If you read sci-fi romance, one of the first things you’ll notice is how much aliens from other planets resemble humans. Not only do they look like us, when it comes to mating, our DNA is perfectly compatible. Inter-species reproduction is never a problem.
When sci-fi authors create their romantic extraterrestrial heroes, rather than giving them alien characteristics, they tend to make them super human: taller, bigger, stronger, faster than the average Terran male. I’ve read a lot of sci-fi romances in which the hero was 7 feet tall.
(The average height for a human white male is 5’10. Men from the Netherlands are the tallest in the world, averaging 6 feet tall. See a height chart.)
On rare occasion, I have run across sci-fi romances/sci-fi erotica where the alien main character did have nonhuman features. I’ve encountered blue skin, scaly skin, horns, an “excess” of body hair, claws, sharp teeth, and once, two penises (the hypersexual heroine was quite happy).
There’s great physical diversity among aliens who are not the main characters or who are the bad guys. For villains, anything goes.
Alien heroes are humanoid so they will appeal to female readers. It’s hard to fall in love with a tentacled, blue alien who slithers, oozes slime, and communicates through the sense of smell rather than a verbal language. Mixed marriages are so challenging. Lol.
I have to confess, I personally prefer humanoid alien heroes.
But what about you? How much diversity in appearance in a sci-fi romance can you accept? What types of alien facial/body characteristics turn you off?
- Extreme height
- Horns or facial ridges
- Technicolor skin
- A tail
- Multiple appendages (more than 2 arms, 2 legs)
- Unusual body odor
- Non humanoid genitalia
- Excess body hair
- Lack of body hair
- “Missing” facial characteristic such as a lack of a nose, ears, or eyebrows