The Space Traveller's Lover By Omara Williams
Science fiction romance The Space Traveller's Lover by Omara Williams is a stirring literary debut that will win your heart.
By Timothy Arden
The genres of romance and science fiction don’t typically snuggle side by side, but new novel The Space Traveller's Lover by debut author Omara Williams proves that when handled correctly they can make for the ultimate power couple.
This wonderfully immersive story is set on a future Earth that is feeling the full impact of decades of environmental harm.
As the novel opens, we are introduced to Erin, a beautiful and independent teenager who feels like she doesn’t belong. That’s a fairly typical teenage issue, but her purple eyes and precocious intelligence suggest there may be more to it than just angst.
Working on her adopted parent’s tuna farm when not at school, she feels lost in the mundanity of life. Her close friend Sam provides something of a romantic frisson but it can’t compare to the awe-inspiring recurring dream she’s been having, of a truly alien vista and a dashing man watching her from afar.
Things, however, start to fall into place when she is kidnapped by the literal man of her dreams, Rothwen.
An elite member of the Rom-Ghenshars, an advanced alien race, he has travelled across the stars to help lead an invasion of Earth—one that will strip the planet of all its resources and bring a long-overdue revenge.
While Rothwen is a man of little emotion, like all his people, he has become smitten with Erin from his home world before deciding to lure her to him, even though this is strictly outside of the mission plan.
His fascination stems in part from the fact that Erin has a unique ancestral legacy. Addressing her by the new name of ‘Shaillah’, he invites her to embrace her true heritage and powers, and stay with him during the invasion.
This gripping sci-fi romance novel shows that love is all it takes to overcome impossible odds.
Taking her to his home world requires that she goes through a transformation. Erin is so struck with Rothwen, who is the perfect gentleman around her despite his domineering personality, that she agrees.
This, however, will come at the cost of losing her human qualities of empathy, compassion and love. While the Rom-Ghenshars see these as trivial, and even as flaws, Erin is not convinced, and also senses that their talk of coming to Earth in peace could be a ruse.
As she continues to fall deeper in love with the dashing space traveller, she becomes ever-more torn, with this reaching crisis point when she discovers his real intentions.
Will she give into temptation or fight to keep her human nature intact, and could this decision hold the key to her home planet’s ultimate fate?
Traditional science fiction is packed full of big ideas, and The Space Traveller’s Lover is no exception, addressing timely themes of climate change as well as timeless moral quandaries on the value of love, the meaning of being human, and the right (or lack thereof) of a superior force to crush those beneath.
But it’s the frame these are placed upon, with the intense feelings and emotional dilemmas at the core of the relationship between Erin and Rothwen pegged with the dramatic twists and turns of an Earth invasion story, that ensure you are engrossed.
What I found most interesting was that this was not a straightforward battle between Erin and Rothwen but something far richer. Can they ever truly have a future together, and does it necessitate destroying humanity’s future to achieve it? Is the human race even worth saving, for that matter, when they have been such poor custodians of their own planet?
The novel, which is stunningly illustrated, is aimed at a predominantly young adult audience, and with the promise of it expanding into a series I could easily see this being adapted for TV or cinema.
At the same time, you’re never too old to love seasoned science fiction, and romance fans will find the gripping story, memorable characters, and crackling tensions thoroughly entertaining.
The Space Traveller’s Lover by Omara Williams is out now on Amazon in hardcover, paperback and eBook formats, priced at £27.99, £13.95 and £2.99 respectively. For more information visit www.omarawilliamsbooks.com. You can also follow Omara Williams on Twitter @williams_omara, and on Facebook or Instagram at @OmyWilliams.
Interview With The Space Traveller’s Lover Author Omara Williams
Author Omara Williams spent five years crafting her debut novel, The Space Traveller’s Lover. It has clearly been time well-spent, as she has emerged as an exciting new talent in the science fiction and romance genres. Here, we find out more about her book and the themes it explores, as well as about her future writing plans.
Q. Where did the idea for your novel come from?
A. Since I was very young, I have always wanted to write a book. I love writing, especially about subjects close to my heart, like science and technology.
The book’s central theme was already in my head when I started writing the book, and I kept dreaming about it. I kept asking myself, ‘What would we do if far more advanced civilisation invaded our planet and took everything we hold dear?’.
Once I had as many ideas as I could possibly hold in my head, I knew I had to write them all down and develop them further, so I set out to achieve exactly that.
Q. What do you think readers will gain most from reading it?
A. Reading The Space Traveller’s Lover will take the reader on a journey of discovery and self-questioning. The readers with a thirst for adventure will find themselves navigating an exotic world of pink oceans, incredible superstructures, giant motherships, and limitless artificial intelligence and mind power.
Throughout the story, a hidden message gives the reader a chance to think carefully about the repercussions of climate change gone out of control. I hope it calls for action to take our mission to preserve our planet’s beauty very seriously, mitigate the damage already done, and prevent it from snowballing into a disaster.
The story’s central theme is the love between humans, between humans and aliens, and the love for our planet. It will make the reader wonder about their decision-making when confronted with the dilemmas presented in my book. Would we save everything that we cherish in this world or would we give in to otherworldly temptations?
Q. What do you think is the secret to writing engaging science fiction?
A. I have read a great deal of good science-fiction books. For me, the most important thing is that they have to have good science and then speculate about what those scientific concepts could lead humankind into, making the reader wonder about the future.
It is impressive how many predictions have come true from great science-fiction books like the prediction of artificial satellites by Arthur C. Clarke in The Brick Moon or the prediction of war drones by Isaac Asimov in Robot Dreams.
It is the way the author combines futuristic concepts with real-life topics, leading the reader to ask fundamental questions about our existence and our place in the solar system and the universe, that makes reading a science-fiction book worthwhile.
Q. Romance and science fiction seem poles apart. How did you manage to blend the two genres without compromising either?
A. Many themes can be invented and explored in the specific case of sci-fi romance: unrequited love, impossible love, and fatal attraction. The different origins of aliens and humans can lead to a unique plot that could not possibly happen if the lovers were just human.
Science-fiction is the perfect backdrop for creating exotic and outrageous worlds, conjuring fascinating ideas of advanced civilisations, and confronting our doubts and fears while exploring how we would react to the unexpected in this mysterious and seemingly infinite universe we inhabit.
In this exclusive setting, I was free to let my imagination flow without limits—with the intention that my readers could also put themselves inside this imaginary environment and experience feelings outside their ordinary lives while dreaming about what they would do if it happened.
Q. You are a keen astronomer. What draws you to this field, and how have you weaved your scientific interests into your novel?
A. My insatiable curiosity led me to science, and astronomy is one of my top 10 scientific fields of interest. I will never forget the first time I saw the planet Saturn through a telescope; my heart stopped. Since then, I have been a keen skywatcher and astronomy enthusiast, going on several expeditions around the world to watch the wonders of the Northern and Southern hemispheres and the extraordinary spectacle of total solar eclipses.
In The Space Traveller’s Lover, I delve into the most fundamental questions of our times. Are we alone in the universe? What is the meaning of life? Can the brain create and ultimately control any technology? Can we live forever while travelling to any part of the Universe? Can we harness an infinite source of energy?
The Space Traveller’s Lover author Omara Williams’ writing is so vivid and compelling that you can’t help but be captivated by it.
Q. If you had a spaceship, where would you travel to in the universe, and why?
A. If I had a spaceship as powerful as ‘The Prestige’, the giant lead mothership in the Rom-Ghenshar Grand Fleet, the first place I would visit would be the centre of our galaxy. I would get as close as possible to the Sagittarius A system and its supermassive black hole. I imagine I would be surrounded by bizarre, glowing cosmic objects, the like of which we have never seen.
Q. What was the greatest challenge you had to overcome while writing your novel?
A. It took me five years to complete my book, from the first idea to release. As I am working full-time, I only could write in the evenings and at weekends. The process of writing, reviews, illustrations and interior design was very time-consuming but very satisfying as I achieved every milestone.
I had so many characters and subplots that it was challenging to organise the whole book. So I had to draw out the scenes and the character’s physiques and make a wall chart where I could place carton cards containing a summary of each chapter to set up a storyboard from the initial, middle and final scenes.
Eventually, everything fell into place in this mesmerising story of love against all odds, The Space Traveller’s Lover.
Q. What gave you the idea to include illustrations in the novel?
A. While writing, I had to draw many scenes by hand to clearly envisage the characters and their surroundings as I created and adapted the storyline.
So I had a collection of pictures from which I chose six for my book, including the front cover. Furthermore, due to the visually rich content of my book, I thought it would greatly help the reader to get immersed in the story.
Q. Your novel would make for a great movie. If there was a film adaptation, who would you cast in the main roles, and why?
A. I would love to see my book turned into a movie, and I have been thinking about who I would cast to play the main characters. Here is the list of the four main characters and which actors would be the perfect cast in my opinion:
Erin, the delicate yet strong-willed young student: Australian actress Indiana Evans.
Rothwen, the handsome and impulsive Rom-Ghenshar master navigator: Spanish actor Maxi Iglesias.
Kuzhma-Or, powerful and flamboyant Rom-Ghenshar supreme commander: American actor Jason Momoa.
Athguer, the intelligent and sophisticated Rom-Ghenshar chief scientist: Turkish actor Can Yaman.
Q. What should readers expect next from you?
A. I am currently working on the second novel in what I plan as a series for The Space Traveller’s Lover. Many storylines are waiting to be explored and developed further from my first book and I am gathering all these ideas and doing a scrapbook with pictures and texts, which I intend to put together for the sequel.
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