How to Turn Real Science Into Great Science Fiction

Science fiction is the literature of discovery — and there are tons of great ways to come up with stories worth telling. But a lot of the most compelling stories are based on actual cutting-edge science. But how do you turn real science into science fiction? To find out, we asked hard SF writers and scientists. » 9/18/13 11:03am 9/18/13 11:03am

You keep saying 'hard science fiction.' I do not think it means what…

Over at Locus, there are some great excerpts from their interview with Stanley Schmidt, who recently ended his record stint as editor of Analog, the hard science fiction magazine. Most notably, Schmidt explains why he sometimes gets tired of the phrase "hard science fiction": » 10/16/12 4:32pm 10/16/12 4:32pm

Hard SF loses one of its all-time great editors, as Stanley Schmidt…

Stanley Schmidt has been synonymous with hard science fiction in the magazine world for the past 34 years that he's been the editor of Analog Science Fiction and Fact, but now he's moving on. The magazine's new editor will be Trevor Quachri, the current managing editor. » 8/31/12 2:01pm 8/31/12 2:01pm

Read the first chapter of China Miéville's Embassytown online

Can't wait to read China Miéville's first foray into hard space opera? Neither can we. So we're thrilled that the first chapter is already available for free online, at Pan MacMillan UK's site. » 3/09/11 8:30am 3/09/11 8:30am

Alastair Reynolds: Don't call it hard science fiction

Alastair Reynolds has a PhD in astronomy and has a background in space science — but the Terminal World author doesn't like to use the term "hard science fiction" to describe his work. Talking to Locus Magazine, he explains: » 2/21/11 8:00am 2/21/11 8:00am

Does Lois McMaster Bujold count as a hard science fiction writer?

Is Lois McMaster Bujold really a hard science-fiction author? Her work doesn't appear, at first glance, to revolve around scientific concepts. But, suggests one blogger, that's just because she's rather more subtle about writing about hard science than some authors. » 11/10/10 2:30pm 11/10/10 2:30pm

In Arthur Clarke's Fountains of Paradise, man makes tidy work of the…

If cleanliness is next to godliness, then I can't help but think God must like 1980's Hugo-winning novel, The Fountains of Paradise, by Arthur C. Clarke — even if it's all about getting in His face. » 11/07/10 2:00pm 11/07/10 2:00pm

R.I.P. hard science fiction writer James P. Hogan

James P. Hogan, author of Inherit The Stars and 30 other hard science fiction novels, passed away yesterday. He talked in a 2004 interview about how 2001: A Space Odyssey made him a science fiction author... because it frustrated him. » 7/13/10 12:47pm 7/13/10 12:47pm

Which novel is science fiction's Harry Potter?

Pyr's Lou Anders breaks it down for you in an awesome new interview over at Redstone Science Fiction. Will "sword and planet" novels make a comeback? Why is steampunk eating hard SF's lunch? What's science fiction's answer to Harry Potter? » 6/01/10 4:00pm 6/01/10 4:00pm

Why Is Hard Science Fiction So Unrealistic?

In science fiction, people often confuse narrative realism with "hard," or scientifically-accurate, storytelling. But in fact, hard science fiction is one of the most unrealistic subgenres of SF. » 1/22/10 3:45pm 1/22/10 3:45pm

Science Fiction Is Making You More Clueless About Science

Is science fiction keeping ordinary people from understanding real science? Many science writers seem to think so. Science blogging conference Science09 » 11/18/08 12:40pm 11/18/08 12:40pm decided to survey science bloggers about their feelings on science fiction, and the results were surprisingly negative. At the very least, science experts don't seem…

10 Books that Prove Science Fiction Just Got Harder

Click to viewWhy do so many books labeled "hard science fiction" actually contain technology that works pretty much like magic in a fantasy novel? Hard science fiction is supposed to be the branch of SF that's rigorously scientific, and doesn't gloss over difficult problems like faster-than-light travel. Larry Niven's… » 5/29/08 9:52am 5/29/08 9:52am

Hard Science Fiction Isn't About Science After All

I've always thought the term "hard science fiction" referred to stories or novels where the science was important to the story, and which strove for absolute scientific and technical accuracy. But now it turns out I was wrong, and actually "hard SF" refers to stories about personal growth, along the lines of the… » 5/06/08 11:05am 5/06/08 11:05am

Science of Astrobiology Reading List

Mike Brotherton, author of the novel Spider Star released last month from Tor, proudly calls himself a hard science fiction writer. And now he's sharing the secret of his hardness with you. Brotherton just posted a really interesting, provocative list of general-audience books about space and astrobiology that he… » 4/07/08 8:20am 4/07/08 8:20am