Chemistry between characters, when achieved, is a truly amazing experience for the SF fan. I’m talking about chemistry that’s not just between partners with a sexual interest in each other. To me, the perfect example of this continues to be the first several seasons of the Stargate SG-1 television series. The characters in that show seemed to be able to complete thoughts for each other. They seemed to care. It made me pull for them all in a more emotional way than if that chemistry hadn’t been there.
That same onscreen connection is also in the Firefly series. The depth that that ragtag crew seemed to care for one another remained the core of the series, more so than the SF elements or the external plot.
Is it as simple as writing great characters? Is it luck to have the onscreen presence along with great writing? On the page, when moving the plot forward, detailing the SF tech, working through the main characters’ issues, do friendships get explored enough to give the reader that true feeling of camaraderie, or is it something that can only be done on screen, through the time needed to build a series?
The camaraderie in Lord of the Rings is perhaps the most important aspect of the evolution of that series. It’s almost as if Sauron is there simply so that we can enjoy the bonding between characters and their own growth of internal strength.
What other SF books have you read that have that chemistry, that undefinable thing that make you like a character more simply because they have the kind of friendships that you’d value?