I meant to write this last week, and of course it would have been super-timely, given the landing of Curiosity on Mars. However, it was my birthday, and I had my awesome mommy visiting, and other real life stuff. But, we’re still on Mars (Y’ALL! We built a fucking robot-car and LANDED IT ON MARS! How fucking cool is this??), and it’s still super-fuckin’-awesome, so it still applies.
Today’s Common Grounds: Sci-Fi Romance. Smut in Space. Love Amongst the Stars.
I re-embraced romance for the first time back in the 90s. (My first embrace was as a teen/pre-teen.) This seems, to my memory anyway, to have been a great time for time-travel and sci-fi romances. At least, according to my fixation and small collection of books allowed on my college-student budget.
Sadly, that romance phase was short-lived due to a broken heart and subsequent bitterness toward all matters of love excepting bitterness, anger, and Nine Inch Nails. The result being that the handful of beloved romances I had from that time got sent away to goodwill or something, forgotten for many years.
When I re-embraced romance for the second time, one of the first things I did was go on a weeks-long mission to find my old favorites. Hey, it wasn’t easy, considering I remembered neither the titles nor the authors. Thank you, eBay! My then-live-in-boyfriend/now-husband was bemused and amused.
Sadly, not many of those old favorites survived the test of time. The couple that did, however, were the sci-fi romances.
What is it about sci-fi romances that specifically appeals (or doesn’t, for that matter)? In a way, it’s similar to fantasy-romance or paranormal-romance, in that the author gets to write their own universal rules. Things like STDs and unwanted pregnancies can be a non-issue with the press of a button. Power dynamics between sexes can be whatever the writer makes them. And the kinkier, more questionable lines in sexuality and sexual practices can really be played around quite a bit, what with the unlimited room for inventing humanoid species.
At the same time, some of my favorite sci-fi romances are really not so different from earth-romances. Similar male/female power dynamics, everyone’s human, really not much so totally out of the norm. Except, you know, friggin’ OUTER SPACE, man.
I really do love a good sci-fi-rom. What can I say – I was a space geek as a kid and that never quite died. Anyway, here are some of my favs:
Eve Langlais’s Alien Abduction series/bundle is smutty alien FUN, which I love.
How about you? What makes a sci-fi romance appealing? What do you wish there was more of in sci-fi? I know Rhys pines a bit for something more space-opera-esque, but like science-fiction-regency, which would definitely be cool. Do you like aliens, or just space cowboys? And finally, if you had to pick, which would you choose:
These are the questions that keep me up at night.