What Is ‘Hard’ Science Fiction?

Many people associate science fiction with the fanciful, even the fantastic. Yet, to my mind, science fiction is not only the most breathtaking genre of modern literature, it is the most realistic.

I’m speaking of what is commonly called “hard” science fiction, stories in which some aspect of future science or technology is so central to the tale that if you took out the science or technology, the story would collapse.

Think of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: Take out the scientific element and there’s no story left.

“Hard” science fiction is based on reality, the real world, as science has discovered and explained it. But it goes a step farther, beyond the known and into realms that have not been discovered and explained — yet.

The rule of thumb for a writer of “hard” science fiction is that the writer is free to use anything his or her imagination can invent and depict — so long as no one can show that it contradicts the tenets of known science.

The scope of “hard” science fiction is truly breathtaking: the entire universe and all of the past, present and future are the canvas on which we work.

All other forms of fiction are set in the here and —> Read More Here


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