The term "Hard Sci-fi" is formed by analogy to the popular distinction between the "hard" (natural) and "soft" (social) sciences. Neither term is part of a rigorous taxonomy—instead they are approximate ways of characterizing stories that reviewers and commentators have found useful. The ...

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5
votes
1answer
117 views

First contact story where aliens are (discovered at the very end to be) anti-matter

Does anyone recall the name of a SF first contact story where humans encounter an alien ship, and use the weak force to define left and right. At the very end, as the human and alien space walk out to ...
10
votes
2answers
818 views

What sci-fi novel has the moon split into 7 pieces by an asteroid, threatening life on earth?

I am looking for the title of a novel that I only caught part of on audio. It takes place within our current time frame and deals with the Moon getting struck and fragmented into (initially) 7 pieces ...
1
vote
0answers
73 views

Trying to find two different books I read when I was younger [closed]

First book: Cadets are trained on another planet, and then using alien technology are modified, They can move really fast and the last group of cadets that went through the training malfunctioned. ...
2
votes
0answers
129 views

A short story about a soldier in the future

Looking for a short story about a soldier in the future on a mission. At a certain point he bites down on a banana shaped capsule under his tongue and the drug accelerates his metabolism for the ...
11
votes
2answers
239 views

Do Heinlein's novels mention a plausible zero-gravity cat litter box?

I have read a lot of science fiction works with cats being the optimal space pet. I know Heinlein was a cat person, and I am thinking he had a solution for cats doing their business in space, but I ...
4
votes
1answer
113 views

Looking for the name of a Sci Fi book about a dystopian future earth with no medical services [duplicate]

So this is killing me... I read the book some years ago. My premise was that I do not read enough different authors, so I started picking books at random going down the alphabet. This book was ...
2
votes
1answer
145 views

Forgotten YA female sci-fi author 80s/90s

I'm trying to remember a favorite author of mine when I was a kid. She (definitely a she) wrote YA science fiction (not fantasy) with female heroes. I'm fairly certain one was about Mars. Classic ...
12
votes
0answers
98 views

Astronauts on Europa (moon), time-shift future, gravity, intelligent computer, Aries, 1960s?

I'm looking for the title and artists of a comic about some astronauts (around five I think) doing research/archaeology on (I think) Europa (Jupiter's moon). They're working when one or more of them ...
1
vote
1answer
128 views

Time dilation in L. Ron Hubbard's “To the Stars”

So I just finished reading L. Ron Hubbard's novel To the Stars and noticed a rather glaring issue. The plot in the beginning speaks of a ship capable of near-light-speed travel which makes a return ...
3
votes
0answers
118 views

Trying to find a short sci-fi/horror story featuring another dimension with a god that feeds on pain/fear

This is going to be a long example so bear with me. Years ago I read a story online where an army (along with our main guy) from our dimension are sent into another to help the natives who are ...
9
votes
1answer
176 views

Time travel book from the 50's

I'm looking for a time travel book that my parents and I have both read. My father thinks he got it in the 50's. Plot: A man is murdered while conducting an experiment and wakes up in a different ...
1
vote
1answer
156 views

Story about linguist who deciphers alien language/script [duplicate]

I remember a short story or maybe novella about a first contact. The powers in place bring in a renowned linguist (female, iirc) and her team to help communicate with the aliens. Working off the ...
3
votes
3answers
177 views

First mention of antimatter as a weapon system

I am writing an essay about something semi related. When did the word or concept of antimatter first appear? When was it first used as a weapon system, in film, book or comic?
3
votes
1answer
111 views

How does the Berserker war end?

I read a bunch of short stories and novellas in the berserker series by Fred Saberhagen, but I can't recall if any stories detail the end of the war. I couldn't find any definitive info online either. ...
1
vote
1answer
94 views

What is the earliest instance of an “Adventurers' Guild” in fiction?

What is the earliest instance of an "Adventurers' Guild" in fiction? It doesn't have to be called an 'Adventurers' Guild', but the basic requirements are: It's a organization that expands and has ...
1
vote
1answer
495 views

Little boy with robotic gloves attached to one hand. What's the name of the show?

He was wondering or exploring, I don't know. He came into a place like a crash scene with a big dead robot - not that big, a little bit bigger than a human - and the boy had some kind of pet or robot ...
6
votes
1answer
97 views

How was the messaging system in The Arrows of Time (Orthogonal #3, by Greg Egan) supposed to work?

In particular, why didn't messages being relayed from the future use up bandwidth and prevent new messages from being sent back?
8
votes
2answers
1k views

How long could Miller's Planet remain in orbit

In Christopher Nolan's movie Interstellar, Miller's Planet is in orbit around a supermassive black hole affectionately (??) called Gargantua. Miller's Planet orbiting Gargantua: It is orbiting "at ...
2
votes
2answers
219 views

Kids animated tv show from the late 80's

I can only barely recall the images but thats it. Will do my best to explain, you give me the title! Main character; Female, white costume, has sort of flat hair with the rainbow streaks, touches a ...
4
votes
0answers
108 views

Sci-fi with space-mining scientists, personal internet - book identification help, please

About a year ago, my kindle was stolen and I'm really more upset that I can't track down the name of the book I had just sampled and was planning to purchase. I've since replaced the kindle, but I ...
8
votes
1answer
316 views

Story about a colony on a forest planet

A number of years ago, I read a novel of a colony on a world that was covered by dense forest. The native people were human-like but had prehensile toes and lived in the forest canopy layer in ...
1
vote
0answers
74 views

The Aesthetics of impossible or unreal physical phenomena [closed]

I am a MA Design student working on a project to illustrate experiments on speculative/fictional physical events. My final work will consist of strongly simplified staged experiment lab situations and ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

What's the name of the book where a girl is built into a spacecraft?

There was a sci-fi book a book I saw about 10 years ago, that featured a society of people where (I think) some chose to become parts of spacecraft. I was very young at the time so i only remember ...
3
votes
1answer
188 views

Giant snails on a remote island

This story revolved around a guy who visited a remote island. There were giant snails there and he thought it amusing and could easily out run them ... for a while. Probably 50's. Ring a bell for ...
10
votes
1answer
945 views

Interstellar flight over generations

I read a story about an interstellar flight of a couple of ships to a distant star system that takes centuries. Generations of families live on the ships. They are fleeing from an earth at war. ...
2
votes
2answers
269 views

Accelerated decrepitude due to telomere length in Blade Runner?

PREAMBLE: Before there is debate, let me preface this question by stating that I am indeed aware of the question Why do replicants have a short lifespan? However, none of its answers adequately ...
4
votes
0answers
164 views

Search for title of military SF

I am trying to figure out the title and author of a military SF i read 1-2 years ago (2013/2014). The human race and its worlds are in a fight with a technology superior race of aliens that are in ...
0
votes
3answers
523 views

Why do all the fantasy and sci-fi movies and novels show extra-terrestrials as intelligent beings and more powerful than humans [closed]

I have always wondered that why do all the movies and sci-fi novels show ET's as more intelligent and powerful than us. Can't they be just dumb or below us in the intelligence aspect? Apart from ...
1
vote
1answer
122 views

Can a nuclear reactor be used as a space-based weapon? [closed]

Imagine you have a ship, running on nuclear reactor. We will assume this ship uses some kind of advanced technology that allows nuclear reactors to function in gravity-less environment. This ship is ...
2
votes
1answer
455 views

Short sci-fi story: aliens regret setting Earth's destruction in motion [duplicate]

The story is basically told from an alien's point of view. Essentially they observed us from far off, deemed us as violent and a danger to the universe, and set course (asteroid or something) to kill ...
11
votes
1answer
914 views

Short sci-fi story: aliens regret destroying Earth with asteroid or something

The story is basically told from an alien's point of view. Essentially they observed us from far off, deemed us as violent and a danger to the universe, and set course (asteroid or something) to kill ...
4
votes
0answers
247 views

Looking for a sci-fi novel about a ship with a neutron star at one end to counteract acceleration

I read this novel 30 years ago, so it's at least that old, but probably decently older. I can remember only details, but I remember an older couple (a woman, who was captain of a ship, I believe), ...
3
votes
2answers
192 views

80's 90's female protagonist descending a space elevator or a tall tree on another planet

I read a book in the late 80's or early 90's that involved a woman special operative. She was descending a space elevator or a large tree down to the the planet and she had bio tech embedded in her. ...
2
votes
1answer
155 views

Book about an industrialist that finds an animal in space that creates portals

I am looking for a sci-fi book I read in the late 80's or early 90's dealing with a a rich space industrialist that finds an animal in space that, when stimulated, creates propulsion. Later in the ...
13
votes
7answers
4k views

In science fiction, which planet with lifeforms has the largest gravitational force?

I've just started reading Foundation and Gaal Dornick has landed on Trantor for the first time and notices that: The air seemed thicker here, the gravity a bit greater, than on his home planet ...
2
votes
0answers
129 views

What is name of fantasy book with boy stranded on some planet who joins mercenaries [closed]

Some time ago I read some books about some boy. He stops some evil dude using supercomputer made of brains from planets population or something like that, later turns out that evil dude was selling ...
14
votes
1answer
756 views

How does the scientists version of the Lords Prayer (Our Father) go?

I read this a long time ago, and it was in a book written many years before. But there was a version of the Lords Prayer adapted for Scientists. Now, the normal Lords Prayer goes something like this: ...
14
votes
0answers
573 views

Woman who discovers her beautiful lover is a surrogate body of a disfigured man

I'm trying to find a book author/title of a story. Jan is an austere woman living a dull and predictable life in a time of no monetary transactions, but "credits" rather. She has saved up a ...
-4
votes
2answers
168 views

Looking for title

Story line:Two races colonizing the same planet. Each unaware of the other's presence. Each home world is overcrowded and each is similarly advanced. One race is human, the other is humanoid.
2
votes
0answers
166 views

1960s short story, aliens accidentally set fire to the field they land in

I believe I read this work in the 70s. As I recall it was one of several short works in paperback, US printing. They story has a dialog between some astronauts. They are discussing the possibilities ...
3
votes
1answer
179 views

ID novel (Ace pulp paperback?) - interplanetary passenger cruise, engine failure, lifeboats

Viewpoint character is a junior flight officer / medic? on a routine passenger liner from Earth to somewhere (Mars?). Something goes horribly wrong with the engine (which is powered by an atomic pile ...
2
votes
3answers
429 views

1970s scifi book about a worldwide endless war

I read this in the mid 70s from my local library. The book was set on a militarized world with two factions in an endless war. It may have been a future earth but I think it was set on an alien ...
-1
votes
2answers
246 views

Story Identification: Maybe Poul Anderson?

I read a story in a science fiction anthology wherein the major scientific discovery was a perfect battery, which led to numerous advances in communications, transportation, and even social issues, ...
25
votes
1answer
530 views

What book has arks crewed by slaves leaving earth before the sun goes nova?

I will give as much detail as I can remember. I first read the book in 1980. The book starts on Earth with a powerful ruling class that forms their own religion. The first high priest starts a ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

What book has the main alien antagonist as a “Blue poppet”?

I can't remember the title or the author. Ugh! Centers around a soldier that now kills for the conquering alien race that took over Earth. They don't know much about the aliens that control them, ...
4
votes
2answers
478 views

Changing gravity in Moon - simply a mistake or was there an explanation?

Last night I watched Moon and it struck me that the gravity seemed to change depending on Sam's location: On the Moon's surface, gravity seemed to be as expected, as evidenced by Sam's slow ...
3
votes
1answer
176 views

What examples are there of suits blurring the lines between powered armor and mecha in hard sci-fi? [closed]

TVTropes has two different entries on Mini-Mecha and Powered Armor, where the former is "something that is piloted" and the latter is "something that is worn". Now, listed in both pages are examples ...
1
vote
1answer
153 views

Fiction about the first matter transmitter

Im looking for the title of a science fiction book I read in the 1980s. Basically, the plot is that someone had created a matter transmitter. The inventor hid his plans in a locked box, which only ...
6
votes
1answer
523 views

What sci-fi short story has parasites infect humans through the soles of their shoes on an alien planet?

This was a short story where a ship was answering a distress call, and landed on an alien planet. I believe the crew who initially made the call were all dead when they arrived, but then people ...
6
votes
1answer
269 views

What's that hard scifi novel I read about exploiting the discovery of a wormhole?

The book details the history of a man who discovers a pinpoint wormhole in space, and slowly he learns to harness its power to succeed in life. To jog your memory: It starts with a guy at an ...