Questions tagged [hard-sci-fi]

For questions about "hard" science fiction, use on [story-identification] questions when the work is hard sci-fi and for questions about hard sci-fi in general.

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12 votes
1 answer
802 views

A book about space traders travelling between stars. Captain was captured and then he managed to free himself using dust-sized maintenance robots [duplicate]

Should be easy to find. A novel. Read it in early '00s. More likely it is much older. It might be a series of novels. A fleet of traders traveling through space from star to star. They trade ...
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  • 619
6 votes
3 answers
3k views

What was the first science fiction story to consider a Mars landing in a "realistic"/hard sci fi way?

What is the first science fiction story that considers the practicalities of getting to Mars, landing on it, and returning safely? I'm interested in stories that focus on things like consumables (air, ...
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12 votes
4 answers
3k views

Book where a generation ship is sent to avenge the Earth after it was destroyed by alien probes

Trying to identify a book where the Earth is destroyed by aliens, using some probes. A generation ship is sent to find and destroy the aliens. Edit: more things I remember about the story (this was a ...
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  • 129
12 votes
1 answer
1k views

Book about a man who is turned into a quadruped while searching for a colony ship on an alien world

A man in a ship lands on a planet with nothing but sharp grass and quadrupeds. He is trying to find out what happened to a colony ship that supposedly landed there. I don't remember why, but he starts ...
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  • 123
17 votes
2 answers
366 views

Seeking sci-fi short story (1980s/1990s?) where a man puts his consciousness into an animal's brain, but then can't/doesn't want to leave

If I'm recalling correctly, a man takes a vacation by putting his consciousness into a horse or dog brain (I think), and he loves it so much—specifically, the freedom that animals' simplistic ...
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5 votes
1 answer
468 views

Science Fiction novel which takes place on a large cylindrical spaceship traveling through space

When I was in college in 1987, I read a science fiction book that I'd like to reread. But I cannot remember the name or author. The key features that I recall, are It takes place on a large ...
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0 votes
0 answers
73 views

Android pilot who kills crew and puts people in eternal hibernation [duplicate]

I saw part of the story on tv. What is the title? A spaceship lands on a remote planet full of vegetation; crew and pilot are androids. They meet eventually another android, the sole remnant of a ...
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1 vote
1 answer
110 views

What's Chelsea doing going to Heaven, did I miss something?

Chelsea, Siri Keeton's ex, may not be a militant radical but she was a Realist, to the point of taking her sex in the raw, which it is suggested the Realists don't even do any more. As far as I could ...
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  • 6,296
16 votes
1 answer
713 views

Sci-Fi book featuring laser strikes on helicopters, and torturing suitcase sized AIs

I'm trying to identify a novel that I read (in English) in the mid to late 70's, or possibly early 80's at the very latest. The book would have been new during that time and I would have purchased it ...
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  • 3,294
20 votes
1 answer
287 views

Space vampires and bounty hunters

I'm looking for a book I read some time in the late 90s-early 00s, translated into Hungarian, but I'm all right with the English title. A sci-fi title set in the mid-future with space flight. The main ...
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11 votes
0 answers
90 views

Looking for the name of a black and white graphic novel about space colonization from the 1980s? where the STL starship exploded

It was a black and white graphic novel or one-off SF comic book whose backstory involved space colonization in a star system after the slower than light starship (involving, maybe robots and ...
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24 votes
1 answer
3k views

A prison in the corona of a star holds society's only murderer

I'm trying to find this sci-fi book, I remember there was a prison, I think made of a hollow asteroid, orbiting inside the corona of a star. It was built by this advanced society to hold their only ...
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  • 243
12 votes
1 answer
1k views

2000s movie where mysterious black alien spheres surround the Earth

Can you please help me find the title of this movie, from about 2010, in which hundreds of black alien spheres position themselves evenly around the planet. The humans are unsurprisingly curious, ...
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1 vote
1 answer
258 views

Movie where a group of kids competing in what looks like "robot wars" meet aliens who watch black&white looney tunes?

So I asked a similar question to this awhile ago and was told I was thinking of "Arena". I watched Arena yesterday and it brought me much joy but sadly it was not Arena that I was trying to ...
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6 votes
0 answers
130 views

Movie about aliens transforming people into slaves with a claw or weapon-like arm

When people get captured, they get dragged to some kind of portal. They transform into slaves and have one of their arms become claw-like or weapon-like. They are strong but not very fast. They also ...
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26 votes
1 answer
873 views

Tracking down a short story with the term "abnotechia" or "abtechnological"

Hi I am curious about the term "abnotechia" which I encountered in a short story that I am now trying to look up, but google searches are coming up empty. I am pretty sure the story appeared ...
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  • 941
7 votes
1 answer
229 views

Comic about two children who live on an asteroid

I read this story recently but I am unable to find the story anywhere :- The story starts with 2 children wearing space suits on an asteroid and expertly unearthing what seems to them like the ...
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10 votes
1 answer
173 views

This book about space/interstellar travel, permafrost, biological androids and mind meld technology, identify

I read this book as a child in the 80s or early 90s. It spans quite a bit of time, more than a generation, possibly many. Biological androids are common, but they are treated as subhuman or at least ...
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16 votes
1 answer
362 views

Sci-fi book featuring xenophobic aliens with hydraulic activated limbs

I am looking for the title of a sci-fi book with an interesting plot and have had no luck finding it. The Plot: Humans working at the edge of the solar system discover a xenophobic alien race that ...
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  • 161
2 votes
1 answer
173 views

Sci-fi movie that remember watching as a child involving a beetle-like creature escaping a space prison to Earth, and then going back

I believe the main plot of the movie involved an alien escaping from some space prison and coming to Earth. The two protagonists was a man and a woman and I believe one of them was a cop. In one of ...
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5 votes
1 answer
326 views

Kids' sci-fi movie where a young girl sacrifices herself

I was watching a sci-fi movie or an episode of some TV series as a kid in the early 90s. The only thing I can remember after all these years was that there was a group of kids in a spaceship or on ...
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  • 178
11 votes
1 answer
1k views

Unknown title 60's sci fi book possibility started with a G or the word star

I remember finding this book in my dad's old college collection so possibly publish in the 50-60's Cover had a white or silver tower on a background of a lot of orange or an explosion A boy or man ...
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3 votes
1 answer
229 views

Hard sci-fi novel where the protagonist uses a wormhole portal and discovers a second version of themself

Hard sci-fi novel. Protagonist uses a wormhole portal and discovers a second version of herself (sister? clone?). May also feature tree-like alien life forms.
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  • 99
6 votes
1 answer
281 views

Hard sci-fi novel where "snowfall" is made up of microscopic creature skeletons

I remember reading a hard sci-fi novel. somewhere along the way the protagonist is part of a group that finds itself trapped in a building by what they originally mistake as a heavy snowfall. The &...
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  • 99
15 votes
1 answer
1k views

Sci-Fi story where human astronauts barf up their guts like sea cucumbers

I read a short story where astronauts became infected with something that made them barf up their insides and regrow them, like sea cucumbers. In the end, this is how one of the characters learns that ...
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  • 169
7 votes
1 answer
224 views

Book about a physicist who invents a device that swaps a sphere of matter from this world to another universe/time

I read this 10–20 years ago. It's a hard sci-fi book about a man — a physicist — who invents something that swaps spheres of matter with somewhere else. I think the swap was between universes, but it ...
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27 votes
2 answers
2k views

Book about a physicist who discovers how to create universes with different laws of physics

I'm looking for a book I read 10–20 years ago about a physicist who accidentally discovered how to create universes. I think she worked at a collider. (I don't remember if it was a real collider like ...
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4 votes
1 answer
118 views

Sci-fi story about a utopia about some technologically advanced people living in space stations and some on planets

I read this sci-fi story at least 15 years ago. The story is about a far future utopia. There were two segments of people, technologically advanced people living in stations or ships, and not so ...
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  • 41
4 votes
1 answer
187 views

I'm looking for a short story/novella about a plague through genetics that infects the world

I only read it this year but I think it could have been written in the last 4 or 5 years. It's seen through two different time periods. One is the far past where an explorer or maybe a missionary is ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
181 views

Book about an escape from a prison planet

Main plot is escape from a prison planet, and I can remember the artwork from the cover. Also one of the other inmates was a mind raper who psychically raped people. Time frame was pre 90s
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1 vote
1 answer
169 views

Science of Darwin's Radio and Darwin's Children

I picked up a used copy of Greg Bear's book Darwin's Children recently and read it without initially realizing that it was a sequel. I didn't find it particularly involving, so I skimmed most of the ...
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13 votes
1 answer
312 views

Story about people trying to recover a ship, but can't because its engine is still operating [duplicate]

I read a short story a long time ago which, for a while now, I've lamented not remembering the name of, because I really enjoyed the concept so much. I believe I read this sometime in the mid-80s, ...
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  • 233
10 votes
2 answers
632 views

First sci-fi story to feature electromagnetic railguns or mass-drivers?

What was the first story to feature electromagnetic railguns? The answer could be a movie, a TV show, a book, or a short story. The main difference between a railgun and most other kinds of projectile ...
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7 votes
1 answer
449 views

Short story where artificial life gets out of control [duplicate]

Please bear with me, memories are vague. I'm looking for the name of a short scifi story, by a fairly prominent author IIRC, where a person was evolving "pet artificial life" in their basement. ...
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6 votes
0 answers
111 views

Sci-fi story/novella which involves intelligent probe exchanging messages with a group of children, contact diminishes over time

There's an artificial intelligence/computer/spacecraft flying away from Earth on a long mission. In the beginning, it exchanges messages with a group of children (I think it was 100), whose parents ...
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26 votes
1 answer
3k views

Story ID: plugging vacuum leak with one's butt

I'm certain this story was no later than 1980, and written in the 1950s-60s is probably much more like it. I'm pretty sure I read it in a collection rather than a magazine, but of course that could ...
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  • 1,737
20 votes
1 answer
2k views

Novel about alien species made of gas rings?

I read a novel where several enemy alien species were stranded together on an interdicted planet. They had to recycle everything and keep hidden. By "keep hidden" I mean make sure there is no ...
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4 votes
1 answer
259 views

Hard SciFi book in which worm robots do maintenance and self assemble [duplicate]

In this book there is a female engineer who uses 3 types of robots to do a lot of the maintenance. The type that interests me is "worm". These robots could join together into a longer links for ...
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  • 43
8 votes
1 answer
200 views

70's/80's short story collection about space stories such as a moment by moment account of an astronaut going faster than light

Short stories, may not have been in the same collection from the late 70’s/early 80’s. A moment by moment account of an astronaut as he is the first to travel faster than light. It described how ...
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5 votes
0 answers
130 views

What was it that "powered" Auto-Man and Cursor to allow them to exist in the real world?

In the early 80s sci-fi show Auto-Man , the titular hero is essentially a humanoid form program made by a police-computer genius, and given physical shape in our reality. It was described as thus: ...
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  • 11.7k
6 votes
2 answers
2k views

Science fiction movie featuring an octopus type alien

I'm trying to remember a sci-fi movie featuring an Octopus type alien, possibly purple, stalking the crew of a spaceship. I only remember one scene. The creature was very slow, had one eye and I think ...
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  • 89
5 votes
2 answers
284 views

(Canadian?) Movie about Mysterious Alien Spacecraft and the NASA-like Org Trying to Discover their Purpose

I saw a movie on Amazon Prime (I think) about some alien spacecraft that appear all over the Earth just hovering in the sky for several months. I believe the movie is Canadian. Most of the characters ...
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11 votes
1 answer
357 views

Book about young girl who ends up in space after apocalypse

I remember a book from about 25-30 years ago. The main character was a young girl in possibly her early teens. She was in a fall-out bunker of some kind alone, but had learned a lot about survival and ...
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  • 211
20 votes
1 answer
2k views

Short story about Nobel Prize winning scientists that drop out when they realise they were incorrect

It's a short story that I read in an anthology a few years ago. The premise is several scientists are preparing to go to Geneva to accept the Nobel Prize for their work in astrophysics. But one of ...
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4 votes
0 answers
112 views

Book: Earthlings find (new) nearby planet that also hosts humans and an inorganic species robot-knowledge depository

I am trying to remember the title of a book that I read years ago. I have not had success in recent months in finding the title. Plot Summary (from what I remember): Earth is overpopulated and ...
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  • 41
10 votes
1 answer
524 views

Linked novellas where humans are engineered to adapt to a variety of environments

As a child I remember having a book with a collection of novellas that revolved around a common theme that went like this: Survivors of an ill-fated expedition arrive on a distant planet and create, ...
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  • 203
4 votes
0 answers
117 views

Sci-Fi novel series - Weapon that kills all universe/dimension versions of a person

I did a few searches and was not able to find something similar. I am looking for the name(s) of a sci-fi novel series described to me in passing. The time of discussion was around 2005/2006 in ...
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7 votes
0 answers
87 views

Book about corporations creating genetic "blanks" who can change their DNA

I've been searching for this novel since the '90s and been unable to remember the title or author. I pray someone here can help me. The story is set in the future where corporations run everything. ...
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  • 65
10 votes
1 answer
1k views

Sci Fi book about society sprung from a prison ship coexisting with giant squid predators [duplicate]

I read this book two years ago at a local library and can't remember the name of it. The book is really old, written in the 60s. It has a peach cover with multicolored text. It's about a man living ...
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  • 3,120
5 votes
1 answer
140 views

Sci fi book about a planet where they use a dice game instead of wars to settle disputes between countries [duplicate]

I read a book years ago, and now I can't remember the author or title. I do remember that it was like the 3rd or 4th in a series, but I don't remember what the series was called. In the book, a pilot ...
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