The best sci-fi books that will melt your heart

Who am I?

Science fiction is a wonderful genre and a fun one to write because it offers authors the opportunity to explore age-old topics from a fresh perspective. For me, as both a writer and a voracious reader, the one thing that ties me to a great story—no matter the genre—is romance. Whether the hero is an alien from a faraway world or a werewolf with mechanical organs, the heart of a story is its characters, the relationships they form, and the healing power of love. Below are my top five recommended reads in science fiction that are sure to melt your heart!

I wrote...

Beyond the Next Star

By Melody Johnson,

Book cover of Beyond the Next Star

What is my book about?

Delaney McCormick is not an animal, but after being abducted by aliens and witnessing the murder of her only friend, she pretends to be one. She endures the humiliation of being washed, the tediousness of being trained to “sit” and “come,” and the intrigue of hearing private conversations. But in her owner’s care, she finds something unexpected on this Antarctic planet, something she never had in all her years on Earth while house-hopping between foster families: a home. Must she continue the charade, acting like an animal to hide from the murderer waiting on her misstep? Or can she trust her owner with her secrets… and her heart?

The books I picked & why

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The Last Hour of Gann

By R. Lee Smith,

Book cover of The Last Hour of Gann

Why this book?

All of R. Lee Smith’s novels are dark, explicit, and fascinating, but my favorite (and it was a Sophie’s Choice, for sure!) is The Last Hour of Gann. The heroine, Amber, and her spaceship full of fellow pioneers crash land on a dystopian alien world inhabited by lizard people. The humans are woefully unprepared to survive in the wild and all too willing to turn on one another. When a passing lizard/warrior/judge, Meoraq, stumbles upon their camp, Amber jumps at the opportunity to beg for his aid, a near-impossible task without knowing his language. Together, they learn to communicate, and as Meoraq embarks on the futile task of keeping “his humans” safe, so begins the delicious, inexplicable, slow-burn romance between woman and lizard that I never knew I needed.


By Gail Carriger,

Book cover of Soulless

Why this book?

For me, this book is a combination of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Jane Austen. It’s a wickedly funny steampunk romance between Lord Maccon, a captain of Scotland Yard, and Alexia, a spinster hell-bent on interfering in his latest investigation. Someone is illegally creating new vampires, and as Alexia’s involvement puts her in danger, Lord Maccon is obliged to work with her rather than continue the futile endeavor of working against her. The pair’s witty sparing is as sizzling as their chemistry, and the murder mystery element kept me on my toes! This novel was a joy to read, cover to cover.

The UNtied Kingdom

By Kate Johnson,

Book cover of The UNtied Kingdom

Why this book?

A similar concept to Man in the High Castle, The UNtied Kingdom explores an alternate reality in which the Axis won World War II. The book begins in modern-day England where down-on-her-luck and former pop star, Eve, suffers a hang-gliding accident while filming a has-been “where are they now” reality TV show. She falls through a wormhole into the WWII alternate reality and is saved by Major Harker, only to be arrested as a potential Axis spy. When Harker embarks on a mission to infiltrate enemy lines, he drags Eve along on his mission for her Axis intelligence, and so begins their exciting, adventure-filled romance. Will he ever believe that she came from a different reality? Will she be able to help right the wrongs in his? Is this world the one she belongs in—with him? The questions that Johnson (no relation!) explores are intriguing, heart-wrenching, and kept me riveted until the very last word.

Beauty and the Clockwork Beast

By Nancy Campbell Allen,

Book cover of Beauty and the Clockwork Beast

Why this book?

This steampunk retelling of Beauty and the Beast has a delightfully dark humor perfect for gothic romance. Our heroine, Lucy, accepts her cousin Kate’s invitation to visit, a strange request for a newlywed who should be in the throes of wedded bliss, but Kate fears she’s being poisoned. When Lucy arrives, however, there is much more to contend with than her ailing cousin: the house is haunted, her in-laws are rude, and the man of the house—Kate’s new brother-in-law, Lord Miles—is rumored to have murdered both his sister and his late wife. But Lucy is accustomed to solving other people’s problems, and Lord Miles’ problems in particular turn out to be an absolute pleasure for the reader as Lucy attempts to solve them. I can’t wait to read this book a second time—the mark of a truly fantastic story. 

The Host

By Stephenie Meyer,

Book cover of The Host

Why this book?

No matter your personal opinion on Meyer’s most well-known series, I highly recommend all sci-fi romance lovers set aside their undoubtedly strong feelings for Twilight (whatever they may be) and pick up one of her “lesser-known” novels—as if a book made into a major motion picture can be “lesser-known.” This Invasion of the Body Snatchers-eques four-way romance (that’s right, a love square, not triangle!) is unique in that the first-person heroine is an alien: a tiny worm-like creature nicknamed “Wanda” inhabiting a human woman. Aliens have body-snatched everyone on Earth, but the human our heroine has snatched, Melanie, doesn’t disappear from the mind as expected. Instead, in a desperate attempt to connect with her loved ones, Melanie convinces Wanda to return to her old life: one of the only human shelters still in existence on Earth. Let’s just say, Melanie’s boyfriend is less than thrilled to come face to face with the alien inhabiting his beloved’s body.   

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in steampunk, love triangle, and murders?

5,810 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about steampunk, love triangle, and murders.

Steampunk Explore 44 books about steampunk
Love Triangle Explore 41 books about love triangle
Murders Explore 334 books about murders

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like A Gentleman in Moscow, The Lord of the Rings, and The Hunger Games if you like this list.