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message 1: by Anne (last edited Jun 15, 2012 04:37AM) (new)

Anne | 336 comments Technology review posts this list of best hard scifi. I've read most of them but there are two I haven't yet. Yay!

Another nice list - and lengthy:

message 2: by Anne (new)

Anne | 336 comments The hard scifi list at wiki:

message 3: by Ian (new)

Ian Roberts | 143 comments I note that Hyperion is on the Barnes and noble one - Anne how can this list have any credibility for you? :-)

message 4: by P. Aaron (new)

P. Aaron Potter (paaronpotter) | 585 comments Wow. The B&N list includes telepathic communication, demonic possession, elemental magic, messianic prophecy, out of body experiences, crop circles, a hollow earth...

This must be some strange definition of "hard" science fiction of which I was previously unaware.

message 5: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 4132 comments Ok I think it's somewhat well-known amongst at least the old-timers here that I refuse to click through to "top anything" lists as I find them to be click bait. So would anybody care to post some of the highlights or potentially controversial picks?

message 6: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6196 comments P. Aaron wrote: "This must be some strange definition of "hard" science fiction of which I was previously unaware..."

I guess making 'hard sf' lists is 'hard'.

message 7: by Anne (new)

Anne | 336 comments B&N makes no bones about being marketing. I send B&N suggestions about corrections - sometimes they comply.

The topic itself isn't the deciding point but what the author does with it, Simmons' Hyperion is a fraud for sure when sold as sci-fi(hard or soft)..

message 8: by Ulmer Ian (new)

Ulmer Ian (eean) | 341 comments The Technology Review list has the Time Machine. If anything the Time Machine is a founding member of soft scifi. :)

It's a pretty sloppy term all around. I made a hard scifi shelf yesterday and found I wasn't really sure what it meant. Something like Rainbow's End by Vinge for sure is hard scifi. But I, Robot? I'm not sure. The grey between hard and soft scifi is bigger than the categories themselves.

@Anne: Hyperion is scifi though...

message 9: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 919 comments I just finished Stranger in a Strange Land, and I find that there are a lot of fantastic elements in it, but referencing outer space. From hearing that Heinlein is hard SciFi, I was expecting science in it. Instead, I find a lot of social commentary and magical powers. Now, I'm starting to think all this bashing of books that are not hard SF is uncalled for.

message 10: by Ulmer Ian (new)

Ulmer Ian (eean) | 341 comments Heinlein was a person, not a genre. :)

My favorite Heinlein is The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. I think it's hard scifi. (Also certainly on the list of books that Leviathan Wakes pulls ideas from). But for sure Stranger in a Strange Land isn't hard scifi at all, and doesn't have any illusions of it... I've always seen it introduced as an artifact of the 60s counterculture.

message 11: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 919 comments From the way his name was mentioned, I thought he was hard SF! LOL.

Stranger in a Strange Land definitely is a 60s counterculture artifact. I'll have to read The Moon is a Harsh Mistress to be convinced that his writing is the ultimate hard SF, because I'm underwhelmed right now. Asimov is dated, too, but has hard SF elements in his work. I read I, Robot, and the moral element is over the existence of robots. This theme couldn't have happened without the science of robotics. Stranger in a Strange Land's theme could have happened if the Martian was replaced with a man raised in a tribe of magician who sequestered themselves from the world for millenniums. In fact, The Lord of the Rings has elves that came from another "world" of earth.

message 12: by Ulmer Ian (new)

Ulmer Ian (eean) | 341 comments Yea good point, swap out Martian for Elf and it wouldn't change Stranger in a Strange Land at all.

I certainly wouldn't call Heinlein a 'ultimate hard SF' writer at all!

message 13: by P. Aaron (new)

P. Aaron Potter (paaronpotter) | 585 comments That's the problem with categorizing *authors* as opposed to *books*. Heinlein is generally considered Sci Fi, but half of his work is fuzzy, at best, and I certainly wouldn't but Stranger in a Strange Land in that category. Whatever scifi elements that book has are completely overshadowed by the social commentary.

Funnily enough, it's the subject of a Whiteboard Review currently jamming Tom and Veronica's email, so you may see my take on that brouhaha in a youtube cast sometime soon...

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