a subgenre of science fiction that focuses on adventures taken on a planet's surface, especially in which the description of the planet is integral to the story; a work in this subgenre
The major tradition is the subgenre which may be called the planetary romance. This subgenre is distinguished from its close cousins, the space opera and the sword and sorcery fantasy, by its setting (an exotic, technologically primitive planet), although it shares with them the adventure-plot conventions of chases, escapes, and quests.
In A Woman of the Iron People (Morrow), Eleanor Arnason finally bit into a planetary romance whose scope was great enough to geographize her tough but (in the past) self-lacerating edginess.
Enter John Frederick Lange, Jr., who under the pseudonym of John Norman, wrote a series of planetary romances, beginning with Tarnsman of Gor in 1966 and continuing until 1988.
Paul McAuley’s most recent novel, The Secret of Life, is definitely hard sf, but his previous three novels—the Confluence trilogy—were planetary romances in the vein of Gene Wolfe and Jack Vance.
Wolfe weaves intricately together the different strands of his planetary-romance plot, thereby achieving an inclusiveness of texture that, contrasting with the resolute separateness or autonomy of the Fifth Head novellas, has more than a hint of utopian promise.
He’s kept some steampunk trappings while moving into the territory of Burroughsian planetary romance.
Russell Letson in 'The Green Odyssey'
Last modified 2020-12-19 04:29:20
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.