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Hard Science Fiction Stories

Some sci-fi takes liberties with fact, and there’s a time and a place for those stories. But for sci-fi enthusiasts who prefer speculative fiction that’s realistic and based in science, hard science fiction is the answer. 

The term ‘hard sci-fi’ originated in a 1957 book review, around 20 years before its inverse term ‘soft sci-fi’ was coined. ‘Hard’ means that the speculation in these sci-fi stories extrapolates from real-world knowledge of natural science. Often—but not always—it’s written by scientists expanding on their own field of study. Renowned hard sci-fi authors include Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Poul Anderson, Michael Crichton, and Kate Wilhelm. 

But the relationship between hard science fiction and sci-fi is multidirectional. Much of modern technology was initially envisioned in the pages of a book, or on a TV series like Star Trek. And Asimov’s I, Robot shapes our everyday interactions with artificial intelligence.

In other words, hard sci-fi is inspired by real-world science, and inspires innovation that impacts our real lives. It’s also led to some of the coolest movies, video games, and anime ever


3 Reasons to Read Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Even if you didn't love The Martian, you should give Andy Weir another shot with Project Hail Mary.

13 Mind-Bending Hard Science Fiction Books by Women

These great reads prove hard sci-fi isn't just a man's game.

11 Books That Will Make You Fall for Hard Science Fiction

Get hooked on science fiction that's rooted in the facts.

Upgrade Author Blake Crouch Talks Staying True to Science in Sci-Fi

On writing thrillers inspired by "in-the-weeds" science. 

Everything We Know About the Rendezvous With Rama Movie

Denis Villeneuve will direct this long-awaited Arthur C. Clarke adaptation.

Excerpt: David Brin Explores the Inspiration Behind His Uplift Novels

Plus, see the brand-new covers for the latest editions of Brin's books!

10 Science Fiction Books Written by Actual Scientists

These authors know how to "science the s***" out of fiction. 

In Memoriam: Influential Sci-Fi Author Ben Bova, 1932-2020

The iconic author behind the Grand Tour series has passed away at 88.

10 Immersive Hard Sci-Fi Video Games

Lose yourself in these prescient worlds...

11 Thoughtful Neal Stephenson Books for Fans of Sci-Fi Thrillers

These reads will make you question the very foundations of the modern world.

Allen Steele on the 30th Anniversary of His Hard Sci-Fi Novel Orbital Decay

Author Allen Steele shares his thoughts on the longevity of Orbital Decay.

Joe Haldeman: Exploring the Life and Work of The Forever War Author

Celebrate the work of Grand Master Joe Haldeman, and read one of his short stories for free!