As the holidays approach, the “spending quality time with your loved ones” refrain resounds in greeting cards, corporate emails, ads and commercials. The winter season bursts at the seams with family-focused language and occasional jokes about how long, exactly, you can keep up with Uncle Gary’s questionable-at-best post-dinner ravings.
Within the sci-fi and fantasy world, of course, we find myriad tales about families and familial relationships, though they’re not always the people you’d clamor to spend a holiday with. Just look at poor Harry Potter, who eschews his blood relatives in favor of the caring and entertaining Weasley clan. Our favorite SFF protagonists tend to form their own circles, building communities with those that love them for who they are. Around the holidays, these stories offer a gentle reminder that there are many ways to define family, and plenty of reasons to spend time bonding with the people who mean the most to you even if you’re not strictly related.
This holiday season, enjoy these five stories featuring found families and the wonderful, unconventional love they share.