Carbide Tipped Pens
Ed. by Ben Bova and Eric Choi
While some science fiction abuts the realm of fantasy, set on other planets or dimensions that have totally alien life forms or weird ways of bending the laws of physics, “hard SF” goes in the other direction, incorporating science and technology in a way that, in the words of Eric Choi, is “consistent with current understanding or a logical and reasonable extrapolation thereof.”
This doesn’t mean hard SF is uniform or predictable. As the stories in this new collection, edited by Choi and SF master Ben Bova, indicate, hard SF can go down many different roads. And the point is never just the science and engineering itself, but rather what people do with it, or what it does to them.
Whether it’s figuring out how to fire a payload at Mars by way of a nuclear rifle, or finding ways to push further into our post-human future through chemical and surgical enhancements, hard SF tends to take a more optimistic view of the future, informed by a “can-do” spirit of progress. But of course things can, and often do, go wrong.