When you think of science fiction, what comes to mind? I'm sure you can easily imagine time travel, alternate universes, and alien lifeforms, but did you know there are plenty of romantic sci-fi books perfect for Valentine's Day reading? Love stories are universal, and in these cases, they can be intergalactic, too.
Science fiction is a beloved genre best known for its action, adventure, and incredible world-building, but that's not all it has to offer readers. A sci-fi lover myself, I can attest to how addicting it is to get lost in those far-off futures and even farther off worlds, but the storytelling is what always draws me back to that section of the library.
Sure, sci-fi has plenty of incredibly imaginative worlds and inventive alternative timelines to keep readers interested, but at its core, science fiction is a genre of incredible, in-depth storytelling. Whether it's an intergalactic murder mystery or a drama-fueled family saga set against the backdrop of deep space, science fiction novels all have one thing in common: richly detailed narratives. And believe it or not, a lot of times those narratives include romance so unforgettable, there out of this world.
If you prefer your love stories set among the stars, than you'll love these nine romantic sci-fi books perfect for Valentine's Day. When these people say "I love you to the moon and back," they really mean it.
1. 'Crosstalk' by Connie Willis
In this charming novel from Nebula and Hugo Award-winning author Connie Willis, love and communication get the sci-fi treatment. Like many of the romantic partners in this not-so-distant future world, Briddey and her boyfriend Trent decide to undergo an empathy operation before their marriage. After the procedure, though, Briddey finds herself not more connected to her future husband, but instead intensely connected to someone else entirely, and her entire world is turned upside down. Sweet, funny, and thought-provoking, Crosstalk is a modern and relevant love story whose speculations call into question our need for constant connection.
2. 'The Gender War' by Bella Forrest
In the fourth installment of Bella Forrest's The Gender Game series, the action-packed and fantastical love story of Violet and Viggo continues. Picking up where Book 3 left off, The Gender War brings readers back into a world where everything is divided by gender and women must submit to men. But like each story before, this one shows how far Violet will go to bring the patriarchy down and save the ones she loves. An exciting, dystopian love story starring a bad ass heroine and an equally admirable romantic partner, The Gender War has a little bit something for every reader.
3. 'Just One Damned Things After Another: The Chronicles of St. Mary's' by Jodi Taylor
Any of Jodi Taylor's addicting The Chronicles of St. Mary's books would make fun and romantic Valentine's Day reads, but Just One Damned Thing After Another is where all of the magic starts. In this novel, readers are introduced to the team at the Institute of Historical Research, a seemingly boring academic center that is actually a facade for a group of time-traveling Historians who ping-pong throughout time and space, documenting everything they see (and trying to stay alive in the process.) While on their incredible adventures, two of the historians even find time to fall in love, because what could be more romantic than heart-pounding action side-by-side?
4. 'All the Birds in the Sky' by Charlie Jane Anders
In All the Birds in the Sky, the world is falling apart, the planet is deteriorating, humans are to blame, and two childhood friends might be the key to saving it all. Laurence is a genius working for an engineering group who is trying to stop the environmental catastrophe on the horizon, and Patricia is a powerful magician secretly trying to use the fantastic to fix the world. These once inseparable friends spent years apart, but that all changes when the universe forces them back together for something bigger than either of them could ever imagine. A genre bending novel that expertly blends together elements of sci-fi, fantasy, and romance, All the Birds in the Sky can't be missed.
5. 'Dark Matter' by Blake Crouch
In this heart-pounding sci-fi thriller, one man will stop at nothing to get his life, and his wife, back after another man takes it all away. The catch? That other man is actually him. Dark Matter is a complex, thought-provoking, mind-bending novel about choices, alternate paths, and unknown futures, but at its core, it's also the most basic story: a love story about a husband's unbreakable bond with his wife.
6. 'All Our Wrong Todays' by Elan Mastai
In this enthralling time-travel adventure, Tom Barren lives in a utopian 2016 where cars fly, sidewalks move, and avocados never go bad. The only problem with this incredible world? Tom himself is anything but, and he can't seem to find where he belongs, so instead of changing himself, he decides to change the future. Things go awry, and Tom finds himself in a new world closer to our present-day reality, one that seems desolate and hopeless compared to the 2016 Tom knows. Hopeless, that is, until he finds the person who could be his soulmate. Funny, unique, and inventive, All the Wrong Todays is heart-filled read perfect for Valentine's Day.
7. 'A Taste of Honey' by Kai Ashante Wilson
If you're looking for a short read for your Valentine's Day, look no further than Kai Ashante Wilson's breathtaking The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps novella, A Taste of Honey. In this genre-bending story, two men, a soldier and a member of the royal family, fall in love against a backdrop of unbelievable magic, spiteful gods, and futuristic science. Heartbreaking and original, A Taste of Honey is rich and vibrant love story every sci-fi and fantasy lover has to read.
8. 'The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet' by Beck Chambers
In Becky Chambers first Wayfarers novel, nine eclectic characters come together for one epic journey through time and space. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet tells the story of a crew of wormhole builders whose jobs bring them from one planet, one galaxy, to the next, each one presenting new challenges, new friends, and new wild mishaps the ragtag team must learn how to navigate together. A character-driven novel featuring diverse characters, inspiring women, and just the right amount of romance, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is a delightful, feel-good read.