AAR is running a series of blog posts on books we love which you might want to give as gifts. These books may be recent or classic, reviewed or unreviewed, digital or print – the only rule is that they can’t be out of print entirely. In this column, we’ve collected suggestions for romantic science fiction.

Maggie:

Dark Horse by Michelle Diener. A brilliant science fiction romance, this is the story of Rose, who suffers an alien abduction with grace and fortitude, Dav, the captain of the ship who picks her up, and Sazo, an AI with some dark secrets. Thrown together, the three change the course of galactic history, righting many wrongs along the way. A not-to-be-missed space opera which combines romance, adventure and fun to create one of the best reads of 2015.

The Last Hour of Gann by R Lee Smith. Talk about having to cross the universe to find the man (er, lizard?) of your dreams. Amber’s last chance is the trip on a colony ship, but when that ship crash-lands on an alien planet, far, far away from where they were intending to go it seems like she has gone from the frying pan to the fire. When they are found by Uyane Meoraq, a chain of events is set in motion which will change the course of that world. A strong heroine and an amazing romance make this book one of the best – and most genuine – science fiction romances out there. 

Bessie

The Science Fiction & Fantasy Quiz Book by Joseph McCullough This book covers the gamut of Science Fiction and Fantasy and includes questions not only about books, movies, and comics but games as well.  The sections get progressively harder and the quizzes take different forms: multiple choice, true and false, and fill-in-the blank. I can think of lots of ways it could be used when you have a houseful of bored kids (and adults) but it could also hold the attention of a reader looking for some quiet diversion during the holidays.

Melanie:

Redshirts  by John Scalzi – not a romance, but an absolutely hysterical parody of the Star Trek universe – what does happen during those commercial breaks? And why do all the crewmen in red shirts die so often?

The League series by Sherrilyn Kenyon – an absolute favorite of mine. My favorite book is the first in the series, Born of Night. Basically, the entire series is about dark, tortured heroes (and I do mean tortured, literally), and dark, tortured heroines (usually slightly less than their romantic counterparts).

Silver Metal Lover by Tanith Lee – Perhaps this falls more in the Young Adult category, but I love this book. It’s wonderful and heartbreaking, and, to me, the story is about what exactly makes us human. Can a robot be human? Can it have a soul and a personality? Something more than what’s programmed? The only thing that may make you toss this book is that Jane, our first-person and teen-aged heroine, begins as very passive and more than a bit whiny. And don’t expect your traditional HEA.

Sci-Regency series by J.L. Langley – This is….well, basically exactly what it says. Science-fiction regency M/M romances. They are a fun and interesting mix of the two genres, in a way that works surprisingly well.

Details of the Hunt by Laura Baumbach – Gay pirate and time traveling male alien get together and become mates/alien-married. Okay, now hear me out. The premise of this story was absolutely ridiculous (and the cover was even worse), but someone dared me to read it. And it’s actually really good. The writing is well-done, the pacing is excellent, and the story actually makes sense. I’ve since purchased a copy so I can read and re-read.

Caroline:

Every single person to whom I have recommended Lois McMaster Bujold’s Miles Vorkosigan books has devoured them, regardless of age, gender, or whether or not they typically read sci-fi. (It’s a massive series with prequels, but I recommend starting with the first book about Miles himself, The Warrior’s Apprentice. The romance doesn’t come until later in the series). A physically disabled manic genius from a feudal-militarist planet, Miles flings himself wholeheartedly into every kind of screwball trainwreck and insane scheme – and somehow each impossible scenario works out by the end of each book. In so many long series, the author essentially rewrites the same challenge over and over on a bigger scale (blow up bigger ships! Fight bigger armies!), but Bujold gives Miles entirely new challenges as the series progresses, allowing him to keep growing. One of those series where you’re torn between binging and rationing because you can’t bear the thought of being done.

Gabriel’s Ghost by Linnea Sinclair. Disgraced former navy captain Chas Bergren is trapped on a brutal prison world when mercenary Gabriel Sullivan (whom everyone was certain was dead) busts her out. But what does he want in return? Without getting spoilery, this book plays out a bit like a paranormal, so I highly recommend this book for someone looking for a fresh riff on werewolf/ vampire etc. tropes.

What are your favorite Sci-Fi Romances?

-Caroline Russomanno