When was the last time you read a sci-fi or fantasy book and there were no friendships at all in the story? Friendships in sci-fi and fantasy books tend to be epic. Whether it involves trusting strangers, being closers to siblings, or befriending aliens, it’s important for alliances to thrive in these settings. Even friendships that are forced because of circumstances can sometimes find a common ground when it comes to fighting against an enemy.
If you think about it, even superheroes need friends and sidekicks. My favorite friendships in sci-fi are what I call frenemies—friends who under any other circumstances would be enemies but because a greater evil threatens their interest, they come together to defeat it. Below I’ve listed a few of my favorite titles that have some extraordinary platonic relationships.
Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
When it comes to infiltrating a magical group of mages, who makes for a better sidekick that a self-exiled Legendborn who wants payback? Granted, their allegiance is based on self-serving purposes, but once you gain trust, how can you help but consider the person who helps you get closer to the truth of your mother’s death a friend?
The Lost Wonderland Diaries by J. Scott Savage
Celia and Tyrus are both fans of the classic story Alice in Wonderland, and they found a diary revealing untold secrets of the classic tale. Together, they are eager to to see these undiscovered stories from their favorite fairytale. Their journey down the rabbit hole leads them to monsters instead of colorful characters, and they must protect each other if they want to survive.
Gods & Lies by Elizabeth Vail
Imagine if there were gods who had a protection agency where there were humans who had to solve crimes of other gods and goddesses? Sounds wild right? Well that’s exactly what this story is as Agent Justix Iris Tharro investigates the crime. But of course, this case is going to need more than the smarts of a mere mortal. Iris meets Andy, a demigod who wants to get back in the favor of his mother the sea goddess. Iris and Andy make an unlikely duo as they learn how to work together and even like each other while finally facing their internal issues together.
The Ikessar Falcon by K. S. Villoso
Can queens have friends? Or are their friends just ploys to get what they want? In The Ikessar Falcon (Chronicles of A Bitch Queen) we see the world through Queen Talyien’s eyes. She uses her position and power for influence and she doesn’t trust many people. The few people she does consider friends are far and in-between, and she even keeps them at arm’s length. In politics, friendships are important but can be costly as well.
Nophek Gloss by Essa Hansen
When you live in space you end up friending a lot of strange people and beings. Caiden, who is all alone because his planet was destroyed, ends up meeting some questionable and unruly aliens who are on a funky galactic ship that its own conscious. Even though the aliens march to the beat of their own drum, they help Caiden grieve by opening his eyes to the infinite possibilities of space, both good and dangerous.
The Dragon of Ynys by Minerva Cerridwen
Sir Knight is just a regular knight who protects his village and often finds himself as the liaison between his fellow countrymen and the dragon. Luckily for him, the dragon is nice and is open to negotiating with who was in the dragon’s cave leads to the baker’s wife, the knight, and the dragon on a quest together. I mean, what could go wrong when you have a dragon as a friend, right?
Cross-Hairs by Catherine Hernandez
Some friendships thrive amongst chaos. In Cross-Hairs we meet Kay, who lives in a world with unchecked bigotry as the government is trying to round-up the LGBTQ+ community to place them in labor camps. Kay, along with his new friends who are part of the resistance, become superheroes for the marginalized. The trust they have amongst each other allows them to seize weapons, fight and broadcast their intentions on television.
Omni Vol. 1: The Doctor Is In by Devin Grayson and Alitha E. Martinez
Cecelia Cobbina is no ordinary doctor. She can process information at the speed of light and why most would think that is cool for Cecelia, it comes as a heavy burden. She still deals with fears like everyone else and her friend and colleague Mae is there to support her. Mae offers her hyper-genius friend comfort and emotional security as Cecelia tries to figure out what is the cause for all these superhumans and power.
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- Quiz: Which YA Friendship is Most Like Your Own?
- 19 Queer Friendship Books That Go Beyond the Gay Best Friend