I write hard science fiction. I didn’t know what that was until I started writing it.
I even called what I did “soft” science fiction (wrong!) because I felt like stories that take a more fantastic leap from reality would be “harder.”
No, hard science fiction is “hard science”: science that is real, fully researched and accurate, with a story that takes a small step away from reality. At least as we currently understand reality.
There’s not a ton of hard science fiction out there. It’s really hard to write. I do it because I have a Zoology degree and deep experience in the intersection between biology, technology, and the law, but how many writers have that experience? One classic example is Michael Crichton, author of Jurassic Park and Timeline, who had a bachelor’s in biological anthropology and a medical degree from Harvard. Andy Weir’s The Martian is another amazing hard science achievement—Weir was a computer programmer, and his parents were a physicist and electrical engineer.
There’s even less hard science fiction aimed at Young Adults, but I’ve found these exceptions:
Writers of Hard Science Fiction for Young Adults:
Ernest Kline (Ready Player One)
James Dashner (Maze Runner series)
Orson Scott Card (Ender’s Game)
Alexandra Monir (The Final Six)
Heather Kaczynski (Dare Mighty Things)
Ursula Poznanski (Erebos)
In a future blog post, I’ll talk about how hard it is to find hard science fiction authors (and therefore characters) who are not white men.