Best Hard Science Fiction Books

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The public version of our Best Hard Science Fiction list (see URL below). Vote to rank the items and/or submit new books to the list. You can read more about what defines "HARD" science fiction here: http://bestsciencefictionbooks.com/hard-science-fiction.php
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Tau Zero

by Poul Anderson

5 avg rating
Poul Anderson’s book Tau Zero stands out in the genre in large part because it does precisely the thing that one so rarely sees in science fiction: it takes a keen interest in the emotional lives of the characters in the novel, which the novel combines this with a general fascination for all things scientific. In Tau Zero, these two often competing themes in the genre work together with a synergy that makes the novel much more than just another deep space adventure story.

From practically the very first page, Tau Zero sets the scientific realities in dramatic tension with the very real emotional and psychological states of the travelers: you have the time factor and their emotional response to the consequence of traveling at this high rate of speed and the time that has passed. This tension is a dynamic that Anderson explores with great success over the course of the novel as fifty crew-members settle in for the long journey together. While they are a highly-trained team of scientists and researchers and therefore professionals, they are also a community of individuals, each of them trying to create for him or herself a life in a whole new space (or literally, in space).

It isn’t too long, however, before the voyage takes a turn for the worse. The ship passes through a small, uncharted cloud-like nebula that makes it impossible to decelerate the ship. The only hope rather, is to do the opposite and speed up. But acceleration towards and within the speed of light means that time outside the spaceship passes even more rapidly, sending the crew deeper into space and also, further into an unknown future.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Acclaimed science fiction writer Poul Anderson (1926-2001) was born in Bristol, Pennsylvania. After earning a degree in physics from the University of Minnesota, he moved to San Francisco where he lived with his wife and writing partner, Karen.

Anderson was a prolific writer with more than one hundred titles to his name. He wrote from a unique position and point of view having a deep understanding of science as well as a keen interest in Norse mythology. While Anderson had written some fantasy novels, including The Broken Sword (1954), Three Hearts and Three Lions (1961), and A Midsummer Tempest (1974), his reputation rests primarily on the strength of his science fiction.

Anderson's first science fiction novel was the 1954 Brain Wave, and it is considered by most to be a classic in the genre. Anderson liked to write series of novels, including his popular Time Patrol works beginning with 1981's Guardians of Time. He also wrote novellas and many short stories.

To his credit, Anderson has numerous science fiction awards including three Nebula awards, seven Hugo awards and the SFWA Grand Master Award (1997). But it is perhaps for the 1970 novel Tau Zero that Anderson will be best remembered. Anderson's last novel, Genesis (2000), won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award (2001) for best science fiction novel of the year.
Hugo
21
16
2
22
17
3

Manifold: Time

by Stephen Baxter

3.67 avg rating
Arthur C. Clarke

1 Similar Reader Recommendations

0 Recs
23
14
0
24
13
1

Moving Mars

by Greg Bear

3.25 avg rating
She is a daughter of one of Mars's oldest, most conservative Binding Multiples--the extended family syndicates that colonized the red planet. But Casseia Majumdar has a dream of an independent Mars, born in the student protests of 2171. During those brief days of idealism she forged bonds of friendship and hatred that set the stage for an astonishing war or revolution on Mars.
Nebula
Hugo
Locus Science Fiction
John W. Campbell
25
12
1

Leviathan Wakes

by James S.A. Corey

3.67 avg rating
Hugo
Locus Science Fiction
27
11
1

Blood Music

by Greg Bear

4 avg rating
Nebula
Hugo
BSFA
John W. Campbell
28
10
1
30
9
0

Eon

by Greg Bear

3.4 avg rating
Arthur C. Clarke
31
13
6

Beggars In Spain

by Nancy Kress

5 avg rating
Hugo
Nebula
Locus Science Fiction
John W. Campbell
34
9
2
35
11
5

The Road

by Cormac McCarthy

4.44 avg rating
36
12
7

Rainbows End

by Vernor Vinge

4 avg rating
Four time Hugo Award winner Vernor Vinge has taken readers to the depths of space and into the far future in his bestselling novels A Fire Upon the Deep and A Deepness in the Sky. Now, he has written a science-fiction thriller set in a place and time as exciting and strange as any far-future world: San Diego, California, 2025.
 
Robert Gu is a recovering Alzheimer's patient. The world that he remembers was much as we know it today. Now, as he regains his faculties through a cure developed during the years of his near-fatal decline, he discovers that the world has changed and so has his place in it. He was a world-renowned poet. Now he is seventy-five years old, though by a medical miracle he looks much younger, and he's starting over, for the first time unsure of his poetic gifts. Living with his son's family, he has no choice but to learn how to cope with a new information age in which the virtual and the real are a seamless continuum, layers of reality built on digital views seen by a single person or millions, depending on your choice. But the consensus reality of the digital world is available only if, like his thirteen-year-old granddaughter Miri, you know how to wear your wireless access--through nodes designed into smart clothes--and to see the digital context--through smart contact lenses.
 
With knowledge comes risk. When Robert begins to re-train at Fairmont High, learning with other older people what is second nature to Miri and other teens at school, he unwittingly becomes part of a wide-ranging conspiracy to use technology as a tool for world domination.
 
In a world where every computer chip has Homeland Security built-in, this conspiracy is something that baffles even the most sophisticated security analysts, including Robert's son and daughter-in law, two top people in the U.S. military. And even Miri, in her attempts to protect her grandfather, may be entangled in the plot.
 
As Robert becomes more deeply involved in conspiracy, he is shocked to learn of a radical change planned for the UCSD Geisel Library; all the books there, and worldwide, would cease to physically exist. He and his fellow re-trainees feel compelled to join protests against the change. With forces around the world converging on San Diego, both the conspiracy and the protest climax in a spectacular moment as unique and satisfying as it is unexpected. This is science fiction at its very best, by a master storyteller at his peak.
Hugo
Locus Science Fiction
John W. Campbell
38
6
1

Ready Player One

by Ernest Cline

3.4 avg rating
John W. Campbell

3 Similar Reader Recommendations

0 Recs
0 Recs
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ITEMS 20 - 38 of 57

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5 comments
Anonymous | 2018-10-20 11:31:00
Starship Troopers is additionally a decent one, do not decide it supported the travesty they referred to as a picture show. Robert A. Robert A. Heinlein seemingly turned over in his grave once that picture show came out. homework writing service - assignmentdoer.com. fully totally different. Another fantastic book by him is alien in an exceedingly Strange Land that is unquestionably sensible for the sci-fi romance angle, however not the fighting for freedom. of course not for fighting the least bit.
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Anonymous | 2018-10-06 02:35:17
One necessity for hard SF is procedural or purposeful: a story should attempt to be exact, coherent, valid and thorough in its utilization of current logical and specialized learning about which innovation, marvels,Pay for Essay Writing situations, and circumstances that are for all intents and purposes as well as hypothetically conceivable.
Anonymous | 2018-10-04 10:46:12
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Anonymous | 2014-07-02 06:19:06
any Charles Sheffield book could be on the list

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