Hard Science Fiction
The term Hard Science Fiction is an umbrella term for the category of science fiction that stresses scientific accuracy and logic. Its use dates back to 1957, when P. Schuyler Miller coined the term in a review of Islands of Space by John W. Campbell. This article discusses the various characteristics of Hard Science Fiction. Read on to find out more. Here are a few of them. Listed below are some of the most common examples.
Hard science fiction is based on proven facts
In "hard" science fiction, the authors make use of proven facts and theories to describe and explain the world in which they live. For example, the world of the future is based on known facts, including the migration of billions of humans. Authors in "hard" SF often scout ahead of the main body and report on badlands, treacherous swamps, and sunny glades. Occasionally, they may even depict an idyllic, well-watered forest.
Authors who use hard science fiction often claim that it is not fiction, but rather a realistic version of reality. Author James Blish has used the term to describe fiction based on known facts. James Blish, however, did not specify the dates the original pieces appeared in. He later acknowledged that some of his reviews had been revised extensively before publication in his book. The term "hard science fiction" has been used by writers since the 1950s and is a common feature of popular science fiction.
Readers of "hard SF" will try to find inaccuracies in the story. One group at MIT has concluded that the planet Mesklin in Mission of Gravity would have a sharp edge at its equator. Another group from Florida calculated that Ringworld's topsoil would have slid into the sea. After a public backlash, Niven has incorporated these findings into his sequel, The Ringworld Engineers.
SF based on proven facts is sometimes called "hard" when writers ignore the details generated by scientific problem stories. Hard SF writers are usually humanists, but they may not fully explore the details of the story. In addition to this, a hard SF writer should have a "discoverative attitude" and avoid ignoring the laws of nature. However, in some cases, they must use their imagination to make their plots more realistic.
As the space age began to dawn, hard SF also grew in popularity. This improved understanding of nearby planets led to novels like Mission of Gravity by Clarke, which was based on real observational data. As the knowledge gained about Mars increased, so did the stories based on the planets. Some of the most popular hard SF novels were inspired by actual observational data, which also led to the birth of hard SF.
It uses mimesis
As a genre, hard science fiction utilizes specialized vocabularies to establish its authority. The genre is often regarded as difficult, demanding that readers learn the specialized vocabulary in order to fully understand the story. Hard science fiction can be thought of as an interdisciplinary and extensible form of literary writing. It reinterprets the conventions of science fiction in ways that would make them plausible in real life.
While Donald seems sanguine about the power of mimesis, he contrasts it with language as a form of representation that is slow, ambiguous, and limited in subject matter. Mimesis, he says, "is best suited to convey recent and future events."
The term 'hard science fiction' describes a sub-genre within the genre. Hard science fiction places great emphasis on scientific accuracy and detail. It is often ambitious, and the genre has its tropes. Common elements include futuristic technology, plausible galactic travel, and utopian or dystopian societies. Hard science fiction writers are almost exclusively white and male. However, that does not mean that they are anti-realism. Hard sci-fi works can incorporate a plethora of elements from a variety of cultures.
It relies on expert discourse
One common criticism of science fiction is that it relies too much on scientific inaccuracies. One example of a hard SF novel is Arthur C. Clarke's 1961 novel A Fall of Moondust. Although Clarke was aware of the fact that the novel's deep pockets of "moondust" were inaccurate, he nevertheless decided to call it hard SF anyway.
It focuses on politics and psychology
Hard Science Fiction is characterized by scientific research, as the writer usually is a scientist himself. In contrast, soft science fiction, also known as speculative science fiction, is often centered on utopian or dystopian scenarios. Books such as The Handmaid's Tale, by Margret Atwood, focus on the subjugation of women and their struggle for agency. Some hard science fiction stories are also based on the psychology of the protagonists.
Soft Science Fiction is an important complement to hard science fiction. For instance, George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, a seminal novel that focuses on society and interpersonal relationships under technological changes, may be considered a soft sci fi novel. It is an example of an SF novel with psychologically realistic elements and is often regarded as a precursor of the mind control and surveillance tropes that have become part of the popular culture.
Soft and Hard Science Fiction differ largely in their focus. Hard Science Fiction emphasizes hard sciences and technology while soft focuses on sociology, politics, and psychology. However, the distinction between soft and hard SF is sometimes arbitrary. Hard SF usually includes details derived from science, while soft SF typically includes elements of politics and psychology, character interactions, and social implications. Hard Science Fiction is the most challenging genre to categorize as it's difficult to define.
Some popular examples of Hard Sci-Fi include The Matrix trilogy, War of the Worlds, and The Time Machine, all of which are classics. The genre also features many dystopian novels such as George Orwell's 1984 and Ray Bradbury's Farenheit 451, Suzanne Collins's Hunger Games trilogy, and Hal Clement's Dune series. Some writers have distinguished themselves as working scientists by including research in their works.