Recently I read Almost Real, a wonderful erotic science fiction romance by Charlotte Stein. When I finished, I knew I’d enjoyed it, but I was also struck by the intensity of the story in a way that made me think of how much I do enjoy “claustrophobic” science fiction. In this case, two highly trained professionals pose as a married couple in a special facility. They are trapped in a physical location as much as trapped by their duties, expectations, and compelling internal conflicts. Throw in sexual tension and the heroine, whose POV the reader sees into in a deep way, seems completely immersed and caught by the unfolding events. All of these combine to create a very real tension that captivated me as a reader.
What fascinated me about this particular story was the way in which the story was shown. The deep POV of the heroine exposed the reader to her internal thoughts, fears, attractions, but not to the full external world–beyond her thoughts. So in the end, as in many Science Fiction stories, not all elements of the world have been explored or explained. We only see what the heroine sees during the course of the story. Which did not leave holes or dissatisfaction in not learning everything because the reader has seen the complete story of this heroine’s dealing with this isolation and how it plays out into the romance. We understand the heroine and how she handles herself when the plot comes to a boil.
And that was what this story was like. A small space with big emotions coming to a boil. The focus of the story centered on a small number of trapped characters. This is such a compelling way for a reader or movie goer to identify with the main characters and feel for them. Some of these types of movies are among my favorite like Alien and The Abyss. I’ve yet to see Gravity (I know! I can’t believe it, either), but I’m positive it’d fit this category.
So, knowing my love of claustrophobic SF, hit me up with some recs. Have you seen or read some good ones? Does it make you feel TOO claustrophobic to watch a movie like that? Or does it add to the danger?
Ella Drake is a dark paranormal and science fiction romance author. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, & Goodreads. Currently available Science Fiction Romance: Desert Blade, MetalMark, Silver Bound, Jaq’s Harp, Braided Silk & Firestorm on E’Terra.