'Warm Bodies' and Alien Hearts: Ill-Fated Romances
It’s not an easy thing to find love, much less when you’re dead. Newly released film, "Warm Bodies," is all about a zombie who, after seeing (and eating the friends of) a beautiful woman, finds his heart suddenly begin to beat. Of course, an affair between a zombie and a human has some pretty unique challenges to overcome: her parents are bound to disapprove, and his friends will certainly never understand (especially the not-eating-her bit). But love, it turns out, is more powerful than parents, and more infectious than a deadly worldwide pandemic.
Science fiction is full of such stories, from star-crossed lovers of classic literature to modern hits like “The Walking Dead.” Some are stories of the transformative power of love, while others go a bit more like "Romeo and Juliet." These will warm and chill your heart all at once.
This long-running British time-travel show has had more than its share of ill-fated romances. To start with, the Doctor is the last of his species of nearly-immortal aliens with two hearts and the ability to travel through time: the odds are pretty much stacked against him finding love amongst his very mortal human companions. His tumultuous relationship with Rose started at the end of the world and ended with her trapped in another universe. When the show returns March 30th, the Doctor’s relationship with River Song will be at the forefront of fans minds because, due to the Doctor’s time-jumping nature, the first time he met her was the day she died.
In the distant future, an alien race is forced to take refuge when their home world is destroyed. As the survivors work to protect their way of life, an alien man and a human woman come together to find a future for this dying race…and for themselves. Lord’s upcoming novel examines the role love plays in social change.
Le Guin’s 1969 exploration of a world without gender, which won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards for Best Novel, is widely considered to be one of the first major works of feminist science fiction. "Left Hand of Darkness" set on the planet Winter (named for its incredibly cold climate) and follows Genly Ai, a human envoy from a distant collective of planets called the Ekumen. Finding understanding, much less love, is nearly impossible surrounded by aliens who have no gender--except for once a month when they temporarily become either male or female, at random. Le Guin’s novel tackles not just gender and politics, but the ability of love to bridge great divides.
Wells’ novella, first published in 1897, is about a wealthy heiress at the end of the 22nd century who falls in love with a man from a lower class. Her father does not approve and even attempts to hypnotize her into choosing a suitor more to his liking. The two lovers marry and flee to the countryside, eventually finding themselves toiling in the “underneath” area of London. Full of technical anticipation and social commentary, Wells describes a London that's dominated by skyscrapers and rigidly stratified along class lines with the wealthy in the highest heights while the poor live underground.
In a solar system on the brink of interplanetary war, Detective Miller is tasked with finding the daughter of a wealthy lunar businessman amongst the mining colonies of the asteroid belt. As he retraces her movements, reading her correspondences for any clue to her whereabouts, Miller finds himself becoming obsessed, in love with this elusive woman he’s never met. Worse yet, the more he uncovers the circumstances around her disappearance, the less likely it becomes that she is still alive.