When I was younger I had a mental list of a lot of hard sci fi, but I’ve forgotten. I mean
one always does see a hint of good sci fi in a lot of movies, series and books, but to find
one that is consistently “true to science is difficult”. The SciFi books by Greg Egan seem
to be pretty good, I also have always liked the idea, of realistic video games i.e.,
fantasy that could be true with finite character life times realistic health (with cheats of course ) etc.
Another issue with the concept of Hard sciFi is that: do we mean cerebral sci fi or not. After all save the
magic part, Conan could be considered “Hard” in the sense that its not unrealistic that a person walks
around in bear skins with a sword (It has happened!) , but this subject matter is not technical or cerebral.
An issue, especially in cinema, of very technical Hard sci Fi is that it becomes boring. I .e., the amount of
time that it would take to explain any of the difficult science concepts with any type of fidelity would bore
most of the audience and take away fron the “Movie experience”. You make your judgement, but Solaris the remake
and the 2001 series comes to mind.
The above effects are much less noticeable in the book format which lends itself better to “Harder” SciFi.
Reagardless, I’d like to begin to classify some of the movie/book hasd SciFi elements as follows:
Espionage/ Security Equipment
Vehicle, Space Travel engineering and concept technology (e.g., solar sails)
Living Necessities, Comfort Technology.
Social Engineering and Structure
As we all know basically every fiction is about the human element, human concepts and human lessons.
Whether we weave in an Armani suit spewing threats and profanities or a spacesuit and some science
concepts into the story is what makes the difference between a mob story and a Science Fiction story.
Now there is one interesting theme i’d like to discuss, and that is that an elaborate but well developed
scince\moral\wisdom concept, can be placed in the story globally or locally, for example in a short
part of the story one can explain how a machine or technology works, or for say a social concept, one
can introduce different pieces of a structure whose funcion becomes evident only after seeing the whole
story. Clearly the former is better for those with short attention span while the latter is in a different category
for a more “inmmersed audience”.
Anyways, if you have such a list, please contribute! Thanks!