Aug 8 2017 2:00pm

8 Lighthearted Science-Fiction Romances to Help You Relax Under Any Circumstance!

Collision Course by Zoe Archer

Science-fiction romance generally explores intense topics, including alien invasions/attacks, war, political strife, human trafficking, and all kinds of catastrophes. That's not even counting the pain and trauma endured by its heroes and heroines. Many sci-fi romance protagonists have been tortured, victims of crimes, experienced tragic separation from loved ones, or underwent extreme transformations through genetic engineering or alien mutation. Sci-fi romance is not unlike other romance genres in this regard, although some elements, like genetic engineering and weapons of mass destruction, do raise stakes to a whole other level.

The combination of intense topics, social commentary, and romance is one of the genre's best features. That said, it's also nice to unwind with sci-fi romances that entertain without delving into heavy issues. Or that are easy on the brain, but not brainless in execution. Sometimes a sci-fi romance might even involve something like an alien “first contact” situation and put a comedic spin on it so the tone is more Earth Girls Are Easy than, well, Contact.

Maybe you're a sci-fi romance reader who's extra busy, stressed out, or wants an escape from real world events even as you prefer stories set in futuristic worlds. Toward that end, here are some sci-fi romances that might fit the relaxation bill for you. These stories are lighthearted, hopeful, over-the-top, or downright gentle in nature.

Collision Course by Zoë Archer (Amazon | B&N | Kobo) is a hot, sexy space romp with loads of sexual tension. The story focuses mainly on the sizzling attraction between scavenger Mara Skiren and ace pilot Kell of the Black Wraith Squadron. It tosses in a wee bit of adventure, which may be all you want from a sci-fi romance after a long, stressful day.

Tone-wise, Touched by an Alien by Gini Koch (Amazon | B&N | Kobo) is the Men in Black of sci-fi romance. It's part comedy, part adventure story, and lots of romantic shenanigans. Heroine Katherine Katt is thrust into a secret alien world. While figuring out her role as Earth's chosen savior, she's wooed by the Armani-clad Jeff Martini, a man of many secrets. But his love for her is no secret and one of the many reasons this sci-fi romance will both charm you and make you laugh.

Hellcat's Bounty by Renae Jones (Amazon) is a good ol' fashioned space western—but with a sparkly lesbian couple! Anelace Rios is a freelance exterminator who falls in love with black market doctor Meidani Sintlere, all while battling carnivorous amoeba creatures that are threatening the mining port. This is a sweet, tender, and character-driven story featuring cool, capable heroines. The story delivers a heartwarming romance with a touch of weird fiction.

Beneath a Trojan Moon by Anna Hackett

Beneath a Trojan Moon by Anna Hackett (Amazon | B&N | Kobo) is an action-adventure sci-fi romance. Heroine Relda Dela-Cruz is a futuristic fortune teller by trade, with a keen nose for business and a great fashion sense. She's paired with a good guy hero who supports her and her abilities in every way. All of which makes for a lively, thoroughly escapist read.

The Clockwork Menagerie by Elliot Cooper (Amazon | B&N | Kobo) is a steampunk romance between two dapper gentlemen inventors. More character than plot driven, this story features some truly adorkable angst. You'll find it especially relaxing if you like cats!

Tatiana Caldwell's Way Out of Control (Amazon) is a sci-fi romance featuring a superhuman hero, but the story won't Hulk-smash you over the head with too many dark elements. While it deals with some very powerful genetic engineering science, much of the story focuses on Dr. Celise Belderon's attempt to counteract hero Jaxon Wentworth's dangerous newfound abilities. Of course, they're attracted to each other as well, which gives their romance a yummy flavor of forbidden romance.

“Uplifting” is the best word I can think of to describe the anthology Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time (edited by Hope Nicholson) (Amazon | B&N). It's an anthology of indigenous science fiction and urban fantasy featuring LGBT and two-spirit characters. Three of the stories fall under the sci-fi romance umbrella and even without romance, the rest are equally fascinating. The stories are by Cherie Dimaline, Gwen Benaway, David Robertson, Richard Van Camp, Mari Kurisato, Nathan Adler, Daniel Heath Justice, Darcie Little Badger, and Cleo Keahna, with an introduction by Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair and a foreword by Grace Dillon.

The Tea Machine by Gill McKnight (Amazon | B&N | Kobo) is a boisterous steampunk romance time travel adventure tale involving a subtle, lighthearted romance between spinster heroine Millicent Aberly and Sangfroid, a centurion Millicent meets during a jaunt to the future. There are some scenes of violence and gore, but it's tempered by the story's general over-the-top nature. Also, nothing says escapist sci-fi romance more than space squid!

I hope the above titles can help ease any stress you may be feeling. Got any gentle sci-fi romance recommendations of your own to share?

H&H Editor Picks:

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Comedic Sci-Fi Romance: Sex, Jokes, and Science in Space

August 2017 Romance Novels New Releases Shopping List






Heather Massey seeks out sci-fi romance adventures and writes about them for Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly. She’s also an author in the subgenre. To learn more about her published work, visit heathermassey.com.


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Darlene Marshall
1. DarleneMarshall
I would add Lois McMaster Bujold's A Civil Campaign and selected works by Connie Willis. Some of Willis' work is heavy going, but other pieces (Uncharted Territory; To Say Nothing of the Queen) are lighter reads.
Carmen Pinzon
2. bungluna
I will certainly be giving a try to the ones on the list I haven't read yet. I also strongly second the Bujold books!

From Gini Koch, writing under G.J. Koch, try "Alexander Outlander".
Wen Spencer Ukia Oregon series is very nice too. "Alien Taste" is the first one.
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