My Eyes, My Eyes: Sex in SF/Fantasy & Amy Herring’s Romance List

“My Eyes, My Eyes,” my second official panel late Saturday evening at Dragon*Con 2007, had me happily cornered in a clearly supporting role to Sherrilyn Kenyon.  The room was packed by fans gathered to view Ms. Kenyon in full regalia (I think as the Queen of Hearts) and hear her speak.  A good time was had by all, and the panel turned up unexpected dividends.  In answer to the key topic raised by the panel, “sex in SF/fantasy,” devoted fans sang out the names of books and authors so fast that I was hard-pressed to write them all down.

So here, in order as I scribed them and undoubtedly fraught with errors (that I hope you will correct in letters to the Daily Dragon editor), is what has come to be known as “Amy Herring’s Romance List,” although I originally envisioned it as a list of “SF/fantasy books with steamy scenes.”  This list has not been verified by me other than to correct some titles and authors through Internet searches.  Many of the books may draw a curtain over the actual sex depicted, but many may also be quite raw.  Parents’ caution: this list is not recommended for children.  As I researched authors, I found many listed specifically as “romance” authors and have indicated that category where an author’s web page acknowledged that as the target genre.

  • Anne Rice’s early historical novel Cry to Heaven, her erotic books written as A. N. Roquelaure, the Sleeping Beauty trilogy, and Exit to Eden and Belinda written as Anne Rampling (and let’s not forget to mention The Vampire Chronicles starting with Interview with the Vampire).  Her latest work signals her renewed commitment to Christianity as described on her website, but Rice makes no apologies for her earlier forays into dark fantasy and other sexually charged fiction.
  • Sherrilyn Kenyon’sNight Play (2004; written down as Saturday Night Play, but I could not find that title on Kenyon’sbook list.)  At least one fan, with others nodding, suggested that Kenyon’s complete works should be on this list.
  • Susan Sizemore’s Primal series (vampire passion).
  • Laurell K. Hamilton (an acknowledged queen of the vampire genre as shown in her Anita Blake vampire hunter series).
  • Angel of the Night by B. W. Battin (1982); I wrote down Angle of the Night in my notes, but could not find a matching book.  (If this was your contribution, someone out there, please help with corrections. The book I found and have listed was a Fawcett Gold Medal book by a UK author, apparently of both horror and mainstream novels.  I could find no book descriptions in my search.)
  • Mona Lisa Betwining by Sunny (noted by reviewer Robin Snodgrass, Romance Junkies, as “equal parts romance, suspense and erotica”).
  • Keri Arthur (urban fantasy and paranormal romance).
  • Lora Leigh (erotic romance).
  • J. R. Ward’s last book, Lover Revealed, featuring a heroine virgin, fourth in her Black Dagger Brotherhood series (described as “erotic paranormal romance”).
  • Katie Waitman’sThe Merro Tree (said to be “very hot”; bond through highly sexual relationship depicted with a sentient snake/alien) This book won the Compton Crook Award for the best first science fiction novel of 1997.  Waitman is reported to have finished a sequel tentatively titled The Roots of Forgiveness, but no publication information could be found..  Reviews of The Merro Tree were found and, as well as a bevy of fan-submitted reviews at
  • Susan Kearney,The Ultimatum (featuring weird diseases, too) (paranormal romance and romantic suspense author).
  •  I wrote down “Bayless, Edge of the Night,” but could not confirm this title.  I had on my shelf J. R. Dunn’s Full Tide of Night (1998) which David Brin said “thrums with passion and a plot that builds relentlessly.”  Alas, I did not get beyond page 3, but then I sometimes have an attention deficit problem when it comes to SF novels that don’t begin with either alien archaeology or loud bangs and explosions.
  • Lynsey Sands,Bite Me if You Can (listed with vampire romance authors
  • Kaye or Kay Hill (need some help; only search returns were for a Canadian author, principally of children’s stories, Glooscap and His Magic: Legends of the Wabanaki Indians); I don’t think that’s the book we’re looking for here).
  • Karen Marie Moning (originally noted as “Karen Moring”)(Celtic time travel novels, with magic, and romance/suspense).
  • Piers Anthony’sFirefly (1990) and Pornucopia (1989).
  • Burt or Bert, Cold to Quick (reported as out of print and no trace on the world wide web, alas).
  • Elizabeth Hand,Winterlong (1990) (including a necrophilia scene according to the fan adding this book to our list).
  • Peter F. Hamilton’sNight’s Dawn trilogy (with zero-G sexual acrobatics) (whoops; I wrote this one down as the Night Star trilogy, but could find no such animal).
  • Norman Spinrad,The Void Captain Tale (1983, featuring orgasmically powered space ships).
  • Esther Friesner (the suggested title Alien Sex could not be found, but Friesner’s home page includes Alien Pregnant by Elvis, edited with Martin H. Greenberg, an anthology of tabloid SF (DAW Books, June 1994).  Bet there’s some steamy stuff in her long list of titles, no doubt.
  • John Ringo’sPaladin of Shadows series (reported to be affectionately referred to by the author as his “wanker novels”), named by fans as KildarGhost, and Choosers of the Slain, but also including Unto the Breach per Ringo’s home page.
  • At some point, I mentioned Jack McDevitt’s Academy series (beginning with Engines of God).   Some of these novels include the love affairs of the initial protagonist Priscilla “Hutch” Hutchins (Deepsix andChindi come immediately to mind) but be cautioned:  Jack has a predilection for killing off key characters, so bring some tissues along for the ride. 

For corrections, please write to my esteemed editor, Eugie Foster.  All changes to this article/list will be at Ms. Foster’s sole discretion, enough said.

Author of the article

Amy L. Herring (Louise Herring-Jones) writes speculative fiction, with a preference for historical fantasy and alternate mystery. Her stories, appearing in fourteen anthologies, include “The Poulterer’s Tale” in God Bless Us, Every One—Christmas Carols beyond Dickens (Voodoo Rumors Media, 2019). Amy is a NaNoWriMo co-municipal liaison. She also coordinates the Huntsville (Alabama) Literary Association’s writers’ group. Visit her online at