Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Genre Identified #7: Hard Science Fiction

In short, hard science fiction is where modern day science and scientific understanding is used in a modern or futuristic setting. There are no fantastical trappings from pseudo science or science we wish was fact. Actual, concrete science is the name of the game. And sticking to straight facts increases the level of suspense in a hard science-fiction story.

For further reading on the definition:
Science Fiction Subgenres, Hard Science Fiction
Technology Review, The Best Hard Science Fiction Books of All Time
Mike Brotherton Hard SF Writer, Ten Issues for Hard Science Fiction
Goodreads, Popular Hard Science Fiction Books list
Hard Science Fiction website and forum
HardSF.net website and forum

Hard Science Fiction tends to be a male dominated genre in both writers and readers. A personal observation I'd like to point out: most (not all) hard science fiction that I've read tends to balance the science and technology with sex as the counter-weight. And from a writerly perspective, hard science fiction is probably the one speculative genre where info-dumping is expected, though not to an excessive scale. The science and technological advancements are the heart of the story so to have characters deeply engrossed by these things is normal.

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