Be my sci-fi valentine

Science fiction was a part of my life from a very early age, and no doubt played in a role in shaping my early concepts about romance and the types of men I would eventually love. So I thought for Valentine’s Day, I’d reflect on some of the sci-fi couples I recall from my childhood…

Luke and Leia in Star Wars (1977) and Splinter of the Mind’s Eye by Alan Dean Foster (1978). I don’t care what George Lucas says, my Luke and Leia dolls were NEVER brother and sister, and Han Solo was ALWAYS a stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder.

H.G. Wells and Amy Robbins in Time After Time (1979). I had a huge crush on Malcolm McDowell, even though he was also the psychopathic delinquent in A Clockwork Orange and the titular pervert emperor in Caligula. Luckily for my nascent geek love, I didn’t see those movies until a decade later.

Mary Steenburgen (Amy) went on to portray half of another favorite sci-fi couple, Doc Brown and Clara Clayton in Back to the Future III (1990). Doc was intelligent and wacky, had epic steampunk modding skills, and saved Clara’s life. What’s not to love?

Richard Collier and Elise McKenna in Somewhere in Time (1980). Classic science fiction romance about love and time travel. No robots, no computers, no lasers, but still awesome.

Tron and Yori in Tron (1982). Some girls may have had the hots for the user Flynn and his roguish, devil-may-care attitude, but I liked the nerd/hero and his digital lady love. Bruce Boxleitner was also half of a later sci-fi couple, John Sheridan and Delenn from Babylon 5 (1996).

Jherek Carnelian and Amelia Underwood in The Dancers at the End of Time by Michael Moorcock, published in the 1970s (I read them in the 1980s). More time travel romance, by the “grandfather of steampunk.” Amelia is from Victorian England, Jherek is from a future so far flung that the universe has begun to collapse back in on itself and the few remaining humans are immortal.

Who are some of your favorite science fiction couples?

J.L. Hilton



  1. I though Han had rugged charm! Luke was always a bit tidy and buttoned down for me. 😉

    1. And a bit of a whinger! I don’t think I’d prefer him, now, but when I was 7 … lol

  2. Fun post!

    So, not exactly from my childhood, but my favourites are Jason Nesmith & Gwen DeMarco in Galaxy Quest, Jack Harkness and Ianto Jones from Torchwood, and if steampunk counts, Brisco County Jr. and Dixie Cousins in The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.

  3. I’m not remembering too many sf couples from my childhood, but in terms of fantasy, The Princess Bride’s Wesley and Buttercup pretty much defined romantic love. And to be honest, when watching Star Wars or Tron as a kid, I was more interested in the lightsabers and lightcycles than the romance!

    In terms of sf romance, I think the “lights came on” for me around Star Trek: The Next Generation, so Riker and Troi (and, later, Worf).

    1. I loved Wesley and Buttercup — also Navarre and Isabeau (Ladyhawke, 1985), and Jack and Lili (Legend, 1985) — but I was trying to stick with science fiction. 🙂

      My favorite Trek relationship was Worf and Dax.

      1. Yes, LadyHawke, yes. I unashamedly love that movie, though the soundtrack…

  4. Does this mean Han is available? *grabby hands* 😀

    I think I was selfish when I was a lot younger, I wanted the heroes for me! (see above)

    But later I fell into the B5 universe and did like the Sheridan/Delenn pairing. And in SG1 and A, I go for Jack/Sam and Sheppard/Weir. I know the latter’s not a popular pairing, but seriously the eye sex those to share? ‘Nuff said 😀

    1. I really enjoyed (for lack of a better word, because it was also a bit tragic) the Sheridan/Delenn/Lennier triangle.

      Now that I think about it, that may have had a lot to do with the way I handled the relationships in “Stellarnet Rebel.” Hm…

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