Happy Valentine’s Day! To celebrate the most romantic of holidays, we’re getting in the mood with some sweet, sweet lovin’—science fiction lovin’, that is. Science fiction and romance go together like chocolate and strawberries, like 1s and 0s, like Leia and Han!
Here’s our list of romantic science fiction reads for Valentine’s Day—including a mix of old classics and some new and upcoming titles for which we are very excited to read. (Note that while we’ve broken these out into different categories, many of the books listed below fit into multiple categories and/or defy categorization.)
Roses & Chocolate (Tried & True Classics)
Cordelia’s Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold. As much as we love Miles, Cordelia’s books (Shards of Honor and Barrayar, collected in the Cordelia’s Honor ominibus) are the best. Ok, ok, we can’t NOT mention A Civil Campaign, starring the incomparable Miles and Ekaterin.
Silver Metal Lover by Tanith Lee. A bittersweet love story between rich, sheltered Jane, and Silver, the beautiful, lifelike robot she falls in love with. Silver Metal Lover is one of Tanith Lee’s most known and beloved books—for good reason.
The Darkangel Trilogy by Meredith Ann Pierce. This trilogy might seem like fantasy, but it in fact takes place on our moon (or a moon orbiting a planet very similar to ours). The Darkangel is the story of handmaiden Aeriel, who quests to save her friend and mistress Eoduin from the clutches of a fearsome Darkangel. A haunting love story ensues.
Ammonite by Nicola Griffith. On the planet GP (“Jeep”), a rampant virus kills all male settlers. This James Tiptree, Jr. and Lambda Literary Award–winning novel might not be challenges traditional views of gender, and while it might not be overtly romantic, it’s certainly challenging and thought-provoking—especially the relationships that the inhabitants of Jeep forge.
Champagne & Strawberries (Romance Me, Baby)
Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher. On a new distant world, the living are tethered to an alien in the guise of a dead loved one. Doctor Elizabeth Cole accepts a job on the planet...only to discover that she’s the deceased ghost, linked to her supervisor. Perfect if you like a sweet, slow burn of a romance.
Grimspace by Ann Aguirre. Sirantha Jax is a snarky “jumper”—capable of jumping ships through grimspace—but it’s a talent that’s going to kill her. She’s rescued by broody hero March, who needs Jax for his rebel cause. Grimspace might be fuzzy on the science, but if you like a hate-to-love passionate romance, this one is for you.
Gabriel’s Ghost by Linnea Sinclair. Really, anything by Linnea Sinclair you can take to the bank, but the Dock 5 series (starting with Gabriel’s Ghost) is one that’s near and dear to our hearts. Captain Chasidah “Chaz” Bergren falls for mercenary smuggler Gabriel Sullivan against her better judgment, and the rest is history.
Bourbon & Steak (Harder Military Sci-Fi Stuff)
In Her Name by Michael R Hicks. A self-published book (now broken into a trilogy), In Her Name is a military science-fiction romp featuring a powerful relationship between human Reza Guard and female Kreelan warrior Esah-Zhurah. It’s lengthy, but it’s good.
Song of Scarabaeus by Sara Creasy. Edie, a highly trained professional with the ability to interact and control technology, works for a powerful interstellar corporation. On her latest gig, she’s is abducted by mercenaries and tethered to a bodyguard named Finn (with an intriguing backstory of his own). The romance here is another slow burn, but a welcome one.
The Paradox Trilogy by Rachel Bach. Starting with Fortune’s Pawn, the Paradox books tell the story of exceptional, ambitious mercenary Devi Morris as she tries to work her way up the merc ladder. Oh, and there’s a solid, central romance between Devi and ship cook Rupert.
Smarties & Sweethearts (The YA Stuff)
Hollow City by Ransom Riggs. This isn’t an outer-space science-fiction novel, but we thought it should be mentioned because, you know, time travel. Hollow City is the sequel to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and features a sweet romance between peculiar teens Jacob (who can sense hollowgasts) and Emma (a firestarter).
Alienated by Melissa Landers. Just out this month, Alienated tells the story of an ambitious teen girl who is hosting the first ever extraterrestrial exchange student, the gorgeous, if aloof, Aelyx. (We’re very excited to read this one.)
These Broken Stars by Aime Kaufman & Meagan Spooner. Starcrossed lovers Lilac (daughter of the richest and most important man in the universe) and Tarver (a war hero with humble origins) find themselves stranded on a deserted planet when the luxury starship Icarus meets its brutal end. Though the book has been billed as “Titanic in space!” we actually think it’s much more along the lines of the television show Lost. (In particular, it’s reminiscent of the love story between Desmond and Penny—one of our very favorite ships EVER.)
And that’s our list! What other science-fiction romance titles are you reading this Valentine’s Day?
(Want even more Science-Fiction Romance? We recommend consulting the experts over at The Galaxy Express.)