Printer Friendly Version

BellaOnline's SF/Fantasy Books Editor

Types of Science Fiction - Hard vs Soft Scifi

In the basic sense, science fiction deals with science, as it is now or how it may be in the future. Merriam Webster Dictionary Online defines science fiction as “fiction dealing principally with the impact of actual or imagined science on society or individuals or having a scientific factor as an essential orienting component.” Beyond this basic idea, the genre includes many different types of stories and themes. Several widely acknowledged sub-genres exist. As with much the in science fiction and fantasy genres, the boundaries between these categories are often blurred and argued. Many works can fit in more than one sub genre.

Hard SF vs. Soft SF
Some readers and writers argue that a work is not true science fiction unless the science is not just necessary to the plot, but central to it. Hard SF focuses on “hard” science and is often written by authors with a strong scientific background. Generally works of hard SF have an emphasis on scientific detail and accuracy. Writers of hard SF include:

With Soft SF, the focus is more on the “softer” sciences, such as sociology, psychology, and philosophy. These stories study the effect new sciences have on people and society. Some examples of soft SF include:

===>Part Two: Technological Scifi
Part Three: Military, Apocalypse and Aliens
===>Part Four: Alternate History, Time Travel and Humor

SF/Fantasy Books Site @ BellaOnline
View This Article in Regular Layout

Content copyright © 2013 by Laura Lehman. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Laura Lehman. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Evelyn Rainey for details.

| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2014 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.

BellaOnline Editor