14 Queer Science Fiction Romances That Made My Geeky Heart Happy

I grew up on reruns of Star Trek, and my resulting love for the genre has never let go. So crossing sci-fi with romance? Perfect. Here’s a list of my fave science fiction romances. Superheroes, robots, machine-human hybrids, alien linguistics, immersive virtual reality, secret agents planning an interstellar heist, post-collapse environments, you can find all this and more in the list below. (Disclosure: Amazon links are affiliate links.)

Any book on this list I loved at the time I read it, whether I had a chance to write a review or not. Obviously a re-read years later might reveal a problematic aspect I didn’t pick up on back then. Please let me know via my contact form if you find something yikes in a book I recommend.

Gals With Gals

Silhouette by Robin Hale (Amazon / Goodreads)

When you are a bisexual genius scientist with a secret life supporting the city’s greatest superhero, you are NOT supposed to fall in love with the city’s greatest thief. Dr. Molly Fawn seems to have done just that, though. The Silhouette interrupted Molly during a heist, while Molly was on the opposite team helping Captain Commando, and the thief was just… so… pretty…

Lana, better known as her sexy criminal alter ego The Silhouette, never intended to fall for a superhero’s sidekick. Oh well. Now what’s a girl to do, especially when there are signs that something far more sinister than jewel heists may be happening in the city they both share?

I had a fun afternoon reading this. It’s clear Hale knows the genres she’s playing with, and the story is by turns charming and suspenseful. I would love to see some fan art of these gals.

The Cybernetic Tea Shop by Meredith Katz (Amazon / GoodReads)

Robot romance FTW! Lovely, quiet novella about Clara Gutierrez, asexual lesbian technician, falling in love with Sal, the female robot proprietor of an old-timey tea shop. Sal is a rare remaining humanoid robot, since they were outlawed long before due to ethical concerns about their autonomy. Clara’s never met one before even though she works on the more limited Robotic Artificially Intelligent Synthetic Entities a.k.a. Raises. When Sal’s tea shop is attacked by anti-robot vandals, Clara helps Sal clean up, and a friendship is born.

Katz packs a metric ton of emotion into this story. Sal is still grieving her former owner/lover, and I actually teared up a couple of times while she wrestled with how to move on without losing what she valued from the past. Clara is adorably gentle in honoring Sal’s personhood, especially when Sal lets Clara help her with maintenance. The domesticity they fall into is so warm and reassuring, and the mutual declaration of affection is so delicate. I didn’t know what to expect going in, but this immediately got added to my list of favorite comfort re-reads.

Rulebreaker by Cathy Pegau (Amazon / Goodreads)

Extremely slow burn F/F romance with a data heist on a mining planet in the future, and I was quite pleased with it. Liv Braxton, career con woman, infiltrates a corrupt mega-corporation to steal proof that they’re violating the law, so her crew can blackmail the company. Part of the job may be cozying up to powerful exec Zia Talbot in a sexytimes way. While Liv has always thought she was straight, the more time she spends with Zia, the less of a barrier that seems to using seduction as a tactic.

The romance was a wee bit underdeveloped for me, but I loved Liv’s all-in feelings once she realized her heart was at the point of no return. The secondary characters in Liv’s criminal crew, particularly her mother and her ex-husband, are richly developed. I also particularly appreciated how much Liv ends up bonding with her fake job as Zia’s assistant. Her career up to now has been crime, but she surprises herself by how satisfying it is to work hard and kick ass. Both women eventually have to own up to the consequences of their bad choices, and I really liked how neither of them offer the other absolution, but instead support for the process of realizing they did wrong and must change.

Petrichor Blooms by Mindi Briar (Amazon / Goodreads)

“The hardiest love blooms in the rockiest soil.

Danya Xiang would rather dig potatoes than wield a blaster. Raised as a member of the Greenjacket rebel organization, she’s content to stay away from military glory and spend her days in food production—until her soldier twin, Nox, is injured right before a mission. Nox begs Danya to take her place, hoping to use their secret telepathic link to spy through Danya’s eyes.

Reluctantly, Danya agrees. But her loyalty to the Greenjackets is stretched to its limits when she’s asked to capture university student Amy Ediya, whose mother’s valuable genetics research has been missing for a decade. The Greenjackets are convinced that Amy has it hidden.

Danya realizes that, while Amy may not have the research, she’s the only one who can find it. The two of them desert the Greenjacket army and Amy’s university studies to embark on a quest for Amy’s estranged family. As trust grows between them, attraction blooms, too. But that only means they have more to lose when the search draws them into danger.”

Glorious Day by Skye Kilaen, who is me (Amazon / Goodreads)

“The bodyguard is a traitor. The princess is her one true love. And the revolution is almost here.

Elsenna Hazen left spaceport security and ended up a royal bodyguard. She should have known better than to fall in love with a princess. It’s been two years since one ill-advised kiss in the garden pulled them apart. With uprisings in the streets, the nervous princess transfers Elsenna back into her service. Her Highness has no idea Elsenna is leaking data to the revolutionaries bent on overthrowing the princess’s oppressive father.

Now Elsenna wakes up each day wondering what will happen first: her own execution, or that of the woman she could never stop loving. When rebel attacks escalate and the king plans retaliation, Elsenna discovers that the fights for her love and her life are one and the same.”

If I Were A Weapon, also by me (Amazon / Goodreads)

“See the future. Set things on fire. Fall in love? A superpowered sci-fi romance.

When dying alien ships materialized across the Earth, their nanite infection knocked Deneve Wilder out cold. She woke up with the ability to see the future. Determined to keep anyone from using her visions for evil, she took to the road. Giving up everything was a small price to pay for freedom.

The ship that hit Jolie Betancourt’s town gave her the power to set things on fire. It was safer to start over in a new city. Then one terrible mistake demonstrated far too clearly that for her, solitude is safer. For everyone.

So when Deneve shows up after a vision of Jolie being kidnapped, Jolie wants little to do with the frustratingly attractive drifter. Deneve’s surprised by how much she wants to thaw the pretty shopkeeper’s chilly attitude, but the idea of staying in one place sets off her alarm bells.

If they can’t evade whoever’s abducting people with powers, however, the growing connection they both feel in spite of themselves might be the least of their problems.”

Mixed-Gender Ships

The followup to Mindi Briar’s sapphic book Petrichor Blooms, above, can be read as a standalone, but this ace4ace queer M/F romance about a woman who grew up as part of a group of kids with psychic powers is so much better if you read the books as a duo.

The Invisible Bright by Mindi Briar (Amazon / Goodreads)

Miri harbors a secret, and if it comes to light, it may cost her everything.

As part of the Ediya Experiments, a group of children genetically modified with dragon DNA, Miri must hide her ability to see emotions in color. But that’s not easy when she keeps accidentally altering people’s feelings, often with disastrous results. When her latest mistake ends in her losing her job, she’s desperate to find a way to control the powers she never wanted.

Leo has been hiding his crush on Miri ever since they were children. But when she shows up in his hometown, adrift and looking for answers, even wounded feelings can’t keep his past love from rekindling. He doesn’t understand why she insists on holding him at arm’s length.

When the two of them witness a shocking crime in Leo’s idyllic community, the investigation pushes them together, forcing them to admit feelings they thought long buried. But as they uncover secrets that cast an ugly light on their society, they find their lives unmoored.

Miri’s powers are more dangerous than she knows, and if she can’t get them under control, their future—and the world—could go up in flames.”

Guys With Guys

World Running Down by Al Hess (Amazon / Goodreads)

“Valentine Weis is a salvager in the future wastelands of Utah. Wrestling with body dysphoria, he dreams of earning enough money to afford citizenship in Salt Lake City – a utopia where the testosterone and surgery he needs to transition is free, the food is plentiful, and folk are much less likely to be shot full of arrows by salt pirates. But earning that kind of money is a pipe dream, until he meets the exceptionally handsome Osric.

Once a powerful AI in Salt Lake City, Osric has been forced into an android body against his will and sent into the wasteland to offer Valentine a job on behalf of his new employer – an escort service seeking to retrieve their stolen androids. The reward is a visa into the city, and a chance at the life Valentine’s always dreamed of. But as they attempt to recover the “merchandise”, they encounter a problem: the android ladies are becoming self-aware, and have no interest in returning to their old lives.

The prize is tempting, but carrying out the job would go against everything Valentine stands for, and would threaten the fragile found family that’s kept him alive so far. He’ll need to decide whether to risk his own dream in order to give the AI a chance to live theirs.”

Programming by M. Arbon (Amazon / Goodreads)

Fun little sci-fi M/M short story that pairs an ambitious television writer with a human-machine hybrid sex worker in a battle of wills. Lewis is an introvert in a future society where your social score is important in landing jobs. Lewis hires Cam to pose as his boyfriend, but hacks Cam’s code to keep anything physical from happening, because fake relationship. Cam’s curious to see if he can change Lewis’s mind, though… and the ensuing verbal struggle during their faux dates is amusingly clever and sexy, with a growing affection between the two. So charming, and so much story in such a short work! I liked it even better when I read it a second time.

This story made M. Arbon an auto-buy author for me, and that decision has proved to be a good one!

Home Within Skin by jem zero (Amazon / Goodreads)

I was one of the final beta readers on this alien M/M romance with a bi trans man protagonist by a transmasc author. IT. IS. SO. GOOD. If you’re at all interested in alien romance, trans writers, or snarky main characters, give this a try. One of the things I always love about jem’s work is zir commitment to reflecting the lives of characters who live on the edge economically – not as hopeless or noble suffering, but as just *life*. The bad and the good. That is in full display here.

It’s in second person POV, which is uncommon, but that choice works beautifully to represent the main character’s dissociation in this story of trauma, healing, and acceptance. I hope that people will go in with an open mind rather than rejecting it out of hand because of the POV. Even if you don’t personally like second POV, it’s perfect for this book and very well done.

“A homeless trans man and an alien sex worker ruin each other’s nights, film a porno, and fall in love.

Jax, a disabled trans man with more hangups than belongings, has survived two years of homelessness by keeping his head down and refusing to trust. The intergalactic Rrhi immigration reshaping life on Earth seems irrelevant until Jax sneaks into a hotel hoping for a respite from the cold and accidentally barges in on a Rrhi sex worker.

Sei-vész is stunning, but his defensiveness almost scares Jax away. Almost. Jax sees his vulnerabilities mirrored in Sei-vész, so he accepts the other man’s reluctant offer of a truce. What starts as a one-time experiment spirals into an unexpected deep affection that draws them into each other’s arms again and again.

When Sei-vész tries to protect Jax from his own stubbornness, though, Jax digs in his heels. Love isn’t a guarantee, and relying on others is what landed him on the streets in the first place. If Jax wants a future with Sei-vész, he’ll need to challenge himself… and open up to trust. Otherwise he might be left out in the cold once again.”

Liberator by Shelley B. McPherson (Amazon / Goodreads)

The author is a personal friend, but I bought this with my own money, and it helped me get started reading and loving romance. Thanks Shelley!

Liberator is a time travel romance about a bisexual Jewish grad student from the 1980s, David Adler, who is thrown back to 1941. There he meets Jim Wysynski, a young man who hasn’t yet realized he’s gay. As World War II looms, the two enlist together and become lovers.

I’m a reader who appreciates having her heart grabbed and wrenched, and this book absolutely delivers. The growing affection between David and Jim is adorable, but it’s intermixed with all kinds of pain in both the past and present. (Jim-in-his-60s “meeting” David at a university party before David is hurled back in time, and it’s clear he’s heartbroken, but we don’t yet know why. David stranded in the past, never to see his family again.) These guys face a lot of obstacles both separately and together. The combination of love and various kinds of grief is perfectly balanced, and the overall vibe is “lovers destined for each other, pulled apart by forces they can’t control.”

This is the first of a planned series, so the end of the book isn’t happily ever after yet. I know that’s a dealbreaker for some people, but I’m quite confident we will get the rest of the series and it will end perfectly.

The Emperor’s New Clothes: An Interstellar Heist by Aldous Mercer (Amazon / Goodreads)

Combine a heist story with divorced spies in space (who never stopped loving each other but neither is going to admit that first), and you get this seriously fun sci-fi romance.

Galactic agent Royce Ree and his aristocratic ex-husband Les are thrown together on planet Baldessh during Ree’s mission to steal another civilization’s impeccable sense of style. Ree’s on his last chance after one too many failed missions, and Les has an Imperial chip in his head assigning him to steal the Baldesshi FTL drive, which would mean war. That would all be complicated enough, but as they’re extracting, Baldessh is invaded. It only gets more complicated from there.

I love almost everything about this, from the way Ree and Les fall back into professional sync immediately, to the passionate tension between them, to the sentient pets/familiars of Baldessh, to the mindblowing complexity of the heist that, once revealed in all its glory, made me want to immediately re-read the book so I could see all the pieces falling into place. My only complaint is with the overabundance of hyphens. Seriously. Too many.

My recommendation: Buy, read, laugh, place hand over heart and sigh at the HEA, and join me in wishing Mercer would write further adventures of Ree and Les. ‘Cause I would totally read that.

Junk Mage by Elliot Cooper (Amazon / Goodreads)

I really like this fun science fiction + fantasy short story about a pansexual technomancer, Quillian, who crash lands on a planet full of criminals while late for his new job. The parts he needs to fix his ship are in a junkyard guarded by cyborg Hunter, who really doesn’t want to hurt Quillian, but will if he has to. Very regretfully. Because he’s starting to think the technomage is kinda cute. Unfortunately, Hunter’s evil witch boss isn’t similarly charmed.

Cooper does a great job with worldbuilding in a very short piece, and bites off exactly the right amount of plot for the story. It’s a meet cute with potential, basically, and it’s just delightful. I wouldn’t hate it if Cooper returned to these characters in a longer piece.

Edge of Nowhere by Felicia Davin (Amazon / Goodreads)

I freakin’ love corporate conspiracy storylines and weird physics shenanigans, and this M/M sci-fi romance combines both – along with the opposites attract trope and a hilarious game called “hockey soccer” (played on a basketball court) that you have to read about to believe.

“Kit Jackson has two talents in life. He can navigate the void known as the Nowhere to teleport himself across long distances and he can keep his mouth shut. These talents have earned him a reputation as a discreet, reliable Nowhere runner—he’ll smuggle anything for the right price—and that’s how Kit likes it. Morals don’t earn money, and neither do friends. When the private research firm Quint Services makes Kit an astounding offer for a mystery delivery, he says yes.

The parcel turns out to be an unconscious man, and even for Kit, that raises questions. When something monstrous attacks them in the Nowhere and throws them into an unknown wilderness, Kit and this stranger, a man named Emil, have to rely on each other. Kit just wants to make his delivery and get paid, but he finds himself increasingly entangled in Quint Services’ dangerous research—and his own attraction to Emil.

Emil Singh left his career in the Orbit Guard to work at Quint Services Facility 17, a base hidden in an asteroid, to prepare a team to cross the Nowhere into other worlds. It’s the chance of a lifetime and he can’t wait to explore the universe. But then Emil witnesses a terrible accident in a Facility 17 lab and gets sent to Earth for questioning. Something isn’t right, but before Emil can investigate, he and the Nowhere runner hired to transport him are knocked off course. Is the monster that attacks them a creation of Quint Services? What else is the corporation hiding? He has to get back to Facility 17 to protect his team and he needs Kit’s help. Can he trust the cynical young smuggler?”

El Presidio Rides North by Domashita Romero (out of print as of August 2019, I’ll update this when it’s republished
/ Goodreads)

If you said this was the M/M romance version of the movie Zombieland, you wouldn’t be wrong, and I mean that in the best possible way.

It’s the post-apocalypse, and a young man we’ll come to know as Gaga is saved from zombie death by an older man we’ll come to know as Mercury. El Presidio is the name of the RV-turned-battle-wagon Mercury drives. It’s not a high-action zombie tale, but undead do get dispatched, and along the way Gaga and Mercury find out that maybe a little human connection is what could make the end of the world worthwhile. Fun, sexy, sweet at times, and I’d love a sequel.

And that’s the list of my fave (so far) science fiction romance novels and shorter works. If you have any reading suggestions, let me know, and as always, if you found this post helpful, please share it!