The Hard SF Renaissance
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The Hard SF Renaissance

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  251 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Something exciting has been happening in modern SF. After decades of confusion, many of the field's best writers have been returning to the subgenre called, roughly, "hard SF" - science fiction focused on science and technology, often with strong adventure plots. Now, World Fantasy Award-winning editors David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer present an immense, authoritative...more
Paperback, 960 pages
Published October 1st 2003 by Orb Books (first published 2002)
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Dennis Daniels
I'm a sucker for hard SF. I keep it handy and re-read the ones I like and re-read the ones I forgot. I'm rarely disappointed.
I really enjoyed this collection of science fiction stories, as well as the editors' introduction to each story, which frame what the author thought about the genre of hard science fiction (defined so differently by each author). I personally enjoy science fiction stories. I think they're thought-provoking and widen the imagination from the earthbound, to the profound implications of space and technology.

The stories I felt that stood out:

Ted Chiang, Understand - I felt that this was the best st...more
Apr 11, 2007 Res rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: sff
Most of the stories fall into two categories that I have no patience with -- man-vs.-nature adventure stories and Concepts thinly clad in character and plot. Stories I did enjoy:

Nancy Kress's novella version of "Beggars in Spain" -- the one where gene therapy makes it possible for children to be born who don't need to sleep, and a political/moral philosophy holds that all good is generated by individuals trading their best efforts. Not quite as good as I had expected it to be, to tell the truth,...more
Quis Ut
This is kinda perpetually on my 'currently reading' shelf even though I think I've read all the stories at least once already. It's a wonderful selection, a couple of stories that stand out are Poul Anderson's Genesis which is a history of various other-earths that exist as simulations with various variables like affinity to science/religion, complexity of simulation...etc tweaked, with very interesting results. Just finished Bruce Sterling's Bicycle Repairman which is a simple story about a you...more
Here are the stories that most stood out:

* "Beggars In Spain" by Nancy Kress
* "Marrow" by Robert Reed
* "Sexual Dimorphism" by Kim Stanley Robinson
* "Into the Miranda Rift" by G. David Nordley
* "The Shoulders of Giants" by Robert J. Sawyer
* "For White Hill" by Joe Haldeman
* "A Career in Sexual Chemistry" by Brian M. Stableford
* "Reasons to be Cheerful" by Greg Egan
* "Understand" by Ted Chiang
Great honk, this is the longest friggin' book ever.


Paul McAuley -- Gene Wars (***)
Greg Egan -- Wang's Carpets (***)
Poul Anderson -- Genesis (*)
Kim S. Robinson -- Arthur Sternbach Brings the Curveball to Mars (**)
Stephen Baxter -- On the Orion Line (**)
Nancy Kress -- Beggars in Spain (***)
Gregory Benford -- Matter's End (**)
Arthur C. Clarke -- Hammer of God (did not read, already read the novel)
James P. Kelley -- Think Like A Dinosaur (****)
Ben Bova -- Mount Ol...more
Lots of good authors in this anthology, but it suffers from a few flaws as hard Sci fi. Everyone has their own idea about what hard Sci fi is. Some feel a story just has to be scientifically accurate to be hard. I think a real hard Sci fi story has to not only be accurate, the story has to hinge on the science. Too few of the stories here do that. Many of them seem to owe more of a heritage to the subjective Sci fi that abandoned hard Sci fi, so it's an uneasy mix. And for some reason that is un...more
Однозначно стоит прочитать эту книгу любому любителю фантастики! В книге представлены рассказы на очень разнообразные темы – от исследования спутников Плутона, до генетических войн на земле, от виртуального многомерного исскусственного мира, до электронного протеза человеческих эмоций. Все рассказы являются своеобразными мысленными экспериментами на тему, что было бы если человечество пошло тем или иным путем развития. Поскольку сборник посвящен твердой научной фантастике, все события и "изобрет...more
Didn't read every story in here, but here are the ones I enjoyed:

Arthur Sternbach Brings the Curveball to Mars (Kim Stanley Robinson)
The Hammer of God (Arthur C. Clarke)
The Shoulders of Giants (Robert J. Sawyer)
Think Like a Dinosaur (James Patrick Kelly)
A Walk in the Sun (Geoffrey A. Landis)
A Career in Sexual Chemistry (Brian Stableford)
An Ever-reddening Glow (David Brin)
For White Hill (Joe Haldeman)
Immersion (Gregory Benford)
Just a terrible collection overall. I guess maybe I never properly appreciated Dozois' Best of science fiction anthologies.

I think I've maybe enjoyed like 1 out of 10 stories so far and hated about a third of them. I would have thought random chance would have thrown together more short stories that I would have enjoyed but alas. The only rational conclusion is that the editors of this collection hate science fiction and those that read it.
One of my all time favorite books. If you're looking for poetic language and character development, this book isn't for you. If you enjoy thought provoking, imaginative scientific concepts then you will enjoy this. I loved about 90% of this book, and I thought that the philosophical implications of several stories were quite profound.
Even if you don't like every story in the collection, the weight and range of this volume makes it another winner. A great cross-section of the subgenre. See also The Ascent of Wonder.
Eric Smith
A few gems, particularly the Ted Chiang story. But mostly these are secondary works by authors whose best work is published elsewhere.
Real SF is back and with a vengeance in what may be the best SF Anthology in 25 years or more.

This is the real deal.
Some hits and misses, but so far it's a good collection worth reading. I'll post something more complete when I've finished.
Oh man, this is the sort of sci-fi I adore. Best $8.98 I ever spent (work out to about a penny a page).
Alan Formstone
90% solid satisfying hard SF, including some fantastic space caving stories. Loved it!
This is one of the essential science fiction short story collections
Plenty of great scifi stories to be found within...
The Hard SF Renaissance (2003)
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David Geddes Hartwell (b. July 10, 1941) is an American editor of science fiction and fantasy. He has worked for Signet (1971-1973), Berkley Putnam (1973-1978), Pocket (where he founded the Timescape imprint, 1978-1983, and created the Pocket Books Star Trek publishing line), and Tor (where he spearheaded Tor's Canadian publishing initiative, and was also influential in bringing many Australian wr...more
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