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Encyclopedia > Hard science fiction

Hard science fiction is a category of science fiction characterized by an emphasis on scientific or technical detail, or on scientific accuracy, or on both.[1][2] The term was first used in print in 1957 by P. Schuyler Miller in a review of John W. Campbell, Jr.'s Islands of Space in Astounding Science Fiction.[3] Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... Peter Schulyer Miller (February 21, 1912-October 13, 1974) was an American science fiction writer and critic. ... Astounding Stories was a seminal science fiction magazine founded in 1930. ...


[4][5] The complementary term, soft science fiction (a back formation[6] that first appeared in the late 1970s) by contrast is science fiction in which science is not featured, or violates the scienific understanding at the time of writing. Soft science fiction, or soft SF, like its complementary opposite hard science fiction, is a descriptive term that points to the role and nature of the science content in a science fiction story. ... In etymology, the process of back-formation is the creation of a neologism by reinterpreting an earlier word as a derivation and removing apparent affixes, or more generally, by reconstructing an original form from any kind of derived form (including abbreviations or inflected forms). ...


The term sometimes also contrasts the "hardness" of the sciences used in the story: the "hard" sciences are quantitative or material-based disciplines, such as physics, chemistry, and astronomy; while the more "soft" sciences are social sciences, such as sociology, anthropology, or psychology. Stories featuring engineering tend to be categorized as hard SF, although technically engineering is not a science. Neither term is part of a rigorous taxonomy — instead they are rule-of-thumb ways of characterizing stories that reviewers and commentators have found useful. The categorization "hard SF" represents a position on a scale from "softer" to "harder", not a binary classification.

Contents

Scientific rigor

The heart of the "hard SF" designation is the relationship of the science content and attitude to the rest of the narrative, and (for some readers, at least) the "hardness" or rigor of the science itself.[7] One requirement for hard SF is procedural or intentional: a story should be trying to be accurate and rigorous in its use of the scientific knowledge of its time, and later discoveries do not necessarily invalidate the label. For example, P. Schuyler Miller called Arthur C. Clarke's 1961 novel A Fall of Moondust hard SF [3], and the designation remains valid even though a crucial plot element, the existence of deep pockets of "moondust" in lunar craters, is now known to be incorrect. There is a degree of flexibility in how far from "real science" a story can stray before it leaves the realm of hard SF. Some authors scrupulously avoid such implausibilities as faster-than-light travel, while others accept such notions (sometimes called "enabling devices," since they allow the story to take place) but focus on realistically depicting the worlds that such a technology might make possible. In this view, a story's scientific "hardness" is less a matter of the absolute accuracy of the science content than of the rigor and consistency with which the various ideas and possibilities are worked out. Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Arthur C. Clarke Sir Arthur Charles Clarke, CBE (born 16 December 1917) is a British science-fiction author and inventor, most famous for his novel 2001: A Space Odyssey, and for collaborating with director Stanley Kubrick on the film of the same...


Representative writers

Poul William Anderson (November 25, 1926–July 31, 2001) was an American science fiction author of the genres Golden Age. ... Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Arthur C. Clarke Sir Arthur Charles Clarke, CBE (born 16 December 1917) is a British science-fiction author and inventor, most famous for his novel 2001: A Space Odyssey, and for collaborating with director Stanley Kubrick on the film of the same... Frederik George Pohl, Jr. ...

Other media

Hard science fiction is a genre primarily associated with print science fiction because it is characterized by a particular relationship with science. Science fiction in other media may, however, capture the look and feel of hard science fiction.


Film

Contact is a 1997 science fiction film adapted from the novel by Carl Sagan. ... Categories: Movie stubs | 1950 films | Science fiction films ...

Television

  • Space Odyssey: Voyage To The Planets
  • Masters of Science Fiction

Masters of Science Fiction is an American television series from the creators of Masters of Horror for the ABC network. ...

Comics

The return of the original Dan Dare in 1989 Dan Dare is a classic British science fiction comic hero, created by illustrator Frank Hampson for the Eagle comic story Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future in 1950 which was also carried in serial format several times a week on Radio... Cover of Volume I, German edition. ... First impressions: Florence (left) meets Sam and Helix for the first time. ... Serialized in Weekly Morning Original run January 23, 2001 – February 23, 2004 No. ... Sky Masters of the Space Force is an American comic strip created by Jack Kirby, featuring the adventures of an American astronaut. ...

Computer and video games

Outpost is a video game developed by Dynamix and published by Sierra On-Line. ... Policenauts ) is a Japanese adventure game written and directed by Hideo Kojima and developed and published by Konami. ...

Anime

Serialized in Weekly Morning Original run January 23, 2001 – February 23, 2004 No. ...

RPG

2300 AD is a hard science fiction role playing game created by Game Designers Workshop, originally offered as an alternative to the looser space opera portrayed by the companys leading science fiction role-playing game, Traveller. ... GURPS Bio-Tech is a GURPS sourcebook written by David Pulver and David Morgan-Mar on the subject of futuristic biotechnology. ... GURPS Space cover GURPS Space (fourth edition) is a Genre toolkit for creating Science Fiction campaigns using the GURPS Role-playing Game. ... The Ringworld science fiction role-playing game was published by Chaosium in 1984, using the Basic Role-Playing system for its rules and Larry Nivens Ringworld novels as a setting. ... Transhuman Space is a role-playing game published by Steve Jackson Games as parts of the Powered by GURPS (Generic Universal Role-Playing System) line. ...

Miscellaneous

A fan organization that has grown up around Hard Science Fiction is General Technics, populated by scientists, technical folks, and others with a specific interest in this area. General Technics' name is taken from the organization that created a global-scale computer in John Brunner's novel, Stand on Zanzibar. General Technics, though concentrated in the American Midwest, has a global membership. General Technics is an informal organization that has grown up in and around hard science fiction. ... John Brunner John Kilian Houston Brunner (September 24, 1934 – August 26, 1995) was a prolific British author of science fiction novels and stories. ... Cover art. ...


References

  1. ^ Nicholls, Peter (1993). "Hard SF", in John Clute, Peter Nicholls: The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. 
  2. ^ Wolfe, Gary K. (1986). "Hard Science Fiction", Critical Terms for Science Fiction and Fantasy: A Glossary and Guide to Scholarship. 
  3. ^ a b hard science fiction n.. Science fiction citations. Jesse's word (2005-07-25). Retrieved on 2007-10-07. “Earliest cite: P. Schuyler Miller in Astounding Science Fiction ... he called A Fall of Moondust "hard" science fiction”
  4. ^ a b c d Hartwell, David G.; Kathryn Cramer (2002). "Introduction: New People, New Places, New Politics", The Hard SF Renaissance. ISBN 0-312-87635-1. 
  5. ^ Westfahl, Gary (1996-02-28). "Introduction", Cosmic engineers: a study of hard science fiction (Contributions to the study of science fiction and fantasy). Greenwood Press, p. 2. ISBN 978-0313297274. Retrieved on 2007-10-07. “hard science fiction ... the term was first used by P. Schuyler Miller in 1957” 
  6. ^ soft science fiction n.. Science fiction citations. Jesse's word (2005-07-25). Retrieved on 2007-10-07. “Soft science fiction, probably a back-formation from Hard Science Fiction”
  7. ^ Samuelson, David N. (July 1993). "Modes of Extrapolation: The Formulas of Hard Science Fiction". Science Fiction Studies 20 part 2 (60). Retrieved on 2007-10-07. 

Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 280th day of the year (281st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... David Geddes Hartwell is an editor of science fiction and fantasy. ... Kathryn Elizabeth Cramer (April 16, 1962) is a science fiction author, editor, and literary critic. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 280th day of the year (281st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 280th day of the year (281st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 280th day of the year (281st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Further reading

  • On Hard Science Fiction: A Bibliography, originally published in Science Fiction Studies #60 (July 1993).
  • David G. Hartwell, "Hard Science Fiction,", Introduction to The Ascent of Wonder: The Evolution of Hard Science Fiction, 1994, ISBN 0-312-85509-5
  • Kathryn Cramer's chapter on hard science fiction in The Cambridge Companion to SF, ed. Farah Mendlesohn & Edward James.
  • Gary Westfahl (1996-02-28). Cosmic Engineers: A Study of Hard Science Fiction (Contributions to the Study of Science Fiction and Fantasy). Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-29727-4. 
  • A Political History of SF by Eric Raymond
  • The Science in Science Fiction by Brian Stableford, David Langford, & Peter Nicholls (1982)

Farah Mendlesohn is a British academic and writer on science fiction. ... Year 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full 1996 Gregorian calendar). ... February 28 is the 59th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Eric S. Raymond Eric Steven Raymond (born December 4, 1957) (often referred to by his initials, ESR) is the author of The Cathedral and the Bazaar and the present maintainer of the Jargon File (also known as The New Hackers Dictionary). Though the Jargon File established his original reputation... Brian Stableford (born July 25, 1948) is a British science fiction writer who has published more than 50 novels. ... David Langford David Rowland Langford (born April 10, 1953, in Newport, Monmouthshire) is a British author, editor and critic, largely active within the science fiction field. ... Peter Nicholls may refer to: Peter Nicholls (writer) - critic and co-editor of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction Peter Nicholls (musician) - lead singer with the bands IQ and Niadems Ghost, also an album cover artist Different spelling Peter Nichols - author of A Day in the Death of Joe Egg...

External links

  • HardSF.net : Hard Science Fiction
  • Kheper Realism scale
  • The Ascent of Wonder by David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer. Story notes and introductions.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Science - definition of Science in Encyclopedia (1417 words)
Science is practiced in university and other scientific institutes as well as in the field; as such it is a solid vocation in academia, but has also been practiced by amateurs, who typically engage in the observational part of science.
Studies of anthropology, history, psychology, and sociology are sometimes called "soft sciences." Proponents of this division use the arguments that the "soft sciences" do not use the scientific method, admit anecdotal evidence, or are not mathematical, all adding up to a "lack of rigor" in their methods.
The term "science" is sometimes pressed into service for new and interdisciplinary fields that make use of scientific methods at least in part, and which in any case aspire to be systematic and careful explorations of their subjects, including computer science, library and information science, and environmental science.
Article about "Science fiction" in the English Wikipedia on 24-Apr-2004 (1814 words)
Science fiction is a form of fiction which deals principally with the impact of actual or imagined science (and/or technology) upon society or individuals.
Soft science fiction is science fiction whose plots and themes tend to focus on philosophy, psychology, politics and sociology while de-emphasizing the details of technological hardware and physical laws.
The European brand of science fiction proper began, however, toward the end of the 19th century with the scientific romances of Jules Verne, whose science was rather on the level of invention, as well as the science-oriented novels of social criticism by H.G. Wells.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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