The discipline of writing not-“hard science fiction”

Stars UnchartedStars Uncharted by S.K. Dunstall

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The first time I read this, I found the title disappointingly misleading. There was very little exploration or “stars uncharted.”

I just got done re-reading in preparation for the next book in the series. Once expectations can be set aside, the experience is very different. I have been reading a LOT of so-called “hard science fiction” in the interim between now and the previous time I read this book, and was struck this time by how much this is NOT HSF. It doesn’t try to be, and there’s no rule it has to. There is an art to the so-so-called “science fantasy” book that requires just as much discipline as the HSF book. Like actual fantasy books, you have to make all your techno-gadgets, invented-science babble, and any other “natural” or technological infrastructure internally consistent. If these authors don’t have a thick bible of World rules they consult every one sentence, I’ll eat my reader tablet.

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