The world of Science Fiction has gotten a couple of major dings recently. Mainly in the fact that a bunch of old school chauvinists have forgotten what year it is and that, oh yeah women can write some pretty kick-ass sci-fi books as well. However, outside of that ridiculousness, there is a large audience for the genre and a growing audience for Sci-Fi Romance.
As you all may know by now, I have a love for science fiction and fantasy romances, so today I wanted to cover some of the elements that make up the Sci-Fi Romance genre and share some recommended reads.
What is Science Fiction?
According to the great internet repository of knowledge, Wikipedia:
“Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginative content such as futuristic settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, time travel, parallel universes, and extraterrestrial life. It often explores the potential consequences of scientific and other innovations, and has been called a “literature of ideas”. Authors commonly use science fiction as a framework to explore politics, identity, desire, morality, social structure, and other literary themes.”
This is the best definition for Sci-Fi out there. If you’re thinking, “Hey that covers a lot of ground.” Then you would be correct. Sci-Fi is more than your nerdy cousins Star Trek collection. Just think of all that hotness that is in the recent Marvel super hero movies. I challenge you to look at Chris Hemsworth in that Thor costume and tell me all that goodness isn’t hot.
What is Science Fiction Romance?
Just like other parent genres, Sci-Fi Romance is a story that contains the elements of science fiction with a romance driving the story. The elements are as follows:
- Themes that are related to science, technology, space, the future and alternate realities.
- The plot creates situations different from those of both the present day and the known past.
- Sci-Fi books also include a human element, explaining what effect new discoveries, happenings and scientific developments will have on us in the future.
- The genre also follows scientific rules. These rules don’t necessarily have to be hard science, but the world created by the author must be based on certain scientific principles to a certain degree. Since a lot of sci-fi books are set in the future, the rules followed here are an extrapolation of scientific rules and principles we currently know now. Hence, the large amount of space-ship and alien books in the genre.
- Stories/Plot focus on the intersection of science/technology and romance.
- Has an Happily Ever After (HEA) or Happy For Now (HFN)
If you’re interested in learning more about Sci-Fi romance I recommend you visit the Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly.
And here’s a little history fact for you. In the mid 1800’s The genre of Science fiction we recognize today was actually referred to as Scientific Romance.
Some Recommended Reads
Full disclaimer: I’ve read each of these books and loved each one. The first two I’ve read several times because of the setting and the voices of the authors. The last two are recent releases that I devoured in the last two weeks and I have no qualms with recommending them as introductory reads in this genre.
Mercenary Abduction by Eve Langlais
Makl is looking to become the greatest mercenary the universe has known. In true family tradition, he leaves a trail of mayhem and bodies wherever he goes, steals the most priceless of items, ravishes females left and right. But that all ends the day he comes across the biggest prize of all – a human barbarian.
Fooled into thinking her a priceless virgin and captivated by her pale skinned, two-breasted frame, he abducts her, or at least means to. His plan goes somewhat awry. The not-so-innocent human becomes his partner in crime instead of his prisoner, and together they form an unstoppable duo. Tales of their misdeeds and budding passion become a universal sensation, but there’s no room in a mercenary’s life for a mate. Or is there?
For the first time in his life, the Mercenary’s Guide to Prosperity doesn’t have an answer to Makl’s questions, and there’s no visible threat for him to kill. What’s a poor, purple mercenary to do? Admit he’s in love – or ditch the delectable human?
Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Possessed by Thayer King
Keva Lane loves her job at the Institute of Parapsychology. When she responds to an emergency call to help Sebastian Brooks, a psychic about to go supernova, things go horribly awry. Normal treatment methods don’t work, and Sebastian rudely suggests that she could cure him with sex. With lives at risk, Keva doesn’t have any choice but to give in to the sexy psychic. Little did she know that she would be setting off a chain of events that would change her life forever.
Being psychic cost Sebastian Brooks his family. He’s not interested in being saved. Though he knows he’s not good enough for Keva, he can’t resist her. He can’t seem to stay away from her no matter how hard he tries. Because whenever he loses control, it’s like he’s possessed and nothing can stop him from claiming the woman he’s had visions of for a lifetime.
Amazon | Barnes & Noble
From The Ashes by Shyla Colt
In a world ravaged by the plague, women have become a new form of currency. Bartered, traded, and abused they suffer under tyranny. One woman dared to be different.Devon Brown spent the past eight years operating under the guise of being a male. The daughter of a forest ranger, she peddled her skills as she moved from town to town.
This time her luck runs out and she’s discovered, and brought in to the leaders of the town, Cain and Cole Hart. Instead of being ejected, the attractive males, with the dangerous aura opt to keep her. This is her story of what happened after the world burned.
Ice Red by Jael Wye
Mirror, mirror, full of stars,
Who will claim the throne of Mars?
The princess: Engineer Bianca Ross, heir to a megacorporation and the Mars elevator, needs to acquire a mine on the surface to secure her place in the company. All that stands in her way is the mine’s charming owner, Cesare Chan.
The evil stepmother: Victoria Ross is plotting to gain control of Mars. She plans to assassinate Bianca and seduce Cesare to further her goals, and Bianca’s trip is the perfect opportunity.
The charming prince: Cesare shouldn’t get involved. Bianca’s visit could reveal the escaped slaves he’s hiding at his mine, but he can’t ignore a damsel in distress–especially one as beautiful as Bianca.
Alone, neither would stand a chance against Victoria. But together, they could rewrite a tale that’s meant to end with Bianca’s blood.
So what are your thoughts? Are you a fan of Science Fiction romance or does it leave you colder than an alien in cryo stasis? Let me know and share your own recommended reads if you have some 🙂
Laurel Cremant is an opinionated author and reader of romance with a wicked sense of humor. RNIC was smart (or crazy) to bring her on as a blogger. Come back on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month to get her romance industry news…with a colorful twist.