Spotlight on LGBTQ+ Science Fiction/SF Romance Novels

Romance knows no bounds

Note: This post first appeared in the Roswell Daily Record.

Since June is Pride Month, I thought I’d feature a few LGBTQ+ science fiction romances in this column. Many of the authors mentioned write in a wide variety of genres but for today’s post I’ll stick to their works in the SF genre.

Author Skye MacKinnon’s Animals and Aliens series are “out of this world F/F romances with strong human women and determined alien females.”  The Alien’s Zookeeper (Arizona Tape is the co-author on this one), The Alien’s Veterinarian and the forthcoming Alien’s Farmer each set up a different scenario for the pairs to meet and the animals are a fun plot device. The author also wrote Alien Abduction for Milkmen (The Intergalactic Guide to Humans Book Six), a humorous take on what would happen if an alien scientist doing an experiment curdles all of Earth’s milk and needs a human specialist to help fix the problem. Who else but a hunky milkman? The story is a short, humorous read.

Rachel Ford’s Safe Passage (Black Flag Book One) was a 2019 Lesfic Bard Award Winner in the scifi category and presents a lesbian romance set in the midst of a rollicking space pirates tale. The Black Flag series currently stands at seven books, with the eighth due out in December and the author broadened the focus into wider space opera themes, as the galactic situation in which the pirates function is revealed. The series does follow the same couple – a pirate captain and a computer geek –  through all the books.

The Ariadne Cycle Series by J. Scott Coatsworth lands more in the hard science fiction category, with romantic elements but I thoroughly enjoyed all three books. The plot revolves around a generation ship, which is a plot device that is always catnip to me, sent out from Earth to find a new home for her passengers. I enjoyed the depth of the world building and as the focus of the novels moved from one set of characters to the next, I was fascinated by how the events all played out. The Stark Divide is the first book in the trilogy.

Kim Fielding is an autobuy for me and author of fantasy, paranormal and scifi books. Her SF tend to be standalones, like the recent Potential Energy, where a down on his luck interstellar smuggler takes on what seems to be a simple job and of course discovers there’s a lot more to delivering a ‘package’ than he expected. Refugees tells the story of a World War II veteran wandering the Pacific Northwest after the war ends, who finds himself in a strange little town where everyone is eager to befriend him and the café serves food just like his grandmother’s. There’s a nice romance and a reveal of the town’s secret. It’s reminiscent of the old “Twilight Zone” form of storytelling, but on a more upbeat, cheerful note.

In the Eve of Destruction series, author Benjamin Medrano tells the never ending adventures of Evelyn Tarth, a former warlord who had settled into a more or less peaceful retirement until attacked by mercenaries and now roams the stars. She has a Djinn assistant and a harem and life never seems to calm down for Evelyn for long, fortunately for the avid readers. Chosen of Chaos is the first book in the series.

Here’s the setup for the Oaerthecan Star Saga by James Siewert: “In the furthest reaches of space, a cyber-thief with a heart of gold meets a ex-navy captain who refuses to be beaten. Though they’re from opposite ends of the galaxy, fate slams these two men together in desperate bid to stop a race of elitist cannibals from destroying all these men hold dear.” And of course the thief and the captain fall into a steamy romance. Book one is Allure of Oartheca and book two is Barons of Oartheca, which continues to follow the same couple.

C. W. Gray’s Blue Solace series takes place aboard the namesake ship and on the Charybdis Station. Book one was The Mercenary’s Mate and sets up the overall situation. The first two books deal with the same couple and thereafter the focus widens to other men caught up in tense scifi situations of galactic and personal challenges on the station or on other ships, and finding their mates in the middle of the action. As the blurb for book one says: “Their love is easy, it happens just like that. Staying alive and keeping the galaxy safe? That’s a little harder.”

A few standalone novels in this genre to finish out the post! Mail Order Bride by Molly J. Bragg is an excellent read, not as heavy on space opera themes as some of the others and more focused on the central lesbian poly romance between an Earth girl sent to marry an alien and the alien in question. From the blurb, here’s the conflict: “Sam arrives on Talamh, a planet ravaged by disaster, expecting to find herself promised to some rich alien prince. Instead, she finds herself among a species that has no concept of gender, promised to a beautiful alien that makes Sam’s little gay heart skip a beat every time she looks at them. There’s just one problem. Orla, the person Sam is promised to, is already in love with their best friend Sorcha. As Orla and Sam’s betrothal moves forward, they find themselves falling in love, but Sam can’t help but worry that Sorcha will come between them. At least, until she and Sorcha start to develop feelings for each other.”

Naturally as this is a romance, the Happy Ever After ending will be achieved.

In El Nuevo Mundo author Brian Yapko’s main characters are a couple who’ve been together for twelve years in New Mexico and are now the key to preventing the alien invasion of Earth. As one reviewer said, “This wonderfully imaginative sci-fi story involves love, deception, the threat of global extinction, and the promise of survival and renewal.” What more does one need?

There are so many other authors I could mention but there’s only so much space in a post. Here are a few more to look for – Adam Gaffen, N. D. Shar, Lexa Luthor, Eryn Ivers and Nita Round. Wishing you many hours of happy reading!

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