Of course, it's harder to imagine anything more than a platonic or perhaps diplomatic relationship with something non-human. The Na'vi (10-foot tall (3.0 m), blue-skinned, sapient humanoids) in Avatar would have a distinct disadvantage with their scale in relation to a human. The reptilian Visitors in V required a certain...medical adaptation to be sexually compatible with a human, although having sex with something that could potentially regard you as lunch might put most humans off. Still, seems to work out for vampires...
Back in February 2012 I did a post about why the majority of sentient beings in my story Keir were humanoid - How Alien Are Your Characters. I hypothesised that humans were more likely to develop deeper and more regular bonds with races bearing greater similarities to themselves, and to races with a closer biological and physical compatibility. I still stand by that theory. But I am expanding into exploring relationships where the biology is more questionable, or at least has to be discussed. Donna also posted on the case for aliens looking like us here. When it comes to romance, it would be short lived if the male's...er...equipment could cause damage rather than pleasure, or perhaps a female who's breeding behaviour involves removing and consuming her mate's head (Buffy - Teacher's Pet, episode 4 season 1 with a giant, shapeshifting preying mantis). Or perhaps the human-alien hybrid in Species who, though maintaining a human shape for the majority of the time, took on an alien form to mate, which proved rather terminal for most human males. Although it would make for interesting writing and an unexpected twist, it doesn't fulfil the industry's requirement of a HEA or HFN. :P
Shapeshifting aliens can, of course, work around any physical restrictions, but I always feels this is a bit of a cop out. Not that I have anything against it, but those restrictions would make for greater conflict and add another layer to the plot - a variation on the forbidden love trope perhaps, only bound by physical restraints to their passion rather than culture, religion, class etc.
So is there an alien you find attractive? Or are all your intergalactic amores human or human-looking?
I found two intriguing posts on spaceship design and flight. One with Greta van der Rol here and another with scifi author Allan Douglas here. Both are worth a read if you're working on spaceships and/or space battles for your universe. I also found this fascinating snippet about the science of kissing on Facebook here.
There's a call for fantasy and scifi short stories for an anthology here. I don't know a huge amount about the publisher but worthy of investigation.
Last week I had Heather Massey guesting on my blog in the first of the Cover Love features I'm running. Tomorrow I have book reviewer and blogger Katheryn Rodzianko giving her opinion on some YA covers, and the lovely Jessica Subject is up the following week with her choice of sfr covers. I'm still looking for
Donna - excellent post on the romance in science fiction! And it certainly got people talking
Laurie - loved the short story post. Maybe if the Brigade anthology does well, we can do more!