Thursday, 5 July 2012

Guest Post and Giveaway - Diane Dooley

Please welcome sfr author Diane Dooley to my blog.

Birth Control of The Future...Or Maybe Just Wishful Thinking
As I write this post I’m forty five years of age and have been fertile for over thirty of them. It seems to me that a large part of my life has been dedicated from preventing too much of it! This must be true of many women. In the US alone, 99% of women of child-bearing age have used birth control. (Souce: Mother Jones/Women Who Use Birth Control Are the 99 percent)
Thirty years, give or take, I’ve been doing this. That’s a loooong time to be reliant on one form or another, especially since there still isn’t a perfect form of birth control. They’re all flawed, many have unpleasant side effects and some are just kind of a pain to use.  The diaphragm, a barrier method, requires you be fitted for it and you must insert it into your body before having a sexual encounter.  Condoms can break and require a cooperative partner. The pill (and all the other hormonal -type birth control) can have both short-term and long-term side effects, up to and including death from heart attack or thrombosis. The same goes for hormonal implants and injections. A contragestives like the IUD requires a device being fitted into the uterus, which has attendant side effects. There are other types of contraception: the sponge,  withdrawal, abortion, abstinence, sterilization, and more. All have their cons.  (Source: Wikipedia/Birth Control)
Do you see what I mean by no perfect method? Even with the incredible technology today we still don’t have a flawless form of birth control. I wonder if we ever will. Looking at current new research there are a few things under development: a male contraceptive pill,  various slight improvements of currently available. Nothing that I think men will embrace or will make a huge change in birth control as we currently experience it.
In Science Fiction Romance, with its focus on love and romance in a future or alternate setting, authors have the opportunity to invent their own forms of birth control, free of the facts of life as we know it, free to think about the perfect form of birth control. In Mako’s Bounty, my wishful thinking and I imagined a sheer, spray-on condom; microscopically thin to the point of invisibility, flavorless, and with the user not even feeling its existence. I don’t go into detail in the story; it’s just one throwaway line. But I gave a great deal of thought to it.  I imagined this spray coming in various  formats. Maybe it does come in flavors - both obvious and imaginative? Maybe they come with various levels of lubricant? Couldn’t they neutralize all bacteria, viruses and sperm on contact?  Would you use this form of birth control if it was available?
In Blue Galaxy I invented a type of implant, in the inner elbow, that could be easily activated and deactivated, and operates via the nervous system rather than the reproductive system. Don’t ask me how the science works, dammit. I’m a writer, not a physician. Of course my method has no side effects, due to me and my wishful thinking again. Could this method be activated upon the coming of fertility and not deactivated until one is ready and willing to become pregnant? Or could it be activated in an instant? Imagine the scenario. “Whoops! I’ve found myself  in uncontrollably lustful embrace with a dashing space pirate from the Dalkon System. Birth control - activate!” Could the implant also have virus and bacteria-killing properties? Safe sex in an instant - just from wanting it to be so. Oh, make it so, number one. Would you prefer this system of birth control to the spray-on condom?
I’m curious to know what other writers of SFR have come up with in regards to birth control in future and alternate settings. Writers, readers, geeks of all stripes, lend me your brains. What do you think would be the perfect form of birth control? Did you write it, read it, or think it up yourself? I’d love to know.
I’m giving away an e-copy each of Blue Galaxy and Mako’s Bounty. Mention in your comment if you’re interested in a copy of one or the other and please do include your contact info.
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Diane Dooley writes science fiction, romance and horror - sometimes all in the same story.   She blogs, tweets and facebooks. Feel free to track her down. 

Release Date: March 13th, 2012
Genre: Science Fiction/Romance
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Buy links for e-formats: Decadent Publishing, Kindle
Review copies available from: author, Decadent Publishing

For nine long months, at the behest of the evil Ravenscorp, Mako Dolan has been hunting the space pirate they call The Saint. Now she’s finally lured her prey to a one night stand with a mysterious woman—herself. But Vin Sainte is not at all what she expected. Far from being a ruthless space pirate, his main occupation seems to be rescuing nuns, adopting orphans and praying like a champ.
For nine long months Vin Sainte has been fleeing the bounty hunter from one temporary refuge to the next. Now he’s got Mako exactly where he wants her: weak from gravity sickness and ripe for conversion. Problem is he didn’t expect a foul-mouthed, hard-as-nails bounty hunter to be such a devoted daughter. His head on a platter is Ravenscorp’s price for her mother’s freedom.
They have less than twenty four hours. One will win; one will lose. Mako might be a fearsome predator, but Vin has the Lord on his side. Who will win the bounty?

Release date: May 9th, 2011
Publisher: Carina Press
Buy links for e-formats: Carina Press, Kindle, Nook
Buy link for audio format: Audible
Review copies available from Netgalley:  here

Falling in love is easy; staying alive long enough to enjoy it just might be impossible.
Javan Rhodes, the hard-drinking, disreputable captain of space freighter The Kypris, took a mission to save himself from hitting the bottom of the food chain. Transporting Sola, a beautiful young aristocrat, from Earth to an unknown destination on the outer rim of the colonies is lucrative, but also highly illegal.
As tough as it is to evade both the law and the lawless, the hardest part of the job is not falling in love with his irresistible cargo. Just as he decides that he will never be able to hand her over to the warlord she must marry, he discovers that Sola has been playing a very dangerous game—one that could not only cost them their lives, but could also affect the balance of power in an increasingly dangerous universe.


  1. I just had my editor ask about b/c in my next book. Hadn't really needed/thought about it for book one ; ) So, in this one, both males and females can be on "standard prophos". No, I have no idea about the science behind the injections. I don't even go into the fact it IS an injection or how long it lasts. Maybe I will, some day : )

  2. Well now, the spray on condom sounds interesting, I suppose you could let your imagination run away with that- colors, flavors, scents etc. My, I didn't think I'd be talking about contraception tonight...anyway, I like the idea. :D And I'd love to win a copy of Mako's Bounty, Diane. :)

  3. Thanks for the chance to win one of your books. Either is good for me because they both look great.

  4. I love the creative things authors get to play with when it comes to fantasy or sci fi. It's a fantasy, so it doesn't have to be anything factual.
    vanessa (at)thejeepdiva(dot) com

  5. You know, if they came up with a pill for men--even if it had all sorts of nasty side-effects, like cancer, or brain disorders, suicidal tendencies, or who knows what else--99.9% of them would take it in droves if you told them it might possibly 'enhance' them in some form or another, or cure baldness, or give them the six-pack they always thought they had.

    Oh - and if I worked for the company that made the Spray-On Condom I'd HIGHLY suggest coming up with a 'rub-on' application version as well.

  6. @Cathy - Nice! 'Standard prophos' covers a lot of possibilities.

    @Tracey - With the flavors of spray-on condoms I must admit that I wondered how a *insert your favorite celebrity* flavor would sell. Naughty of me, huh?

    @Yvette and Vanessa - Thanks for visiting and commenting!

  7. @Cary - YOU are a freakin' genius!

  8. I really like that spray on condom idea, although it still requires a partner who is willing to cooperate. I would really have to think about it to come up with a good, reliable, safe birth control. I am very impressed by the fact that you did. I like Cary's comment about a "rub-on" version. Seems a guy would be less likely to mind that sort of application.

    I would love "Blue Galaxy" if I am luck y enough to win.


  9. These days, of course, we have nano-technology. I'm imagining a futureverse where we don't have the monthly horrors. You just kinda turn off your reproductive system until you want to turn it on. Done with an implant that you set and forget. In 'Starheart' I've taken it a step further where sensible mothers raise their babies until birth in special incubators. That way, they avoid the dangers of pregnancy and childbirth and mum and dad can watch the embryo grow together. All the gain without the pain.

    And let's not forget, pregnancy and childbirth are dangerous. Not so much with modern hospitals, but those evil step-mothers rose out of the fact that many, many women died in childbirth. (Sorry - that's history, not SF, but isn't SF grounded in the now?)

  10. I'd be interested in either book. They both sound good.


  11. Interesting question. It would definitely be convenient if there was some small implant (like in the arm, just under the skin) that wasn't harmful but which would not allow conception to occur. The spray on condom certainly sounds interesting as well when you think about having them be flavored an such. LOL But I honestly don't know; I've never been on birth control.

    Thank you for the giveaway! I would love either book! Both sound great to me. :D


  12. Most women do have a long period when they are potentially fertile. For someone like me, who never wanted children, it was daunting to think of birth control for 30+ years. I had leukemia in my mid-30s that catapulted me to more birth control and no more periods. That was one good thing to come from my leukemia! LOL...

    NOW, I like the idea of a spray-on prophalactic--for either or women--that would block both pregnancy and disease AND heighten arousal. Everybody would want to use it for the pleasure factor and the other benefits would be an added bonus.
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  13. Thank you so much for hosting me, Pippa! And thanks to everyone who visited and left a comment. I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

    VanillaOrchards won the copy of Blue Galaxy.
    Catherine Lee won the copy of Mako's Bounty.

    I'll be touch!

  14. Interesting thoughts. I always thought of birth control in the future as a combination of elimination of most venereal diseases + and omni-pill for men and women.

    The spray on condom is being developed/tested as we speak (har...har!)It also opens a huge can of worms, as this also relates to abortion, natural/artificial reproduction and adoption.

    In my Ruins of Empire series, nobles are bound by the Natural Birth Law, that prohibits cloning, artificial/surrogate wombs, or artificial insemination. All done to guarantee that the child is the "natural product of their parents union". It does not preclude gene therapy, although that is closely regulated.

    Commoners are not bound by this of course, although different methods are available depending on the income of those involved.


I always love to hear your thoughts.