blurred the lines (generally not for the better). And how does fantasy play in all this? If a character possesses magic-like powers, is it sci-fi or fantasy? Some consider mystical powers to be paranormal in nature. Remember when ghosts, vampires, and werewolves used to be considered horror? Mind-reading space aliens have always in the past been sci-fi--because they're aliens.

I find it really a shame that (and I hate to point fingers at the romance writers, but they're primarily the ones who have screwed everything up) that if a novel labeled as paranormal, a romance reader will assume it's a paranormal romance. A sci-fi reader will think something different, and a fantasy reader will think who knows what. Then there's the "futuristic" category that can be anything from a story set in the future on Earth to one set in the future on another planet. It's still sci-fi.

Do yourself a favor and do NOT agonize over what to call it. Most of all, don't try to force it into a category. Your publisher may label it differently, and a bookstore may classify something else. Let your blurb and synopsis tell the reader what it is. The way I see it, if it's a romance (which I assume it is since it's going to TWRP), the sub-genre isn't all that relevant.

No offense intended, but unless you're a sci-fi writer trying to write an actual sci-fi story in which the science and the other-world/futuristic setting is primary and the romance secondary, then you're not writing sci-fi. Just because your main character is a green alien doesn't make it sci-fi. It's not sci-fi. It's simply a romance in a sci-fi setting, where the character is not from Earth and is able to control people's minds. Call it a futuristic romance, but please don't call it sci-fi. That's like calling Star Trek romance because occasionally the characters get romantically involved. For what it's worth, I would not call your piece paranormal, not with an alien in it.

Rick Taubold

Tristan Mallhaus said...

Uhm... hi?
Just wanted to tell you that if your novel is Sci-Fi, it doesn't mean it's not Paranormal anymore. Besides, aliens are also considered Paranormal.
I think a story can be both, but personally this one is Paranormal. The genre sometimes is given more by the setting rather than the characters or "creatures".
Hope it was useful, didn't mean to be intrusive tho lol.
Great blog BTW :)

Tierney O'Malley said...

Hey Tristan! Thanks for stopping by. Wow. I think I should do an extensive research on Sci-Fi/Paranormal/Futuristic genre. LOL. My knowledge in this area is so limited.
Glad you like my blog.