Dec 10 2014 2:15pm

Scientific Theory: Science Fiction Plus Love = The Best Books

Under the Skin by Shawntelle MadisonToday we're pleased to welcome author Shawntelle Madison to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Shawntelle's latest release, Under My Skin, is the first book in her new Immortality Strain series, one where a Guild with nefarious purposes selects only certain teens to join them and further their dark plans. Shawntelle blends science fiction, paranormal, and romantic elements in her books, and she is here to talk about her love of science fiction. Thanks, Shawntelle!

If there were such a thing as a geek badge, I’d have one permanently attached to my clothes. Give me historical fantasy, romantic horror, or even the gothics any day, but science fiction has always had a special place in my heart. A lot of it relates to how the genre’s stories stretch the boundaries of my imagination and how many authors base their literature on cutting edge science that can be found in research papers.

When it comes to science fiction, I’ve been reading the classics since I was in early high school. This long list includes Asimov, Heinlein, and even Philip K. Dick. I have great memories of reading stacks of books I got from the public library. I fell in love with so many books, but the sci-fi/fantasy author that I really admire though is the late Octavia Butler. Be sure to read her book titled Wild Seed. The book is about two immortals and their relationship over the centuries. The woman is a healer and the man steals the bodies of others in order to stay immortal. Can you see the conflicts in that relationship? I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, but in one particular scene, the hero is conflicted because he needs a new body, and the perfect candidate is the offspring of the hero and heroine. The novel is so thought-provoking and has a heartbreaking romantic subplot.

It wasn’t until late high school that I discovered the romance genre. I raided my mother’s book stash and found Danielle Steel. From there I gobbled up many books. For me combining science fiction and romance is like cooking an amazing gumbo. You have so many flavors that create a rich and enticing dish.

Check out this awesome picture. Yep, those books are mine. I’ve been reading futuristic romance since the Love Spell days. Johanna Lindsey’s book Warrior’s Woman is a classic to me. These books were so different compared to the hard science fiction titles I had read. I got the best of both worlds: an exploration of another world with possible issues of classism to racism—along with the most important part, a happily ever after. Lindsey is a multi-faceted author who made me want to fall in love with Challen and cheer over Tedra’s kick-butt attitude. I swooned at the building tension between Tedra and Challen. 

Within the past few recent years I’ve discovered spicier sci-fi romance titles. The first one I read was Shelli Stevens’s book Need Me. After that I discovered Kim Knox, Evangeline Anderson, and Laurann Dohner.

I asked historical author Jeannie Lin why she loves sci-fi romance and she replied with a heartfelt response only a fellow geek could love: “Two words: Han Solo.”

Contemporary romance author Mandy Baxter said, “Sci-Fi romance combines all of my favorite things. Action, adventure, romance, the added bonus of foreign settings, and imaginative tech. Anything and everything is possible and it allows me to lose myself completely in the story.”

I will also admit I have a fondness for stories with romantic elements set in a dystopian world like my book Under My Skin. On my bookcase I have books like Ann Aguirre’s Razorland series, Kiera Cass’s The Selection series, and of course, The Hunger Games. I just can’t resist falling into a new world and seeing romance bloom for teen protagonists. Especially if the romance is a part of the story and not the central focus.

Science fiction with romantic elements, whether its young adult or adult, is still a popular genre. There are countless titles I read and my TBR list will never get low. So, do you read science-fiction romance? What are your favorite titles and why? I love recommendations.

Learn more or pre-order a copy of Under the Skin by Shawntelle Madison, out now:

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Shawntelle Madison is a web developer who loves to weave words as well as code. She’d never admit it, but if asked she’d say she covets and collects source code. After losing her first summer job detasseling corn, Shawntelle performed various jobs—from fast-food clerk to grunt programmer to university webmaster. Writing eccentric characters is her most favorite job of them all. On any particular day when she’s not surgically attached to her computer, she can be found watching cheesy horror movies or the latest action-packed anime. She lives in Missouri with her husband and children.
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Maggie Boyd
1. maggieboyd66
I love science fiction romance and am so glad to see a resurgence in this genre. Right now my favorites are Beth Reevis's A Million Suns series and The Starbound Trilogy by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner which are YA books and very romantic.
Dianan Peterfreund's Across a Starswept Sea

For Dystopian Ellen Connor's series Nightfall, Daybreak and Midnight.

Resurrection Arwen Elys Dayton was a read that enthralled me recently. Far from perfect but still, very interesting.

I fell in love with Mr. Spock at age six. I've loved this genre ever since.
Maggie Boyd
2. maggieboyd66
I can't believe I forgot to mention the fabulous books of Sharon Lynn Fisher. I loved her Ghost Planet, her The Ophelia Prophecy was interesting and I am eagerly awaiting Echo 8.
3. pamelia
I really enjoyed the Federation series by Lauren Dane (they might qualify more as sci-fi erotica/romance), and Kiersten Fay's Shadow Quest series was a lot of fun.
I would also recommend Ilona Andrews' "Clean Sweep" which has a really nice blend of sci-fi and humor and action.
My all time favorite author for sci-fi/romance is R. Lee Smith though. Her books blend sci-fi, romance, horror, and erotica and "The Last Hour of Gann", "Cottonwood", and "Heat" are all fantastic, although probably a LOT darker than the usual sci-fi romances you mentioned.
4. pamelia
Oh! And I forgot to mention J. Fally's "Bone Rider" which is a M/M/M(?) sci-fi romance with a symbiont/host as one of the heroes. Fantastic fun and really entertaining. (The title is a running joke between my husband and I, but it is really a great book!)
5. Jan the Alan Fan
My favourite sci-fi / romance author is Linnea Sinclair who has sci-fi, humour, drama and angst in her books. Sometimes telepathic cats too. The books I like the most are 'Finders, Keepers' and 'Games of Command' (a retelling of The Steadfast Tin Soldier).

A honourable mention goes to the 'Saga of Pliocene Exile' sci-fi series by Julian May; all the main characters in the first book (The Many Coloured Land) fall in love with someone, with mixed results.
Maggie Boyd
6. maggieboyd66
@Jan the Alan Fan - It's been years since I've read the Many Coloured Land but I thoroughly enjoyed the series.

@Pamelia I thoroughly enjoy R. Lee Smith. Which she would publish the new novel already.
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