Mandy M. Roth® NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of Paranormal Women's Fiction, Paranormal Romance, and Urban Fantasy!

Understanding the Sci-fi Romance Book Genre

Understanding the Sci-fi Romance Book Genre?

Interested in reading Sci-fi romance books, but you’re not sure what they are? No, worries. I’m here to help.

What is a Sci-Fi Romance Book?

Science fiction romance books are a unique blend of three of the most popular genres: science fiction, fantasy, and romance. These stories can take place in a futuristic world or on a distant planet, or they can be set in the here and now, maybe with an alternate history even. Some might even involve time travel or apocalyptic. They could even involve parallel worlds. Basically, if you can dream it, the science fiction genre can achieve it.

Science Fiction Romance Sub-Genres

There are numerous sub-genres that are housed under the Sci-fi romance banner. Whether it’s a fantasy sci-fi romance, a space opera romance, a cyberpunk romance novel, genetic engineering, or a dystopian romance novel, there is something for everyone in this genre. These books may also contain elements of adventure, paranormal, mystery, horror, and suspense, with varying romance tropes layered in. From friends to lovers to second chances at love, there is something for every romance book lover. The romance within them can vary in heat level from slow burn to spicy.  

What Makes a Good Sci-Fi Romance Book?

Sci-fi romance books have become increasingly popular over the years due to their unique combination of genres, engaging storylines, and relatable characters. When it comes to sci-fi romance books, the key is finding an exciting balance between the genres.

The sci-fi elements should be strong enough to provide an interesting new setting and potentially unexpected plot twists, while the romance should be strong enough to give readers a journey that is both exciting and emotionally satisfying (and I cannot stress this enough, if it’s labeled romance, it needs to have a HEA–happy ever after.)

In addition to a compelling story, books in the sci-fi romance genre should also have well-developed characters. The characters should be able to make meaningful, deep connections with each other despite their extraordinary circumstances.

Must-Read Sci-Fi Romance Books

Genetic Engineering

An example of this would be my Immortal Ops Series World. It is set in the here and now and focuses on men and women who were genetically engineered to be super soldiers. It borrows heavily from real-life historical events with sci-fi elements woven in, creating a plausible backdrop for the romance between the hero and heroine. At the series core, the books are romance reads, but the science fiction elements add extra layers of depth, intrigue, and suspense.

I’m not going to lie. My life would be a ton easier if I’d have set the Immortal Ops in the future on another planet (spoiler alert: my temp titled Space Ops Series will be releasing soon–it’s unrelated to the Immortal Ops, but as the name suggests, takes place in space) because it would have meant I had the freedom to invent the planet and the rules. As it stands, I needed to find a way to blend science facts with fiction, all in a way that fits within the known world we live in.

Since the Immortal Ops books have been released since the early 2000s, I’m going to pat myself on the back and say, “nailed it.” There are numerous entry points to the series since it’s pushing thirty books (and counting) in the overall series world. If you’re interested in giving it a go, check out my Where to Start Page (click here).

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