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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


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