It is proper to highlight romance in science fiction on Valentine’s Day. I’ll have a look in my bookshelves for the romances in science fiction that lies closes to my heart.
One of my favorite books is Anne McCaffrey’s first published novel Restoree. It is also a lovely love story. You can tell I have read my copy a couple of times by its rugged looks. Sara is a beak-nosed introverted young librarian from New York who slowly comes out of a drug induced confusion in a beautiful new body apparently caring for another male patient. She had been abducted by the Mil, a race of aliens that eat human flesh. She had been skinned alive and left in a catatonic state by the aliens when it was attacked by humans from the planet Lothar. They saved her and and without her skin mistake her for one of her own and restore her skin to a lovely golden color giving her a nose job at the same time. Now she wakes up caring for another drugged patient, Harlan. He is the deposed regent of the planet. She rescues him from the mental hospital and they flee as his enemies hunt for them. Their love grows as she continues to surprise him by supplying the skills and knowledge they need to escape. She teaches him to sail when they need to steal a boat and she eventually restore him to the regency that is his right.
Anne first wrote this book in anger over the way females where portrayed by science fiction at the time. Hiding in corners while the heroes saved them. The novel was first published in 1967.
Miles & Ekaterin
They meet in Komarr and continue in A Civil Campaign with his secret courting and ultimately very public betrothal to Ekaterin after she saves his beacon. Their marriage is background to another love story in Winterfair Gift. And they go on honeymoon in Diplomatic Immunity.
The Vorkosigan Saga is a series of novels and short stories written by Lois McMaster Bujold most of them is about Miles a physically disabled aristocrat from the planet Barrayar, a planet where ‘mutants’ used to be killed at birth. Miles is determined to prove them all wrong. And he does in a couple of wonderful books as a mercenary, a spy, statesman and diplomat. Eventually he meets the love of his life, Ekaterin but she is at the time married and as revealed later to a traitor. To further complicate things the husband is later killed under circumstances that implicate Miles. After Her husbands death Ekaterin returns to live with family on Barrayar.
A family that is very disapproving of Miles. He starts a secret campaign to woo Ekaterin. But his heart might be in the right place but his head is not. There is a very funny but disastrous ‘butter bug’ dinner there that is a pleasure to read. The notion that Miles had something to do with killing Ekaterin’s late husband surfaces, but Miles can’t tell the truth due to security reasons. Ekaterin confronts miles and he offers to take the blame to spare Ekaterin and her son. They reconcile enough to start to solve their problems and defeat their enemies and it is quite beautiful the way it all works out in the end. With Ekaterin’s shouting match with an upstart Council Member resulting in them defeating their enemies and their very public betrothal in the end.
It is a very beautiful love story covered in a couple of excellent novels worth reading. The banter between the lovers are medium, Miles knows Ekatering is much smarter than he is.
John Perry & Jane Sagan
John meets Jane the first time believing he sees his dead wife as he is about to die himself. And he is almost dead, as much almost as the advanced medical technology of the colonial union can save and regenerate.
He has been saved by a team from the “Ghost Brigade” and the team leader looks exactly as his dead wife Katy. Next time he sees her is in the mess hall waiting on some burgers. He approach her and thanks her for saving his life as she is about to leave he shows her his wedding photo and wake up after being thrown into a wall.
Jane seeks him out in secret the same night wanting to know more about Katy. John learns that Jane is made from the DNA of his dead wife but heavily modified for the special forces. And she is only six years old. Jane manipulate her commanders to promote Perry and assign him as their liaison on the mission to find out why they where defeated on Coral, the planet she rescued John from. They find out that the aliens have a tachyon detector on the planet that can predict where spaceship will enter normal space. One of Jane’s teammates is killed on the mission. John volunteer to take his place as they are sent to capture the device. John is instrumental in the success of the mission and saves Jane’s life carrying her on his back several hundred meters in the middle of a firefight to put her into a stasis capsule. Then he drags the capsule out of the building it was in seconds before it explodes. Then he loses sight of her as she returns to the insular Ghost Brigades.
The Ghost Brigades continues Jane’s story and in The Last Colony they are reunited when they are offered a position as leaders of the first colony to be established with people from other colonies.