This month we will be doing a series of reviews and some posts concentrating on the genre of Sci Fi and Romance which is one of my favourite subgenres. It is also a very diverse genre that encompasses so many different elements, tones and styles which is one of the reasons why I really love the themes that Sci Fi conveys.
I especially love stories that explore the universe and what it means to be human which authors like Anne McCaffery have highlighted. But I also love the campy sexy romps such as Dara Joy’s Matrix series or Jayne Castle’s Sci Fi paranormals which were my first introduction to the genre. This made me realise at the time that romance was a wonderful genre that could combine so many different aspects which makes things fresh and vibrant.
So to kick start this theme month I will be highlighting and recommending some of my favourite series and books below for recommendations.
One of the first authors who introduced me to Sci Fi romance, was Jayne Ann Krentz who wrote under the pseudonym of Jayne Castle. I picked up Crystal Flame from the library not thinking this would be something totally different from the usual historical romances or more fantasy base books. Although it was more heavy with the paranormal elements, the futuristic setting and romance sucked me in and it made me fall in love with the genre.
Ann Aguirre’s Grimspace series and its spin-off series Dred Chronicles (I will be reviewing Perdition tomorrow which I really enjoyed!) is one of best Sci Fi series which explores the nature and the aftermath of war.
Anne McCaffery is one of the best writers I’ve read and has written some of my favourite sci fi and fantasy series. But If you’re a fan stranded on a planet survival stories and creating a new society then I highly recommend her Catteni series which made me a fan of her books. The Tower and Hive series is another fantastic series which has telepathic characters who need to defend against invaders.
For a more lighter tone take on the genre – I definitely think Gini Koch’s Alien Collective series which has a zany actioned packed pace and a comic book feel and so much good fun. I especially love the twist on the idea of Men In Black as Armani wearing sexy aliens.
While the Scarabaeus duology by Sara Creasy is much more serious but has a vivid and vibrant setting. I also loved the focus on the Sci Fi aspects which was complex and thought provoking with its themes.
Another similar themed book is Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher which had a wonderful premise of settlers on a new planet are faced with the fact they are bonded by dead people who have been revived by an alien entity. It was one of my favourite books from last year.
There is also the long-running series from J.D Robb’s In Death series which has a futuristic setting about a detective in the mid 2050s. Be careful because these are addictive and I ended up glomming the first 15 books when I first discovered the series over 8 years ago.
Nalini Singh’s Psy Changeling series which is set in a futuristic setting is another and I would argue her Guild Huntress series is another which has elements of Sci Fi although it is more paranormal or Urban Fantasy.
I also recommend the authors below whose books I really enjoyed.
Jess Granger’s Realms Beyond series.
Ilona Andrews’ Kinsmen series
Susan Kearney’s Rystani series
Patti O’Shea’s Jarvid Nine series
Catherine Spangler’s Shielder series
Anna Zaires’ The Krinar Chronicles
I would love to read more dark gritty alien invasion or survivor type sci fi romances, so I would love to hear from you about any good recommendations. I would also love to hear what are your favourite Sci Fi romances that you have read recently!
14 thoughts on “Science Fiction Theme Month and Recommendations!”
You already mentioned a lot of my favourite authors. Anne McCaffrey for sure, did you read the Killashandra books? How about the living spaceships? Okay, I just love them all.
Jayne Castle, of course, Nalini Singh, JD Robb, Gini Koch.
I can recommend Ann Maxwell (an old penname of Elizabeth Lowell) she wrote some great sci fi romance, Fire Dancer series. Only, the publisher ended the series so the third book has an ending that does not wrap up the story arc. Still, I enjoyed them very much.
Ann Aguirre’s Grimspace novels are amazing, every single one of them. Have you read her Razorland novels? They are YA, but honestly? GREAT writing, gripping plot and characters that won’t let you go. I was lucky enough to beta read the first one, Enclave, and lemme tell you, I read that sucker in less than three hours, I couldn’t put it down, and was racing towards the end with this almost desperation to see how it ended…*happy sigh* She also has a steampunk, co-written with her husband Andrés, Bronze Gods and a post-apocalyptic trilogy co-written with Carrie Lofty (look under “extras” in Ann’s website for the link).
I absolutely second the Jess Granger’s Beyond books recommendation–I only wish the publisher hadn’t axed the series after just two books! If/when she gets her rights backs, I would love it if she would revisit it, perhaps give us at least the third book.
And I don’t need to tell you how much I adore Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling books, do I? (Mind you, not such a fan of the Hunters’ Guild series, but to each her own, right?)
I do not know any, cos I have not read many :/ but I want to 😀
I highly recommend the Confederation series by Tanya Huff. Aliens, space marines, some romance and a kick ass heroine by the the name of Torin Kerr. I reread the books at least once a year. 🙂
This is going to be an expensive month! I love sci-fi romance but I have a hard time finding great books. There are a number of new names for me on your list so I’m excited to check them out. I checked out the Anne Mccaffery and it looks like some of the Freedom book are available on Kindle but the first one isn’t which seems weird. It sounds like a series I might like though so I’ll try and figure something out. I loved Ghost Planet though and like you it was one of my very favorites from last year.
I would highly recommend the Red Mars series by Kim Stanley Robinson and the Lost Fleet series by Jack Campbell. Both have strong romantic elements. For gritty alien invasion plus romance, “Leviathan Wakes” by James A. Corey is good. And Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga is a classic.
You mentioned the name Dara Joy, which is a name I had not heard in a while but I enjoyed her writing. I may have to dig the matrix series out for a reread.
Grimspace had showed up as a recommendation for me many times and I know I should read it but for some reason I just haven’t yet. The size of the JD Robb series seems a little intimidating but again it is one of those series i feel I need to read or at least start.
I don’t think I read that series by McCaffery, but I think I have it on my TBR shelf somewhere.
I adore Ann Aguirre’s stuff – I have read them all and definitely agree with you about Jess Granger. I am crossing my fingers she does return back to that world 😀
Well def check out some of these goodies! 😀
E has recced that series I need to look into that more closely. I also have Jean Johnson’s first book in a new series which has similar themes.
I really recommend McCaffery – the early books in the Catteni series are my faves! I hope you enjoy them!
I read Red and Blue but I gave up on the final book because I found the hard SF elements was getting too much although I keep meaning to go back to it to complete the trilogy. Ohh def looking into Corey – I am always on the hunt for that
Her early books were so much fun but I tried one of her recent books and it was bad. But the early Matrix books are def good campy fun.
With the In Death books, you find yourself glomming – It can be overwhelming but if you do pick it up. Do it in chunks but it is well worth it!
I am super glad I have already read most of these or my wallet and kindle would be running for the hills right about now. Such a great list Has!
I love SFR, and have enjoyed Gini Koch’s Alien series as well as Ghost Planet by Sharon Fisher. Books by Ann Aguire and Nalina Singh came highly recommended to me as well, but I haven’t read them yet. Though, I have their books on my Kindle already. 🙂
Heather Massey of The Galaxy Express keeps a list of all of the SFR titles releasing for each year. Here’s the list from 2013: http://www.thegalaxyexpress.net/2013/01/2013-science-fiction-romance-new.html Plus, she has a page of free and cheap SFR titles available.
Another SFR classic is the Liaden series by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. Especially if you start the cycle with Local Custom (starting recommendations vary)
Elizabeth Moon also has a terrific SFR series, Vatta’s War. The first book is Trading in Danger. The nice thing about Vatta’s War is that it has a beginning, middle and a nicely wrapped up end.
What a great celebration of SFR! Looking forward to your posts.
I love too many sci-fi romances to count, but one author who should be on everyone’s list is Nathalie Gray–especially if you enjoy gritty settings, hot love scenes, and high-octane action.
On the “classic” side, Catherine Asaro is another must-read author. She mixes romance with accessible hard SF. My favorite of hers is ALPHA, which features an android heroine.
@Jessica – Thanks for the shout out!
Thanks for all above recommendations. I love sci-fic romance stories, even more so if wriiten from narrator’s point of view.
There’s this Stardoc series by S L Viehl. Her first 4 books in the series are great.
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