Following up on revelations about paranormal romance (which is a fast-growing subgenre), I decided that as a scientiphilologist it was my bounden duty to make sure I wasn’t neglecting it as a source of citations. As a consequence, I have before me a novella titled “In the End” by one S. L. Carpenter. It’s a romance (or, more precisely, as it turns out, an erotic story*) set on Uranus. (Get it? “In the End“, “Uranus“? The whole story is like that.) I was half-hoping to find a cite for “Uranian,” one of the least-commonly used names for aliens from Earth’s solar system. About its only redeeming quality is that every once-in-a-while, one of the Uranus puns is actually funny. That, and the fact that it supplied me with only the second nonStar Trek use of the word “transporter” (to mean matter transmitter) I’ve ever seen. Now, before you Trek-haters get your knickers in a twist about the woeful effect that ST has had on the language of SF (you know who you are), let me just point out that the other instance was in a Poul Anderson story, so it’s not just people who only know SF from TV and the World Weekly News who are using it.
*Apropos of pretty much nothing, I’ve always found it fascinating that for some genres, there’s a name for a work in that genre (fantasy, romance, mystery, alternate history), but for others there isn’t. I’m sure someone, somewhere, has a theory about this, but I haven’t any idea myself.
One final note: I can’t resist pointing out that, although it sounds very strange to a lot of people, “science fiction” has actually been used as a name for a work of science fiction; it’s fairly rare, but not as rare as Uranians.