New covers, and recommend me romantic SF

Here are the old and new front covers for The Maker’s Mask and The Hawkwood War and the new back covers for both. Click to embiggen or view as a gallery.

I wanted the new blue covers to give a clearer ‘this is SF’ message, and also to have a fighting chance of being comprehensible when squished down to a tiny pixelblot on ebook stores.

This was partly prompted by looking at the covers on The Galaxy Express, which has been my go-to source for SF romance to read. I wish I could find more. ‘Love and spaceships’ is what my brain defaults to producing for my amusement whenever I’m not using it for anything else, and SF romance feels like it ought to be my home.

Unfortunately, I’ve had a relatively poor strike rate, and it’s not due to the quality of the books I’ve been reading; the problem is that a lot of SF romances seem to be running the same basic id-engine of ‘Powerful warrior captures and is captivated by woman and will not rest until he has won her’, possibly with a side order of ‘we are fated to be mates because pheromones’ and even the best-written book along those lines just doesn’t ring my bells. I’m also not particularly struck on anything involving the characters getting tortured when I’ve only just met them, plots revolving around pregnancy or babies, blatant real-world political grandstanding or anything at all to do with zombies.

Again, I’m not bashing the genre I write in, just bemoaning my hapless inability to find books on an Internet that’s full of them. Some of the things I do like are witty dialogue, ship crew dynamics, strong female friendships, LGBT characters, lots of description of whatever world the author has kindly built for me, and empire-spanning soap opera. If you can think of anything to recommend along those lines, I will be very grateful. 🙂

10 thoughts on “New covers, and recommend me romantic SF

  1. I’m all ears too. I’ve adored Lois McMaster Bujold and got the first compendium of those Liaden books you recommended for xmas but I have no idea where else to look for this sort of stuff.

    Love the new covers BTW 🙂

    1. No, I haven’t – thank you! I haven’t got on well with the Sherwood Smith books I’ve tried to read in the past, but ‘a cross between Star Wars and Dangerous Liaisons with a touch of the Three Stooges’ sounds too intriguing to pass up.

      1. Also, just in case you don’t know them already, Jane Emerson’s City of Diamond and Helen Wright’s A Matter of Oaths might fit the bill

  2. Zoe Archer’s “Blades of the Rose,” “Hellraisers,” (paranormal historical romance) and “Collision” series are all very good. I would also recommend “Restoree” by Anne McCaffrey, but it is quite dated in terms of how the romantic relationship plays out.

    1. Thank you – I hadn’t encountered Zoe Archer and will definitely look her up. I remember reading Restoree when I was about sixteen and enjoying it, though I was kind of bolshy that the heroine couldn’t win through with her original nose.

  3. – Jane Diamond aka Doris Egan also did the Gate of Ivory omnibus (it’s a trilogy), which has a romance as a major point throughout.
    – Katharine Eliska Kimbriel rerelased her Chonicles of Nuala in ebook, of which Fires of Nuala and Fire Sanctuary have romance subplots and Hidden Fires has the romance from Fires of Nuala in its later years.
    – I’m sure you’ve heard of Linnea Sinclair, if you read Galaxy Express.
    – C. J. Cherryh’s planetary politics and intrigue series starting with Foreigner has the main character eventually in a longtime romance with one of the aliens – but that is a tiny subplot.
    – if you don’t mind a YA apocalyptic non-dystopian sf book, there’s a strong romance (and loving and slow first sex scene) in Andrea Höst’s And All the Stars.

    1. Thank you so much for all of those! I already love the Gate of Ivory books and the Foreigner series but I will check out the rest. I’m happy to read YA; it seems to be where a lot of interesting writers are working these days.

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