best hard science fiction

best science fiction that makes every attempt to stay true to science
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365 books · 645 voters · list created April 17th, 2011 by Patty Jansen (votes) .
286 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Patty 334 books
2211 friends
Terri 273 books
83 friends
Eric 279 books
20 friends
Chrissom 235 books
33 friends
Tetrachromat 479 books
3 friends
Fred 278 books
36 friends
Blinblin 71 books
0 friends
Benjamin 1371 books
30 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-18 of 18 (18 new)

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message 1: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Some of my favorite Hard Sci Fi.


message 2: by Robert (new)

Robert Is Iain M. Banks' Culture universe hard sci-fi?


message 3: by Patty (new)

Patty Jansen Hard SF is a fluid concept. Personally I wouldn't call Iain Banks's books hard SF, not the ones I've read anyway, but I don't think there is a hard-and-fast rule for what is hard SF and what isn't.


message 4: by Patty (new)

Patty Jansen Also, this list is not really a place to post your own books. I have a self-published SF list for that. Feel free to add your books there.


message 5: by Grady (new)

Grady Hendrix Sure - and thanks for the tip. I appreciate it. I find Goodreads a bit hard to navigate sometimes.

I'd also agree that Iain Banks isn't really hard sf. I'm sort of surprised not to see the Heinlein juveniles on here. It might just be me, but I figured those were sort of considered the gold standard of hard sci fi.


message 6: by Patty (new)

Patty Jansen Just added another Kim Stanley Robinson book to the list.


message 7: by Tetrachromat (new)

Tetrachromat Added M. John Harrison's Light and Empty Space. Feel free to remove them if they don't match your idea of hard sf.


message 8: by Patty (new)

Patty Jansen I'm not really the person to police what is hard SF and what isn't. I know that some people have pretty strict ideas about this, but I don't think this is the place for that discussion.

If you think it's hard SF, it is.


message 9: by Peter (new)

Peter Greenwell Not enough Stephen Baxter here, just added a few.


message 10: by Rob (new)

Rob Hodgkinson Some great stuff there, and plenty I've not read, but I can only assume that you've not read any Peter F Hamilton.....cracking hard SF, the 'Night's Dawn trilogy and 'Pandora's Star'/'Judas Unchained' being absolute corkers.


message 11: by stRe4Ddm (last edited Dec 18, 2014 11:49AM) (new)

stRe4Ddm Can't trust this list with "Altered Carbon" so far at the top.
It's clearly NOT hard science fiction.

HSF = a category of science fiction characterized by an emphasis on scientific accuracy or technical detail, or on both.

~https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_sc...

Added The Invincible to the list - even though it's not as much Hard SciFi as some of e.g. Greg Egan's stuff is.


message 12: by Empress (new)

Empress stRe4Ddm wrote: "HSF = a category of science fiction characterized by an emphasis on scientific accuracy or technical detail, or on both."


With the permission of the list creator this can be added to the list description.


message 13: by Mark (new)

Mark Hereld Not understanding how these lists work. I'm seeing scads of duplicates on the list. Any mechanism available fir culling? Otherwise enjoying the many fond memories and interesting new (to me) treats!


message 14: by Michael (new)

Michael Thomas Peter F. Hamilton? Lois McMaster Bujold? Hard Science? Not by any definition I'm aware of. That's not to say hard science is the only kind of science fiction or even that it SHOULD be, but if this list is of Hard Science novels, then that's what it should be restricted to. I LIKE Bujold's works (Hamilton not so much) but I'd never call them hard science.


message 15: by Dmitriy (new)

Dmitriy Anisimov Alastair Reynolds "Pushing Ice" duplicates twice even in top-100. Is it possible to remove duplicates somehow?


message 16: by Zuly (new)

Zuly Thanks, I love Hard SF


message 17: by Booklovinglady (last edited May 19, 2017 10:48AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Grady wrote: "I just threw my book, OCCUPY SPACE, up on this list. I don't think hard sci-fi gets any harder than this (redneck rocket geeks launch a spacecraft into low earth orbit) and I just wanted to be on a..."

Why haven't you 'unvoted' your book (#155) yet? You are the only voter... It's like Patty said, very politely by the way, "...this list is not really a place to post your own books". Your initial comment, as well as your reply to Patty's, was made over a year ago but your book is still on this list...


message 18: by Molezooka (new)

Molezooka Okay, I have read most of the books in the top 100 of this list. Not bragging; just saying. Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #1) by Dan Simmons was a great book, but it is the antithesis of a hard SF book. It's all mystic and religious. If you think hard SF means hard to understand, then okay this book belongs here. Otherwise it's got to go.


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