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Out of Nowhere by Patrick LeClerc.
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mark211What are your thoughts on 'hard' science fiction?2015-06-28 01:45:06
mark211So-called 'hard' science fiction is characterised by the plausibility, at least in theory, of the science in its fiction and as Wikipedia has it, by "an emphasis on scientific accuracy or technical detail, or on both". 2015-06-28 01:47:37
mark211What are your thoughts about this? Would you say that you have a preference for these kinds of stories over others or not? Why? Have you ever tried to write 'hard' SF fiction? Why? (or why not?)2015-06-28 01:48:58
r.tornelloOne thought on the matter:

Mathematically provable theories with then added and extrapolated concepts such as in R.U.R by CAPEK is an example of hard science that is unique and readable. Readable here is the key element. When SCIFI and the mathematically provable base upon which the story rests become so difficult to understand except for the "in group" then it become a chore and the plot is meaningless.

2015-06-28 09:28:52
Pippin91I love hard SF, but I have a strong scientific background so I can almost always understand the science involved. Still I agree that the story has to be readable and have all the elements of good literature - strong characters, building tension, an interesting plot, etc. My personal favorite hard-SF book is Asimov's "The God's Themselves" where he beautifully describes a universe where the laws of physics are just a little different, and how a pathway between that universe and ours could cause terrible changes in both. The book's wide appeal wasn't due to the science, however. It was due to the great characters and interesting plot. So hard or soft (allusion to "The Gods Themselves intentional), there still has to be a story there.2015-06-28 19:44:38
jessbaumAs long as it fits the story without feeling forced and is well researched I like it. It's not my fav thing to read, and writing it is difficult. But I admire anyone who can take the genre on.2015-06-29 06:47:45
r.tornelloHere is a copy of an editorial from the NY Times. My story A Modern Fairy Tale is just what you may be talking about, taking fact and then embellishing it.

The specific concern is the security of thousands of satellites and vehicles, like the international space station, that orbit Earth. America has long dominated space, but many other nations also have valuable assets in orbit. Satellites enable the Pentagon to locate enemies on the battlefield, verify arms control treaties and ensure early warning if an adversary targeted the country with an intercontinental ballistic missile. In the Cold War, the United States and Russia engaged in limited testing of antisatellite, or ASAT, weapons. Now China, and to a lesser extent Russia, are actively developing such offensive capabilities, including jammers, lasers and cyber weapons that could damage satellite operations. A turning point came in 2007 when China conducted its first successful ASAT test by blowing up one of its own weather satellites. The hit unleashed more than 3,000 pieces of debris into space and fed suspicions about China’s intentions. Suggestions by Chinese experts that, in a conflict over Taiwan, Beijing might be able to shoot down an American early warning satellite only deepened American concerns. Preventing conflicts in space will require more diplomacy. China, which has shown little interest in focusing on the issue, agreed last week during talks in Washington to hold regular discussions on space cooperation and avoiding satellite collisions. Some concrete progress on these issues would be helpful when President Obama and President Xi Jinping of China hold a summit meeting in the fall. China and Russia have proposed a legally binding treaty that would ban the use of force or weapons in space, but most experts consider such a pact unverifiable. A more practical course would be for them to work with the United States and the European Union to establish norms for responsible behavior, including not to test ASAT weapons. A United Nations-convened meeting planned for July should aim to approve a code of conduct proposed by the Europeans, whether or not Russia and China sign on. The Obama administration is ready to invest more in defensive measures. Officials say an additional $5 billion will be spent over five years on projects like anti-jamming technologies. The Pentagon is also looking to build satellites with greater resiliency. All of the major powers have much to lose if the potential for conflicts in space escalates further.

2015-06-29 11:07:07
micheledutcher"Hard science fiction is difficult to write because it takes so much research" - Captain Obvious. I can definitely get an idea from Science magazines and papers, and have done that many times, but trying to produce an entire 5,000 word short story (or more) that is true to hard science specifications is almost impossible - at least for me. I like a little 'magic' in the mix. But if you produce a story with no hard science, then you may as well call it a fantasy story set in modern times. When I was writing my novel, Outrunning the Storm, I had a cyber-friend, Todd Drashner, who went over the story and would edit it for soft science (or no science) and propose ways of getting the same result using scientific facts. Really, unless you have an academic science background, it's close to impossible to write excellent hard science. 2015-06-30 08:51:47
WessonWhenever I read hard Science Fiction I can't help but wonder if the writer is trying to prove the greatness of his work of the greatness of himself. I do think it's possible to create hard science fiction without losing the warm, human qualities of a good story, but technical details and the like are merely icing on the cake for me. 2015-06-30 21:33:55
r.tornelloWesson, or the maybe the possible "real what if" aspect that propels the fiction and art of the "story telling". RT2015-07-01 09:35:36
WessonI won't deny that "real what if" stories are well-written (not to mention well-researched), but I think you have to be looking for that kind of thing to enjoy them. I think everyone has their own tolerance levels for sci fi and fantasy. Some people value plausibility and believability, some people (like me) don't mind stepping over a few plot holes if we're enjoying the story. 2015-07-01 14:14:41
r.tornelloI agree completely with your plot hole comment. But I get dinged for it all the time. I read a story like a picture. However I do enjoy real science, history and lit more than novels. RT2015-07-01 18:09:34
WessonI think that's the perfect way to put it: read a story like a picture. I try to do the same thing. 2015-07-03 07:33:46

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