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Ultimate Hard Science Fiction

The best science fiction books with internally consistent science.
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100 books · 141 voters · list created September 6th, 2014 by Sandy Parsons (votes) .
70 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Sandy 1216 books
180 friends
Clare 6917 books
337 friends
Marts 44199 books
1636 friends
Gary 1406 books
151 friends
Stephen 230 books
16 friends
JB 479 books
16 friends
Amy Deringer 963 books
26 friends
Earl 161 books
3 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-10 of 10 (10 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Gary (new)

Gary The Martian appears twice. :)


message 2: by S. (new)

S. Zahler This list should have more Greg Egan.


message 3: by Sandy (new)

Sandy Parsons Hi S! This list can accomodate as much Egan as you care to add. Thanks.


message 4: by S. (new)

S. Zahler Great. I've added a few from the hard sci-fi master, Greg Egan, and a Stephen Baxter and Charles Sheffield as well.


message 5: by Sandy (new)

Sandy Parsons Interesting quote on using the term 'hard' to describe science fiction:

From Max Gladstone: “Hardness” is a graph where the X axis starts at zero, and that’s, say, Star Wars—SF that doesn’t even mention math or orbital dynamics, but is still recognizably SF—and proceeds to, say, Apollo 13, which is so hard it’s not even fiction. On the y axis you have “quality.”You can place every SF text somewhere within that space, but no curve exists.


message 6: by Gary (new)

Gary This list could also use more Robert Forward. I'll get right on that. Later. :)


message 7: by Peter (new)

Peter Joseph Sandy wrote: "Interesting quote on using the term 'hard' to describe science fiction:

From Max Gladstone: “Hardness” is a graph where the X axis starts at zero, and that’s, say, Star Wars—SF that doesn’t even m..."


Awesome way of thinking of this :D Perfect.


message 8: by Christof (new)

Christof Serious question: why is Asimov's Foundation so often considered as hard sf? While being entertaining reads, I don't see much (hard) science in there. Same goes for Dune. To me both series are prime examples of space operas. Am I missing something?


message 9: by Sandy (last edited Oct 30, 2016 04:11AM) (new)

Sandy Parsons Hi Cristof:
There are many interpretations of what constitutes hardness. I only read the first Foundation novel (and found it misogynistic, but that is a separate issue), and I think you have a good point that while he alludes to typically 'hard' qualifiers, like mathematics and engineering, the explanations are more hand-waving than elucidating. Although psychohistory, with its inherent sociology and economics, have enough development for internal consistency, many purists consider these sciences 'soft' and therefore outside the realm of consideration.

I read Dune about a hundred years ago and don't feel comfortable commenting, although I think similar arguments would apply.


message 10: by Tishtar (last edited Feb 28, 2017 04:02PM) (new)

Tishtar Christof wrote: "Serious question: why is Asimov's Foundation so often considered as hard sf? While being entertaining reads, I don't see much (hard) science in there. Same goes for Dune. To me both series are prim..."

My sentiments exactly. This is not an attack on Asimov's work, I just did not enjoy Foundation for that very reason. I did not view it as hard sf. Same with Dune. Both phenomenal books in themselves but far too often I see them listed with hard sf and I constantly find myself scratching my head at this. Glad I'm not alone.


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