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Questions tagged [hard-sci-fi]

Hard science fiction is a term for works in the science fiction genre which apply a strict, rigourous, consistent scientific model for the universe. The term is formed by analogy to the distinction between the "hard" (natural) and "soft" (social) sciences - approximate ways of characterizing stories with a position on a scale from "softer" to "harder", not a binary classification. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_scifi

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Which was the first novel set in universes where P=NP?

I wonder whether anyone has written a novel set in a universe where P=NP, in the event that there is more than one, which was the first? In this universe all problems that could be verified in ...
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Invisibility should cause blindness: how does hard sf cope? [closed]

One problem I've always thought of with science fiction characters becoming invisible is that they should go blind, because their retina does not catch any light. Obviously a lot of soft SF or ...
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Potatoes were alive and sprouted on Mars: How were they preserved on the journey there?

Please note: The biology related aspects of this question are posted here. In "The Martian" (2015), the protagonist grows potatoes on Mars. We see him using seemingly fresh potatoes as his seeds. ...
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Why does Michael Crichton use US Customary measurements in hard sci-fi?

The great Crichton is known for thoroughly researching his subject areas for each different book, evident from the extensive bibliography in the end and the checkable facts throughout the book. This ...
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What are the criteria for defining “hard” science fiction? [closed]

The term "hard" science fiction is used for sf that corresponds to our currently understood science models of the universe. The exact definition of what counts as hard science fiction is too ...
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Artificial lifeform trying to establish contact through compiler bugs [duplicate]

I am looking for a short story I read online a few years ago, about artificial lifeform, with a hard sci-fi taste. A couple of software engineers were trying to identify a strange program behavior on ...
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What book has space arks crewed by slaves leaving earth?

I will give as much detail as I can remember. I first read the book in 1980. I have searched sci-fi books back to the 1940's and still can't find this book. I believe it may either be a really old ...
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Name of a sci-fi story about time travel

There was a short novel I found in my library few years ago, whose title nor author I don't remember. It was in a hard sci-fi setting: there was a pair of characters (man and woman) which traveled ...
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Identity novel, short story or book series… slower than light space battles, time dilation and boardings, several planets [duplicate]

Ok. So I read books as a kid, this may have been mid to late 1980s. Definitely before 1993. These details I remember, they might be from the same book or from several: Slower than light space travel ...
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Book set in two universes [duplicate]

I am trying to remember the name of a book I read when I was a teenager about 20 odd years ago. I think it was written in the 70's or 80's. The premise of the book as I remember it is as follows. ...
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Book with tesseracts Story ID [duplicate]

I read this book in 2007 but it was a old book (1960s I believe) and it was about these kids who met these 3 old ladies with names like "What" ,"Who" and another one. They find out their father is on ...
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Out-of-control starship results in some crew members landing in a rebirthed universe?

I think this was a classic "golden oldie" hard sci-fi novel or novella published at least several decades ago. I recollect: An accident or crew mutiny causes the ship's ramjet or similar engine to ...
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How does the scientists version of the Lords Prayer (Our Father) go?

I read this in a book from the 60s-70s, surely not 80s. But there was a version of the Lords Prayer adapted for Scientists. Now, the normal Lords Prayer goes something like this: Our Father, who art ...
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How “hard” is the science behind the genetics mentioned in Blade Runner?

How accurately does the science in Blade Runner reflect the current understanding of genetics?
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Asimov's laws in pseudocode or applying the 3 laws today [closed]

I first asked this at Writers.SE but was advised I might do better here... I am working on a science fiction novel that will involve a large quantity and variety of synthetic life forms. I have been ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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Sci-fi story with the premise that spacetime geometry is Riemannian

I'm trying to find a hard sci-fi story where one of the major premises was that the world has a Riemannian geometry (x^2+y^2+z^2 + t^2) instead of the real world's Minkowski geometry (x^2+y^2+z^2 - t^...
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1answer
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Old sci-fi story about the guy waking up women from cryostasis

It involved a long-term space trip and the inhabitants could only be put to sleep once because the second cryo was too much for their body and they would die. The man literally went through every ...
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1answer
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Book about two teenagers who find a physical constant changing device

This story was a favorite of mine back in my childhood (perhaps early 2000s) and was released in the 1960s. I later found it again in the early 2010s, and identified it as the same story, but I can't ...
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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 of ...
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What would the sky look like standing inside a Dyson Sphere? [closed]

I am working on a roleplaying campaign guide set inside a Dyson Sphere. It's a solid shell around a star like our own and is 300 million kilometers across centered on the star. The atmosphere hugs ...
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Do you know this insect asteroid story?

I remember reading a science fiction short story about an asteroid being discovered that is filled with ant-like insects. Initial attempts to investigate are frustrated by aggressive response from ...
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1answer
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SF short story ID, written 40s—60s, primitive aliens who are much smarter than us

I'm looking for a story that was probably written somewhere from the 1940s to the 1960s. I think I read it in an anthology, possibly in the 1970s. A group of human explorers landed on a planet with ...
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1answer
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Short sci-fi story: aliens regret setting Earth's destruction in motion

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 ...
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1answer
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In “Spin” by Robert Charles Wilson, why was it called “the spin?”

I just finished this book, and I never understood why the phenomena/event was called "the spin."
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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 ...
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1answer
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Trying to find a sci-fi series about a teenage boy genius that I read as a kid?

I'm looking for a series from around the same era as the Hardy Boys (I'm guessing 1940s to 1960s), its about a teenage boy who is a science genius, and has access to a lab where he invents and builds ...
14
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1answer
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What is the name of this scifi movie with an AI robot on another planet gone rogue

It's been 10 or 20 years since I've seen this science fiction movie, it's bugging me I can't find it. I'll describe the plot the best I can. A number of crewmen board a manned space mission to ...
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2answers
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What SF novel or short story features characters that can only communicate with musical instruments?

I would like to find out the title of the book or short story that meets this criteria. Science Fiction novel that the characters use only musical instruments (eg. saxophone, guitar, violin, piano, ...
14
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1answer
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Earthman has super-strength on an alien world and wins leadership tournaments

There is an old short story of a man who discovers humans have super-strength on an alien world out in the still being explored outer reaches of space. Every seven years or so they had tournaments to ...
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Looking for a short SF story about two ultra-fast ships flying around the entire universe

I'm trying to find a story I read maybe fifteen or twenty years ago. The story itself might be much older, of course: it had a 1950's - 60's 'golden age of hard SF' feel to it. As I remember it, ...
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How does a Dyson Sphere's inhabitants deal without gravity?

It's well known that because the gravitational attaction at one point on the inside of a hollow shell is zero, because it is cancelled by the attraction from all the other points on the interior. ...
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What is a good example of a progression from the current state of Cryogenic freezing, to a working system used for interstellar travel? [closed]

In all of the books that I read, the intermediate steps in turning cryonics into a useful technology seem to be glossed over, and the actual implementation is not described in great detail. Is there ...
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3answers
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Is exponential population growth in The Amalgam addressed in Greg Egan's books?

The Amalgam is a galaxy-wide conglomerate of intelligent species that have the technology to scan their brains; it turns up in several of Greg Egan's short stories ("Glory" and "Riding the Crocodile")...
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In Singularity Sky, why did Eschaton kidnap majority of the Earth's population?

Was a simple warning not enough? Or was it a demonstration of power?
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Can someone help me figure out the name of a sci-fi book about space travel at the speed of light? [duplicate]

I read this book when I was much younger and can't remember the name of it but I remember it's one of the best books I've ever read. It starts with this young girl that bumps into an older lady, the ...
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1answer
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Sci-fi short “story” presented as rules for a game?

Read a great short story earlier this year, I am now tearing my hair out trying to find it again. It's game rules for a mechanical interpretation of a catastrophic event we caused to another species. ...
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1answer
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I am trying to find a story that I read online some time ago. (uploading, similar to “Accelerando”, “natural reserve” for humans)

This is what I remember: I think the author was not a professional writer but the story was cited in other webs. A main theme was "uploading". The pace remembered me to "Accelerando" by Charles ...
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When was the first driverless car story written?

Reading the question about a future (the future) when non-automatic cars will be illegal, a moment sometimes called the automotive singularity, sparked the question in my mind about when the first ...
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1answer
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Black and white movie about astronauts finding a “too perfect” planet; has a graveyard with their helmets on crosses

The story: six or seven astronauts find a planet where they meet their dead relatives, but everything is too perfect and strange. The next that I remember is that an alien hand touches the shoulder of ...
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1answer
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Trying to find a book about rediscovered space travel after interstellar war isolates planets

The book is written in the 1980s. The storyline is about an early 20th century level technology planet getting visited by a spaceship which causes quite a stir. The visitors start helping to ...
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Is Asimov’s “The End of Eternity” time-changing model consistent?

When I think of Asimov I imagine the greatest sci-fi writer in history: Maybe this isn’t true, but I was very impressed by some of his ideas and I expect always to find great ones when I read his ...
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2answers
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Story with a miniature solar system [duplicate]

This was in a sample/preview chapter from another book that the publisher included at the end of something else, so I don't have much to go on, but here are the elements I recall - the characters ...
12
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1answer
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Sci-fi short story about stranded pilots on frozen planet

I can recall nearly the entire story, but not the author or the title. Two pilots land on a frozen planet (Pluto, I think?) The landing thaws the ice, and it subsequently freezes trapping them. They ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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1answer
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Lone astronaut works with yesterday's self to repair space station [duplicate]

I think this is a short story, I read it 30-40 years ago. A lone astronaut on a space station wakes to find someone bashing on his bedroom door. It is himself from tomorrow, offering to help him ...
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Identifying a particular science fiction novel

I'm trying to identify a science fiction novel I've read in my teens. Unfortunately, I don't remember a lot about it. Here's what I remember: It was hard science fiction. It featured space travel. It ...
12
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1answer
360 views

New Israel Space station in Lagrangian point

Back around 1986 I read a Sci Fi book that opens with a nuclear war in the middle east that destroyed Israel and surrounding countries. The main part of the book dealt with life on a space station ...
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Book with uncontrolled/subconscious teleportation across worlds

I read this book maybe 10 years ago. I read it in German; I don't think it was a native German book though, but rather a translation. There was a protagonist whom we followed across this book. The ...
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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 ...