Future Families In SFR by Melisse Aires

Welcome Melisse Aires, our guest author today for the 2nd annual OUT OF THIS WORLD blog tour!


In a galaxy, far far away, as our heroine hurdles through space as a crewmember of a starship, are her thoughts of romance and family? Does she want to marry, mate, contract or pair up and have a bouncing bundle of her own with that cute galactic navigator?

And how will that child be raised? Having taught preschool and grade school for many years, plus having three daughters, I’m pretty sure children need affectionate bonds with parents, teachers and caregivers, healthy boundaries, plenty of exercise, rest, good food and stimulating activities appropriate to their age. Toilet training is learned. So is reading. Children need instruction. They can’t be left on their own for YEARS!

Five or ten thousand years from now, I don’t think that will be any different. I think humans will still live in families and raise children. And a two year old will still be a two year old.

Though self cleaning diapers would be pretty awesome. And maybe a cyborg ‘smart’ dog that would accompany the kids to the playground…and a ‘cone of silence’ for those screechy tantrums when they have to leave the playground…

Some scifi has families. Zenna Henderson did them, so did Robert Heinlein. And who can forget Murray Leinster’s Four from Planet Five, those cute futuristic kids? Television shows of course have had families–Wesley Crusher, Will Robinson, the Jetsons.

I think SFR is the perfect genre to explore family in a far-flung setting. In my romances I like to believe my couple will not only have a happy ending, but also a future as parents, as part of a community that values families and children, a hopeful future.

My upcoming steampunk coming November 1 from Whiskey Creek Press Torrid, The Starlander Frontier: Starlander’s Myth, has children–not completely human children, it’s true. But the child’s needs for a safe and stable home is a huge motivator for my heroine, and it is something my hero must be able to help provide if he wants to be with her.

My next SFR release, coming April 1st from Lyrical, Refugees on Urloon, has an older heroine–and an unexpected pregnancy that shakes up her already shook up world!

I think children up-the-stakes and hope reader will enjoy some far flung romances that include them.

You can find me at http://www.melisseaires.com.


  1. You bring up some interesting points, Melisse. One place I feel like I fail in my space opera is in my incorporation of children/family life into the storyline. I suppose that probably falls under the “write what you know” category and I don’t have any kids, but you’ve definitely given me some food for thought.

  2. I agree – I have two kids, but there are never any children in my sci-fi, probably because I write romance and am more focussed on the initial relationship than the end result. 😉

  3. I loved Zenna Henderson’s The People stories. I agree that SFR can include children and explore the importance of family. Excellent interview!

  4. Thanks for having me, Lily!

  5. I think it makes sense to include families in SFR. With the distances, and the time it takes to travel them, it seems likely that accommodation would have to be made for families. Particularly if there are plans to colonize a new planet.

  6. […] Melisse Aires at Lilly Cain’s blog. Future Families in SFR. […]

  7. “cone of silence”: Hot dog, that was inspired!

    C.J. Barry’s UNMASKED featured kids in need of protection and nurturing. While they weren’t the sons/daughters of the h/h, I liked how the story incorporated the kid factor in a space opera setting.

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