When I first discovered sci-fi romance, I crushed on it hard. It felt extremely liberating to read about love affairs sprinkled with rayguns and space rockets. Later on, I started to have issues with the genre's tropes, but still I find it the best sort of romance.

I've never had much stomache for historical romance – most of human history is so full of glaring unequality that it just kills most romantic feelings for me (romance and escapism go hand in hand for me), and on the other hand I can't get immersed in a story set in past centuries if the protagonists act like they've been transplanted from my own times. I've read enough history to be repelled by characters that just don't match their era at all and moreover don't even notice this disparity.

Romance set in our time rarely succeeds in being romantic. Romance stories require obstacles, and what obstacles are there on the way to love in the West 21st century except ones the lovers concoct up themselves, at least in hetero love stories? If the heroine just can't decide between a handsome blonde boy and a handsome brunette boy, the story may fulfill daydreams about being center of handsome attention, but is not especially romantic.

But science fiction romance solves the problem. You can have classic heart-wrenching conflict between love and duty, just like in best historical romances – and no worries about historically accurate gender roles. Yay!