I like a bit of hard fiction. I like space ships that can kill the occupants if not piloted properly. I like high stakes ship-to-ship combat. Weapons based on our physics with technology that, with time, can actually perform the way they do in the future.
Beyond that, I love interesting and well written alien races. Other humanoids with their own cultures and survival techniques. I never get into ferocious aliens who are evil for the sake of being an easy antagonist.
>>44896608 Does 2001: Space odyssey count as hard?
If it does, I suppose I like both.
>>44897042 I disagree. It can be just as engaging as any space opera. It is more difficult for the author though since he has less leeway, less tools available to him to magic the plot his way and any factual mistake he makes leaves him open to attack by nitpickers.
I like mine more soft, but hard can be interesting. I want my battles to have the space torpedoes, space lasers, and using the fact that there is three dimensions to work with, no limits, so I can just go under your ship where you don't have guns to hammer at me (at least until you rotate so this isn't the case.)
Soft sci-fi is just another way of saying fantasy. The general implication of "science fiction" is that it is based on at least some degree of scientific realism. Fudging the numbers is acceptable to a degree; after all, those spaceships have to get power from somewhere. But psychic powers? Space dragons? Really? I don't demand equations or blueprints, but put some reasoning behind it. And no, "Minovsky particles" won't cut it.
We can't even begin to speculate on what technology will look like fifty years from now, let alone a couple hundred. If aliens are involved, I don't see how we can begin to speculate on what they'll be like. I don't see the point of hard scifi.
>>44897991 Soft scifi is basically fantasy in a different setting for people who still don't understand why Earth orbits the Sun instead of the other way around, hard science fiction has actual science in it.
>>44897469 >under your ship where you don't have guns >implying the bottom of my ship needs to be clean >implying every planet worth going to doesn't have orbiting docks with shuttles to reach ground and return >implying I would put my entire ship through atmospheric entry and gravity-induced structural stress—I have a landing pod for that, my main ship stays in orbit >implying my ship even lands on its "bottom" and not thrusters-down if for some reason I do need to set it down somewhere
>>44897042 Most of the SF that inflamed my brain is fairly hard. Not hard as in "this shit can't exist", but hard as in "I'll research all the literature so that thing makes sense". Soft SF can be cool too. Unless it's time travel. Fuck that. Unless it's "All You Zombies".
>>44898876 Time travel can only ever work in settings built from the ground up to support it, even then it usually fails. And worse, time travel is usually introduced into longer running continuities where it proceeds to ruin everything.
>>44899624 It's fantasy posing as silly putty soft scifi that gave up all pretenses of being solely scientific.
Not long ago scifi and fantasy weren't discrete genres and you could have magic swords and laser guns in the same setting without anyone batting an eye. Destiny is similar to that and that's why I love it, despite the game being a mediocre mess that killed Bungie.
That, and it let's me be a Robot Space Wizard with Emperor Palpatine powers. Very few games let me be a proper space wizard, much less a robotic one.
I'm not a fan of science fiction whose sole function is to fap about a particular piece of imaginary technology. To scratch that itch I can read technical manuals of extant technology and actually learn something. More to the topic of the thread, I think that hard and soft science fiction can be employed to brilliant effect to tell different kinds of stories, but ultimately every story needs a compelling human element to be worth reading. I don't mean that in the hollywood sense of "throw in a romance subplot to trick women into watching." I mean that any story which speculates about a reality different from our present needs to somehow address what that means to the people (or other sentient beings, whatever) who live that reality.
Hard science fiction is where the technology and or science is the story. The most common variety is that which explores how new discoveries or technology affects society. Soft sci-fi is where the science or tech only exists to serve the story. Basically this is star trek.
>>44901986 You can have hard scifi with time travel. It's just really hard because of the implications of said time travel which any hard scifi will have to explore. Soft scifi just ignores all that and has you fighting cavemen.
>>44901986 Are we defining hard in terms of reality, or simply how it's presented?
Any time travel is essentially soft sci-fi by its nature, but Primer, (im not shilling this movie) attempts to detail the specifics with such a plot and tries hard to make it make sense in terms of a science fiction story, which to me makes it Hard sci-fi.
>>44896672 >FTL travel being possible >hard sci fi Get fucked. there's nothing "autistic" about having the most basic laws of physics apply in your setting. There's no reason you really need it either the solar system's plenty big for most types of stories, inter-stellar travel just creates the need for more and more fantastical technology to explain away all the logistical problems produced by having people scattered light years away. Once you cross that line it's not hard sci fi anymore, how could it be? You're not even trying to be realistic.
>>44906363 Some of the best hard science fiction out there has ftl. Being hard science fiction is more about being internally self consistent and exploring the implications of new science/technology than following today's current technological trends religiously. Otherwise you just have a techno thriller and no true scifi.
>>44906444 This. I'm all for mcguffin, so long as it's well and consistently explained. Best sort of scifi, for me, is when interesting, well thought out applications and consequences of existing, well known properties of the setting crop up again and again, and drive the plot.
>>44896608 Soft science fiction. Being able to throw in implausible-to-impossible technology without worrying about it is cool and useful, plus you can throw in psychic powers because why not. Hard sci fi is still cool though.
>>44906647 >>44906444 Internal consistency is the most important thing to me in any setting. When an author pulls some super-tech out of his ass for a very specific story point, and never goes into how it affects society or why it only appears once--it's horrible.
I'm starting to realize most writers can't keep track of all the shit they introduce and how it interacts with each other. At least, not as well as any rabid fanbase.
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