Science Fiction as a genre has never really gone out of fashion, anyone who says it does needs a reminder of what Star Wars, Star Trek and the majority of disaster movies and Comic Book films have in common. A laser does not make something Science Fiction, but if it is big enough that it can destroy a planet, or at the very least an asteroid large enough to shatter the Earth, then it probably is.
Science Fiction Romances are similarly immortal, and this week’s chart shows several good examples of why that is. Firstly, the breadth of the sub-genre is massive, from first contact abduction fantasies, to apocalyptic and near future thrillers, there is something for everyone.
So, to start off with I should point out that nearly every book on the charts this week was on with a friend from the same author, at least one friend, several series and authors were very well represented with multiple books reaching high spots in the charts. This leads me to the conclusion that one of the most valuable things your book can have to ensure it does well in the Science Fiction Romance game is to have a lot of buddies backing it up. This can feel like a death knell to new writers, but think of it like this, every book you write is not just a book. It is an advertisement and a lesson all rolled up in one. You can figure out what works and have something to grab a curious reader with.
A. G. Riddle’s Science Fiction Thriller novels are an excellent example of this. Pandemic, Winter World, The Atlantis Gene, Genome, The Atlantis Plague and The Atlantis World, have all found places on the charts. Obviously the books would have done well regardless, but books in a series feed each other readers. In these books the romance is a side plot, so really they are Science Fiction (With Romance) books, but they are still raking in the readers so it is valuable to look at what they do well. There are intersecting plots, characters that move between books, and terrifying threats to humanity which change and evolve along with the books in the series. All things any writer can use for their own novels.
Next up, novels and series where romance is a major plot, but there is still a lot going on outside of the bed room. Time Travel, Political Intrigue, Government Conspiracies, and Psychic Powers, these are all firm favourites in the books by Nalini Singh, like Wolf Rain, Mark Lawrence, like One Word Kill, and Rysa Walker’s, The Delphi Effect. Romance is in some of these books, vital to the plot, it won’t happen without it, but so too is the politics and murder that goes on.
And then finally there are the books most dedicated to romance as the main and only plot. Almost all of these follow the rule of Male Alien and Female Human. And though this rule is sometimes bent a little, it is rarely foregone all together. Here are some of the trends and niches you should pay attention to;
- Abduction Fantasies, especially novels where the (human) woman is abducted by an alien to mate with and have children with after the alien’s species has faced a loss of fertility or women of their own species,
- Alpha Males,
- Reverse Harem,
- Dark Romance,
- Rebellion Against Authority,
- Alien Invasions,
- Arranged Marriages,
- Fated Mates,
- Space Pirates,
- Elves, Vampires, Werewolves, Aliens and other Non-Human Heroes,
- Daddy Kink,
- Pregnancy Kink,
- Accidental Marriages,
- Accidental Pregnancies,
All of these and more are blended into the novels and series filling the charts this week. The sheer number of niches and trends shows how many books there are that come into this sub-genre, Science Fiction Romance has a huge amount of books joining the charts every week and yet it does not seem close to saturation point yet. So, writers, get your space pirate fancy dress on and your mind filled with ideas for the end of the world, because there is writing to be done!