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An amalgamation of two of the most popular genres, science fiction romance stands the test of time and imagination. Why is it so well-received?

The Shape of Water. Avatar. In Time.

These are some of the most popular classic movies that have taken hold of people’s wonder. At first glance, they may appeal dissimilar with their highly unique plots. But they all have a merging point. All of them can be categorized under science fiction romance – a genre that balances love and fantasy.

In literature, readers want to be occupied. Between a continuous series of excitement or a prolonged dullness, there’s no questioning the preference towards the former. It’s entertainment logic. Nobody who seeks amusement will ever glance at a monotonous story twice. This is why people subconsciously prefer fast-paced, action-packed materials to their equivalent counterparts.

Perhaps this is also why readers want stories that combine more genres than those focused on one.

What Is Science Fiction Romance?

Romance continues to seize readers’ interest timelessly. In fact, most would regard it as the peak of literature, the primary channel for most to express their ideas and emotions. Among the existing genres, romance is perhaps the most relatable, instantly connecting the readers and the characters. These stories are popular not only because of their happy endings but also for the lessons and empowerment they provide.

On the other hand, science fiction is second in popularity. Dubbed the “literature of ideas,” the genre houses some of the most innovative and creative stories ever told. It’s no wonder the interest surrounding it never falters—it’s because its uniqueness and wonder also never ceases. Science fiction ignites people’s imagination. It allows them to escape the cruelty or mundanity of reality, welcoming them to a world where everything is possible.

These genres are riveting on their own, but combined, they make up some of the most moving and memorable stories ever. Science fiction romance provides the perfect satisfaction for those needing a fantasy action-packed adventure that still offers a sense of normalcy with intimacy. It balances both genres, taking what readers enjoy most about each and combining them into one.

This Sounds Complicated, Why Bother?

Science fiction romance does sound complicated. After all, it combines two massive and intricate genres to enhance both. Unlike combining mystery and thriller or science fiction and thriller, genres that can enhance a plot without adding another layer, science fiction romance sounds like a daunting task. It requires authors to balance innovation, aggression, and romance—three concepts that are separate and seemingly unlikely to be combined.

“If readers want to read about love, they should read about two people falling into each other’s arms. Why is there a need to add an epic and particularly different plots?” At the same time, “If they want to read about intergalactic adventures, is romance a plot point really necessary?”

Separately, both genres don’t seem to work well together. They can be complicated individually. But when combined, they open a magical world like no other.

For instance, Bob Ticer’s The Alien Stranger introduces three characters that would have been the perfect recipe for a romance story. But while the book isn’t science fiction romance, per se, its components, when utilized toward this genre, would have elevated the story more than it is.


The Stakes Are Higher

In science fiction romance, the risks double while the chances become slimmer. While its romance component may still offer a bit of normalcy, giving readers the illusion that everything will be fine, its fictional plot would have raised the involved challenges to much higher ground. This puts the characters under heavier pressure, with much more to lose.

When the characters develop a more profound connection, they risk failing the mission they’re thrust into and losing each other. This incorporates a sense of longing and fear of separation in readers, making stories more than just entertainment. Hence, in science fiction romance, readers invest not only their attention and adrenaline but also their emotions and attachment to the characters and their bonds.

The Plots Are More Memorable

Romance stories focus on exploring how humans fall in love. Science fiction stories detail the possibilities of extraterrestrial or superhuman beings. But what happens when both are combined?

Science fiction romance explores the unearthly possibility of humans and non-humans falling in love. It can also question whether love can bloom in dire times or despite uncertainty. The genre explores the bounds of human territory and experiments on the limitations and range of raw human emotions. It balances these elements and expounds on the common questions humans must consider.

Science fiction romance can be complicated, but it can also be highly fascinating and satisfying. Hence, there’s no questioning its rising popularity and why readers can’t seem to get enough of it.

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