Here we are, finally to discuss the main drive of this subgenre. The romance, the ever-complicated love story between the hero and some inhabitant of the new planet. It was and it is a pivotal key to the main plot and the source of too many similar subplots, usually motivated by the presence one or more rival. It is also the main factor directed to a larger audience, usually not attracted by sci-fi stories. In the canon, we have the hero, his/her love interest (usually an important member of a local society) and an antagonist (again, some local VIP); can we do anything against the canon? Or this part of the plot simply couldn’t be modified?
sword and planet
Planetary romance – the journey of the Hero
One of the key moments in the genre is the arrival of the hero in the new planet; it’s a well-oiled plot device and gives way to a number of actions that will set the pace for the novel. After the arrival, our hero will need to quickly adapt to the new world and discover his/her role in the local society (start of the main quest). In the classic works of the genre, the journey is usually something worth a few lines of description and, optionally, some mumbo-jumbo in a pseudoscientific tone. The same happens for the return of the hero, where the mysterious phenomenon that connects Earth and the new planet is set to work backward – usually after a secondary quest dedicated to retrieving one or more useful objects to make it work.