Romance and Me: Science Fiction Romance

Filed in featured , Gini Koch , L.K. Rigel , Lilly Cain , Romance and Me , The Latin Lover Posted on June 13, 2012 @ 3:00 pm 21 comments

Since I started blogging I’ve become much more adventurous when it comes to reading. I’m more open to taking chances and discovering some new genres/subgenres I previously never would have read. Two of my most recent discoveries were the fantasy and sci-fi subgenres.

The way I discovered sci-fi romance was quite accidental: I never set out to venture into science fiction land and read some “weird alien book” (what old, ignorant Stella would have said), it was not a conscious decision on my part.

I simply stumbled upon Gini Koch’s debut novel Touched by an Alien and loved its cover so much that after some internal debating and torturous dilemma (because in spite of the gorgeous knee-weakening cover I feared that as a sci-fi book I wouldn’t enjoy it) I gave in (hail to the inner cover whores 😉 ) and I was hooked after the first couple of pages! To this day Gini and her Kitty Katt Alien series remains one of my favourite books and thanks to such a stellar introduction I was afraid no more of this very scary genre.

Since then I have read a couple more books and series in the science fiction romance subgenre like Space Junque and Spiderwork (part of L.K. Rigel’s Apocalypto series) or Alien Revealed (the first novella in Lilly Cain’s Confederacy Treaty series) and though I’m still a newbie (so if you have some good recommendations, please share!), I discovered that sci-fi can be a genre I enjoy.

Sure I haven’t tried any hardcore sci-fi with absolutely no romantic subplot, I try to ease into it rather slowly and gradually, but I enjoy a lot the strange universes sci-fi authors have created. I’m amazed at their creativity and it was surprising for me how well they managed not to overwhelm me with all the scientific and unknown terms and way of things (that was my greatest fear that I would feel lost in such an unfamiliar, alien setting and would be bored). To the contrary, I found their imaginative descriptions of how things differ from the norm we have grown to know fascinating.

So I would urge you, those who have stayed clear of sci-fi like me to give it a chance, try it with something light and fun: nothing better than Gini Koch’s Alien series if you want to laugh out loud, or if you want something steamy check out Lilly Cain’s Confederacy Treaty series published by Carina Press, or if you are in the mood for some complex world-building you should discover L.K. Rigel’s Apocalypto series.

Tell me,

 Do you like sci-fi, if yes why exactly?

 What is your favourite thing about it?

Any good sci-fi (romance) recommendations you would have for me?

About Stella

Stella is a proud bookaholic and a self-taught multilinguist in training. Besides reading, her other great passions are travelling and baking. When she is not globetrotting she lives in sunny Budapest, where she loves to spend her free time preparing (and feasting on) delicious cookies or devouring equally yummy books. Her favourite genres are urban fantasy and romance and she couldn't live without her daily dose of sunshine. Besides being the Latin Lover on BLI Stella also blogs about books and a bookish life on Ex Libris.

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  • Marlene June 13, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Okey-dokey. First, there’s a marvelous list of Must-Read SFR books at The Galaxy Express. The list isn’t totally definitive, but it’s a great place to start!

    If you’re looking for some personal SFR recommendations, you can’t go wrong with Linnea Sinclair, she’s marvelous.

    For a science fiction novel that might introduce you to why people love SF in general, try John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War. There is a romance. It starts subtly in Old Man’s War, but pays off in a later book in the series. And Scalzi is laugh-out-loud funny.

    But I love SF in general. It’s that whole, “exploring strange new worlds” thing. I want to go. I still want to go. SF, particularly of the space opera variety, is the closest I can get.

    • draconismoi June 13, 2012 at 9:49 pm

      Hmm. This list perturbs me.

      I haven’t read most of the books on it. Nalini Singh is sicif? She’s one of those authors I only saw before they created a separate paranormal romance section in the store/library.

      (Obviously I’ve read the complete works of Marion Zimmer Bradley and Anne McCaffrey. I cut my scifi baby teeth on those two.)

      AND of the books I read on it, many were terrible. I couldn’t even finish The Promise of Kierna Rhoan.

      Clockwork Heart? So much potential, but so must meh. I forgot it existed. Normally I devour steampunk. Such a disappointment (also, steampunk is not scifi. I contest the genre inclusiveness of this list!)

    • Stella June 14, 2012 at 5:40 pm

      Thanks for the link Marlene, I’ll take a look at it 😉

  • miki June 13, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    i loved I- Marshals Stories by Michele Hart

  • Sheree June 13, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Since I grew up reading scifi/fantasy and mysteries, I may be biased. However, I haven’t read any hard scifi for years so I don’t know what’s really out there anymore.

    To me, scifi is also fairytale for grownups, not unlike Romances, except this is “once upon a time in a galaxy far away and/or in the distant/near/alternative future…”

    • Stella June 14, 2012 at 5:41 pm

      LOL interesting concept Sheree, I never would have pegged sci-fis as fairy tales, but now that you mention it… 😉

  • draconismoi June 13, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    I always recommend In the Garden of Iden by Kage Baker as a beginner-SF book. I know I did a review on it awhile back. If you like historicals, then this is a good transition.

    You should also try the Ivory trilogy by Doris Egan. Again very awesome, but not too heavy on the SF. It’s what nerds call soft-scifi. Focused on the culture of the future rather than the science. I should totally review those books. Gives me an excuse to reread them again…..

    Honestly for people not certain they want to dip their toes in the SF pool, I try to recommend the SF/Fantasy crossover. They tend to go down easiest. Such as Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls. The main character only speaks in quotations! It’s a lot of fun to try to identify. (I always got The Jungle Book references, but utterly failed with most of the Shakespeare).

    • Stella June 14, 2012 at 5:44 pm

      Oh I love historicals! And it’s a good idea to try sci-fi/fantasy crossovers blends, they sounds appealing. Thanks for the recommendations Cass! 🙂

  • Susan June 13, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    OK, you know I always type too much, but you asked for it. Romantic sci-fi (or just plain sci-fi)—this could be a veerrry long list, but I will attempt to be brief (and limit it to books/series I’ve actually read).

    Romance (emphasis varies):
    –Linnea Sinclair (someone already mentioned her, and I second that)
    –Janet Miller’s Gaian Series
    –Jayne Castle’s Harmony series (they tie into the JAK Arcane Society books but take place on another planet)
    –Cheryl Brooks’ Cat Star Chronicles (these are light, silly, and raunchy–but fun)
    –Morgan Hawke’s Interstellar books (not for the faint of heart, these are a bit more hardcore than romance)
    –Ilona Andrews’s Kinsmen novellas (Silent Blade, Silver Shark)
    –Sara Creasy’s Scarabaeus duology
    –Ann Aguirre’s Sirantha Jax series (some romance)
    –Connie Suttle’s Blood Destiny series (it won’t be initially apparent why this series is on this list, but hold on)
    –Tanith Lee’s The Silver Metal Lover (takes place on Earth, but is still sci-fi-ish)
    –Zoe Archer’s Chain Reaction and Collision Course

    Sci-fi w/ female leads:
    –Elizabeth Moon’s Vatta series
    –Jean Johnson’s A Soldier’s Duty (first in a series)
    –Mike Shepherd’s Kris Longknife series
    –Laura Reeve’s Major Ariane Kedros series (which was sadly discontinued after the 3rd book but still worth reading)

    Whew. I’m probably forgetting tons of books/series, but I’ll leave it there. Right now, I’m reading the 3rd book in Wen Spencer’s Ukiah Oregon series. It’s a lot like Rob Thurman’s Cal Leandros series, including the alien element—so sorta sci-fi-ish.

    • Stella June 14, 2012 at 5:46 pm

      Oooh wonderful list Susan, and have no worries I LOVE long posts/comments, especially if they are book recommendations 😀

  • Susan June 13, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    BTW, Stella, since you’re the Latin Lover (and like stuff pertaining to Rome), you might like RM Meluch’s Tour of the Merrimack series. I didn’t include it on my list since it’s more space opera rather than romance (altho there is some romance in it), but it’s an interesting series. I’ve read all but the latest book, which I’m putting off ’til I can savor it.

    • Stella June 14, 2012 at 5:48 pm

      Wow, that sounds tailor made for me! Thank you Susan! 😀

  • aurian June 14, 2012 at 1:49 am

    Yeah for Gini Koch books, I also like them a lot. And Susan, thanks for that list! I also recommend Anne McCaffrey and Marion Zimmer Bradley, and of course that Jean Johnson book! I was hooked on that one! My best friend is a Linnea Sinclair fan, haven’t read those yet.
    I’ve also read some books by Patti O’Shea that I liked. And I know I have read much more but can’t think of that right now.

    • Susan June 14, 2012 at 3:07 pm

      You’re right!! I didn’t include McCaffrey on my list because I was only thinking about the Pern books (which I consider fantasy, rather than sci-fi), but totally overlooked her Killashandra books. And they do have a romantic element.

      I’ve read most of MZB’s books, as well, and was also mentally classifying them as fantasy, but many could definitely be on this list, too.

      I’m probably forgetting a lot of books/series that should be on the list, but my memory is terrible. (And I only included things I’d actually read, not things I’d heard about or are still on my TBR list.)

      Glad to see that someone else has actually read–and enjoyed–the Johnson book. Although Johnson’s known as a romance author, I suspect there will be little of that in this series. The first book was an interesting read nevertheless.

      A lot of good recs here. And I’m going to go thru that list that Marlene shared when I have time to see if there are any that I haven’t read that look interesting. (Thanks, everyone!)

      • Draconismoi June 15, 2012 at 1:55 am

        Pern is the perfect example of the SF/fantasy crossover. Depending on what book you get it’s mind reading dragons or colonization of hostile alien planet. Or dragons in space.

    • Stella June 14, 2012 at 5:49 pm

      Oh my Aurian, how can you not have read any Linnea Sinclair books when your bestie’s a fan? Or rather how could she let you? The shock! 😉

  • Sullivan McPig June 14, 2012 at 10:42 am

    You should try Marcella Burnard’s Enemy Within. It’s got romance, buglike aliens, spaceships, everything you could want from a good SciFi adventure.

    • Stella June 14, 2012 at 5:50 pm

      Can you believe I have her book on my TBR pile but I just haven’t gotten around to read it yet? I know… *Stella hangs head in shame* But I will one day, you and Susi have said fantastic things about Marcella’s novels, so I’m curious 🙂

  • Lexi June 15, 2012 at 1:16 am

    I love scifi, and throw some romance in with it! Hard to resist. The sheer possibilities of the imagination with SciFi, and fantasy for that matter.
    I would list some for you…but Susan did a pretty awesome job of it =)

  • LisaC June 15, 2012 at 10:12 am

    I love science fiction romance and quite a bit of “just” science fiction. You might also want to check out Cybermage’s listof foromidable female protagonists, with or without romance, at

    • draconismoi June 17, 2012 at 10:30 pm

      Ooooooo……so much for getting any work done today.

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