Science fiction is one of the most creative genres in literature. Like fantasy, science fiction novels take readers on an adventure of a lifetime, from futuristic worlds to faraway galaxies and anything in between. Readers are introduced to otherworldly characters and technologies along the way. Science fiction explores speculative elements that don’t exist in the real world just yet. And this is the common misconception that all science fiction is fantastical. However, there is science fiction that is based on science. This is called hard science fiction. Hard science fiction focuses inside the realm of scientific possibility, often an emphasis on accuracy. This subgenre weaves accurate science and intricate details that satisfy your brain and yearning for adventure. If you’re new to this subgenre, below are some of ReadersMagnet’s favorites. 

Legacy by Greg Bear

Legacy is Greg Bear’s prequel to his bestselling book, Eon. This story is set years prior to Eon and centers around Olmy Ap Sennon. A group of human colonists uses The Way to set foot on Lamarckia, a forbidden planet where never known life forms exist. Olmy arrives on the planet as part of a mission to investigate. What he didn’t expect to find is a full-blown divaricate civil war, whose opposing sides mirror his ambivalent feelings aboard his regimented starship. Lamarckia is a planet whose integrated ecosystem adapts readily to change. Prepared to observe from a distance, he doesn’t expect the profound personal impact of his time on Lamarkia have. Can Olmy find the answer to why this planet is forbidden? 

The Madhouse Projects by Rick Badman

The Madhouse Projects is Rick Badman’s debut novel that centers on Dick Thurman, an automotive engineer. He was dismissed by California University and found himself working at underground research and development installation called the Madhouse. The different departments at the Madhouse work on projects meant to make the world a better place. Dick works at the automotive technology department, where he worked on flywheel-powered electric cars. And his wife, Kate, works on a virtual reality program. Follow Dick Thurman as he carries out projects to improve society and the world along with his unique Flying Cars on Madhouse Projects

Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds

Alastair Reynold’s expert knowledge of astronomy and Ph.D. ensures an amazing hard science read. Revelation Space focuses on the strange phenomena nine hundred thousand years ago where the Amarantin civilization was annihilated. Years later, scientist Dan Sylveste hopes to find answers and probably solve the Amarantin riddle before ancient history repeats itself. Sylveste forges a dangerous alliance with a cyborg crew to aid his mission. But as he closes to find out the mystery and secrets of the past civilization, his life is at risk. A killer is closing in on him. The Amarantin was destroyed for a reason, and if that reason is uncovered, it could irrecoverably alter the universe and maybe reality itself. 

Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee

Ninefox Gambit is the first book of Yoon Ha Lee’s series The Machineries of Empire. Captain Kel Cheris is disgraced for her unconventional tactics. She was given a chance to redeem herself by Kel Command by retaking the Fortress of Scattered Needles from the heretics. Cheris’s career isn’t the only thing at stake; if the fortress falls, the hexarchate itself might be next. Her best hope relies on an allegiance with the undead tactician Shuos Jedao who never lost a battle. Unfortunately, Jedao went mad in his first life and massacred two armies, one of which is his own. Can Cheris successfully besiege the fortress and redeem her name? Or will the hexarchate crumble? 

2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke

One of the fathers of science fiction Arthur C. Clarke is known for his hard science fiction work 2001: A Space Odyssey. This centers on the enigma found on the Moon. The conflict happened between astronauts David Bowman and Frank Pool and the HAL 9000. The autonomous computer tries to kill Bowman and the other astronauts on board to hijack the mission. All of this was because of the computer’s urgent desire to fulfill the mission. Bowman manages to survive and then disables HAL, allowing him to continue the mission to Saturn’s moon Iapetus, where they’ll probably find another civilization.