Monday, February 18, 2008

Top Ten Science Fiction Romances

Romance Month continues with the SFSNNJ, and to continue to promote this fun and exciting topic. Today I will be listing the best romantic couples in the realms of Science Fiction. These are characters that define true love and romance, and show love in a new and exciting light.

10 - Staffa kar Therma & Chrysla - Trained to be the ultimate defender of his homeworld, and conditioned with psychological triggers, Staffa kar Therma was to be the greatest general of his day. That was, until he fell so in love with his psychological programmer, Chrysla. When he was told of her death, Staffa went mad and left his homeworld, eventually returning as a conqueror (Requiem for the Conqueror by W. Michael Gear & Kathleen O'Neil Gear). Unfortunately, Chrysla was not dead, and Staffa is told that he has killed her during the battle, precipitating another bloody rampage and a journey of self-discovery. Staffa and Chrysla's doomed love is all the more potent for the disasters it creates.

9 - Hilfy Chanur & Tully - Hilfy Chanur, neice of Pyanfar Chanur, Captain of the merchant vessel Chanur's Legacy fell in love with their human refugee, Tully, during their long captivity and torture at the hands of the vile Kif, Akkiktimakt. Though this love could never be requited (mainly due to the difference between the Human and Hani species) it was a source of much angst and anguish betwixt the two (Pride of Chanur, Chanur's Venture, Kif Strike Back, Chanur's Homecomingby C.J. Cherryh).

8 - Captain Laurent Zai & Nara Oxham - They say that opposites attract, and nowhere is that more evident than in the unlikely love affair between Capatin Laurent Zai and Nara Oxham in The Risen Empire by Scott Westerfeld. Although divided by all conceivable divides (politics, religion, and personality), their love flourishes and grows, even in the icy depths of Nara's Antarctic home.

7 - Phaethon Prime Rhadamanth & Daphne Tercius Semi-Radamanth - Driven mad by his love for Daphne, Phaethon is sentenced to having his memories redacted to such an extreme state that he can no longer be sure of who and what he is. In the end, he learns that his love for the real Daphne has been overshadowed by his love for a specially designed AI of Daphne, which is who he truly loves, though he thinks that it is the original that he fell in love with. A truly strange set of affairs. (The Gold Age, The Phoenix Exultant, The Golden Transcendance by John C. Wright)

6 - Han Solo & Leia Organa - The greatest romance in the Star Wars universe is that between Han and Leia (in spite of what people think, Anakin is a stalker and Padme is a co-dependant girlfriend). Even Carbon Freezing cannot keep these lovebirds apart, and their love stands as a testament of their times.

5 - Duncar Reever & Cherijo Grey Veil - No greater love hath a man than that he lay down his life for another, and in this series by S.L. Vielh we witness Duncan placing himself in harms way again, and again, and again, and again. This is especially impressive considering his wife is nearly immortal and regenerates faster than most people heal little scrapes and boo-boos. Romance oozes from the pages of this wonderful medical series. (Stardoc, Beyond Varellan, Shockball, etc.)

4 - Captain James T. Kirk & U.S.S. Enterprise - 'Nuff said. This one needs no explanations. No green princess or beautiful scientist will ever compete with Jim Kirk's love of his starship.

3 - Sauscony "Soz" Valdoria & Jaibriol II - When Catherine Asaro introduced us to this doomed couple in Primary Inversion, we knew that we were onto something special. Their love for each other transcended the bounds of war and hatred between their Empires and found unity in purpose and hope on a small backwater. One could only wish the best for them in spite of the obvious problems that they would encounter.

2 - Owen Deathstalker & Hazel D'ark - When a man loves a woman he does what he can for her whenever he can. Owen and Hazel have a great reciprocal relationship, and have saved each others' bacon more times than anyone could keep track of. The problem is that when Hazel believes Owen to have died, she uses her maze enhanced super-powers to begin the destruction of the universe becoming... Well, that is a story for another time. (Deathstalker, Deathstalker Rebellion, Deathstalker War, Deathstalker Honor, Deathstalker Destiny, Deathstalker Legacy, Deathstalker Return, Deathstalker Coda by Simon R. Green)

1 - Paul 'Muad'dib' Atreides & Chani Liet-Kynes - Another couple that needs no introduction: Paul and Chani are the clock by which Science Fiction romances are set. Dune by Frank Herbert showed us a love that pushed the boundaries of space and time, and would only come to be tested and resolved over and over again.

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