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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

Science-fiction is often separated into "hard" and "soft", where "hard" sci-fi is science-fiction that follows the scientific models of the universe (e.g. physics) that are understood at the time of original publication.

Examples of when this tag is appropriate:

  • Asking for of hard sci-fi.
  • Asking questions about how particular hard sci-fi relates to currently understood physical laws.
  • Asking questions about how the science of a story relates to current technology.

Questions that ask whether a particular work is considered "hard" are not currently considered on-topic for this site.

There is a more detailed explanation about how to distinguish between "hard" sci-fi and other sci-fi in a question on this site.

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