As the hosts of the One True Pairing podcast, we love romance (duh), and have a tendency to swoon over the same people over and over and over and over AND OVER again (Leo DiCaprio and Claire Danes, Romeo + Juliet FTW). But the SFF genre has so many incredible pairings, so we wanted to take a hot minute to share our favorites with you. Herein lie our choices for the greats SFF ’ships.
If this term is new for you, it’s not like the ship that took down Leo *sobs*. Your ’ship is the couple you love the most from your favorite fandom, whether it’s a TV show, movie, book, or real life! They can be an already established couple or two people you think make the perfect pair. Some of our picks are are SFF staples, some are a bit more obscure, some even dip into the romance world, but we hope you like them all—and if you don’t know them, we hope our pitches get you to research and find them and love them too!
Erica’s Top 5 SFF ’ships
Wade Wilson & Vanessa, Deadpool
First things first, Morena Baccarin is HOT AS THE DAY IS LOOOONG, which always makes any couple she’s half of totally shippable. Beyond that, though, Vanessa loves Wade so much that even when he ditches her basically out of nowhere (altruism be damned, she was committed and he was being a big manbaby about it), and then comes back to her looking like a wrinkled ballsack, she is STILL WILLING TO BE WITH HIM. It’s so hard to not freaking love them especially when other superhero pairings are so blah—they’re screwed up and real and in love and it’s magical. I’ll take Wade and Vanessa over pairings like Iron Man and Pepper Pots literally any day of the week.
Zsadist & Bella, Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood series) by J.R. Ward
I basically talk about this couple any time anyone asks me what a good new paranormal book series to get into is. Without giving TOO much away, Zsadist saves Bella from some bad motherfuckers, and she falls in love with him, but he’s SUPER broken (and not manbaby broken, but really and truly a ruined man) and doesn’t believe he’s good enough for her. It’s the best, most heartbreaking kind of rescue romance, and the end scene of this book legitimately made me cry and solidified me as a big Black Dagger Brotherhood fan. Ward’s written other couples just as well but Bella and Zsadist are the actual best ones.
Peter Bishop & Olivia Dunham, Fringe
Pretty sure my mom, my husband and I were the only people who watched this epic freaking show (which WHYYYY HOW ARE THE KARDASHIANS STILL ON THE AIR BUT NO ONE WATCHED FRINGE), and one of the best parts of that show was Peter and Olivia. Unlike on Firefly with Mal and Inara, they play the will-they-or-won’t-they game but then THEY DO and it’s AMAZING. Totally doesn’t hurt that Peter is played by Joshua Jackson who made Pacey hella better than Dawson.
Cosima & Delphine/Alison & Donnie (tie), Orphan Black
So I was obsessed with this show like nobody’s business and it was mainly because Cosima is an amazing badass from the get-go, and it’s all about clones and I’m a twin. But Cosima and Delphine were just EPIC as a couple—the betrayals, the reconciliations, it was all magic. HOWEVER, Alison and Donnie … Alison and Donnie are just amazing. They’re basically what would happen if Weeds was about clones (yep, they deal drugs and all manner of fucked up stuff). They’re serious relationship goals—no matter how messed up anything got throughout the course of the show Donnie was just always there and loyal and epic. (Alison wavers a bit in her devotion but not enough to make me not love them anymore.)
Marissa’s Top 5 SFF ’ships
Arwen & Aragorn, Lord of the Rings (movies)
Aragorn basically caused my sexual awakening and is also the reason my best friend and I are besties for life. We quickly realized all the girls drooling over Legolas and his Barbie hair were basic and if we wanted a real man we need look no further than our bearded Ranger. If you’re in doubt, I urge you to check out the scene in The Two Towers where he returns to Helms Deep to save the day. All he is doing is opening an effing door and I died!!! Anyway, if I can’t have him then the only person worthy of his love is badass elf maiden Arwen. She’s a fierce warrior and a healer, she can summon a river down on your ass, and she’s always encouraging Aragorn to seize his destiny. He rightly worships the ground she walks on and appreciates the sacrifice she makes by giving up her immortality for him. “I would rather share one lifetime with you than face all the ages of this world alone. I choose a mortal life.” Relationship goals.
Spock & Uhura, Star Trek
So I’m mostly familiar with the recent movies, and I don’t think their relationship is truly canon, but I just loved Spock and Nyota Uhura. Zoe Saldana is a goddess in everything she does and Zachary Quinto brought so much depth to Spock. I love a good opposites attract story because it makes for intense chemistry and fun banter. The way they approach life and love is so different (tends to happen when you grow up with completely different cultures and, you know, planets). But even though they’ve had their ups and downs, they are 100% endgame for me.
Charley Davidson & Reyes Farrow, Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones
Omg this series will be the death of me, mostly because it makes my heart explode with joy. To give you an idea of how addictive it is, please note that I binge-read the first ten books while on vacation. When we meet Charley, she’s a fulltime Grim Reaper, helping souls cross over to the other side, and a part-time PI, helping her uncle solve murders for the local PD (it helps to be able to talk to the victims!). She’s got the hots for Reyes Farrow, a smoking-hot entity who’s been following her all her life … and also happens to be the son of Satan. Charley is smart, fiercely loyal to the people (and ghosts) she loves, and so freaking funny. The things she thinks/says/does will have you involuntarily bursting out laughing in public. And Reyes … oh boy. He’s mysterious, ridiculously good-looking, infuriating yet endearing, and his dark side barely hides his heart of gold. These two go through A LOT over the course of twelve (soon to be thirteen!) books, which makes the brief moments when they are truly happy and safe from danger so beautiful. And super sexy.
Lucy Preston & Wyatt Logan, Timeless
I am such a sucker for time travel stories, and I love the way Timeless has captured so many different periods throughout history. From the beginning it was obvious we were going to get some sparks between nerdy, sarcastic historian Lucy Preston and Wyatt Logan, the hunky, broody soldier with a tragic past. I love that Lucy is brave and resourceful, someone young girls can really look up to. Her sometimes naive outlook on life is well balanced with Wyatt’s more practical point of view. Plus they’re gorgeous together! Kudos to the fans (aka Clockblockers) for saving this show from cancellation. I’m so excited to see what the future (and past) hold for these two!
Alison & Donnie, Orphan Black
I’m going to help Erica out here and be the tiebreaker on her Orphan Black dilemma. While I love Cosima and Delphine and the way the show told their story, I have to go with Alison and Donnie as my OTP. And the only evidence I need to make my case is the scene where they dance in their underwear on their bed, making it rain with all their drug money. It perfectly captures how multi-dimensional they are. Yes, they make some horrible choices (ex. selling drugs), but they’re also loving parents just trying to keep their family safe in some insane situations. Sure, they drive a minivan in suburbia, but they can also twerk with the best of them. They manage to love each other pretty unconditionally through the good, the bad, the ugly, and the batshit crazy. I can’t think of two better partners-in-crime.
If you like our picks, then go listen to One True Pairing on Apple or Stitcher for even more romance and relationship goals. Follow us on Twitter (@OTP_Pod) and feel free to @ us if there’s a couple we missed and you want us to know about it—we love Netflix and chill and will binge-watch the fuck out of anything. And check out our latest episode on Avengers: Infinity War, where we discuss our favorite (and not-so-favorite) couples in the MCU with Tor.com writers Natalie Zutter and Emily Asher-Perrin.
Erica Martirano loves dogs more than she loves people and is a voracious reader of all books, especially the dirtiest romances you can image. She’s an unapologetic nerd married to a man running for sainthood. When she’s not drinking wine, she’s putting the ASS in Senior Associate Marketing Director for St. Martin’s press daily. Marissa Sangiacomo is a mashed potato enthusiast and cat lady for life. She makes her living nerding out over romance books as a marketing manager at St. Martin’s Press.