Fri
Jan 28 2011 2:38pm

Science Fiction/Fantasy Lonely Hearts Club Band

Geordi the LutefulOver at Clarkesworld Magazine, Daniel M. Kimmel is musing on the subject of romance in science fiction movies. After reading this, and because it’s getting close to February here at outpost Tor.com, we started feeling a tender about matters of the heart. Though the low gravity in our little rocket might be to blame for this lighter-than-air feeling, we got to talking about various SF&F characters who are unlucky in love.

There were some obvious lonely hearts that sprung to mind like Geordi La Forge (Star Trek), the Tenth Doctor or Martha (Doctor Who), Spike (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and Kaylee (Firefly), so instead, we’ve come up with a few lovelorn heroes even lonelier than the rest.

Dr. Susan Calvin (Asimov’s Robot Series)

Susan Calvin from the Robot seriesPoor Susan Calvin! Despite being brilliant and nice to all the robots she cares for, she can’t seem to get a date to save her life. In a story called “Liar!” Susan confides in a telepathic robot named Herbie that she is in love with one of her colleagues. The kindly robot, thinking he is helping out Susan, lies and tells her that the object of her affection loves her too. Oh the heartbreak when the truth is revealed!

(Illustration by Mark Zug)

 

Toshiko Sato (Torchwood)

Tosh and Owen from TorchwoodTosh spends the majority of time with Torchwood pining for Owen, who basically makes fun of her and sleeps with everyone else. She seemed the happiest when she was in love with Mary, despite the fact that Mary turned out to be a big evil alien. Even Gwen noticed! And though Toshiko does get to hook up with the frozen soldier guy, we think she deserved a better love life than the one she got on the show.

 

Odo (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)

Odo professes his grabby love for KiraDespite being a big bunch of goo, this guy had a heart of solid gold when it came to his feelings for Major Kira. In an alternate future timeline, an older version of Odo even risks the lives of the Defiant crew and an entire planet just to spend a little more time with her! And though these two do eventually end up co-habitating, it doesn’t work out in the end, as both are tasked with rebuilding their originating cultures.

 

Eowyn (Lord of the Rings)

EowynOf all of our lonely hearts, we found Eowyn to be one of the few that turns her love lorniness into something truly positive. Though she really gets a raw deal by being rejected by Aragorn it may be this incident that causes her to get out there in the battle armor and save the day. We can all relate to ending a relationship or relinquishing a crush because it’s time to move on with our lives. And Eowyn really showed us the way.

We’re sure we’ve only just skimmed the top of a deep ocean of lovelorn SFF characters out there. Who might we be missing?

6 comments
matt80
1. matt80
nice list, but eowyn ends up with farimir, a not so lonely end.
matt80
2. Michael A. Parker
Well, Robinette Broadhead in Gateway is about the loneliest heart around. He lost his love in a black hole literally and has been devastated and single ever since (though he does like to fool around with the ladies). His heartache and guilt land him on a computer psychiatrist's couch. He doesn't recover until the sequels when he meets another woman and eventually marries her. But in Gateway he is decidedly a lonely heart.
Rob Munnelly
3. RobMRobM
How about Miles Vorkosigan for big chunks of Bujold's Vorkosigan saga. In the beginning, treated like a mutant on his home world, rejected by oldest friend and hoped for love, lonely leader of men and women for the first several books; and towards the end when he can't get his galactic lady loves to move back home with him. He is, of course, spectacularly un-lonely at other parts of the saga.

Rob
William S. Higgins
4. higgins
At first glance, I thought your top photo was a picture of Rhysling, blind singer of the spaceways. But he was not particularly lovelorn.
Mike Conley
7. NomadUK
Captain Kirk! (No beach to walk on...)

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