Cosmic Engineers

Overview

The first comprehensive critical study of hard science fiction, this book reveals how the term hard science fiction originated, and how arguments about its range and nature have unfolded. Westfahl shows that hard science fiction is generally characterized by the author's extreme concern for scientific accuracy and logic. Identifying two characteristic forms of hard science fiction, Westfahl closely examines several representative works: Arthur C. Clarke's A Fall of Moondust, Hal Clement's Mission of Gravity, and ...

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Overview

The first comprehensive critical study of hard science fiction, this book reveals how the term hard science fiction originated, and how arguments about its range and nature have unfolded. Westfahl shows that hard science fiction is generally characterized by the author's extreme concern for scientific accuracy and logic. Identifying two characteristic forms of hard science fiction, Westfahl closely examines several representative works: Arthur C. Clarke's A Fall of Moondust, Hal Clement's Mission of Gravity, and Charles Sheffield's Between the Strokes of Midnight. This book offers new insights into hard science fiction and provides a wealth of information about what members of the science fiction community have said about this relatively recent genre.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Looks at key authors and texts of hard science fiction, a subgenre of science fiction, discussing comments on the nature of hard science fiction by its authors, the history of the subgenre, and its possible future. Examines three representative works by Arthur C. Clarke, Hal Clement, and Charles Sheffield. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

GARY WESTFAHL teaches at the Learning Center of the University of California, Riverside.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
1 Introduction 1
2 "Science Fiction vs. Science Faction": Early Efforts to Define Scientific Science Fiction 5
3 "The Closely Reasoned Technological Story": The Development of the Idea of Hard Science Fiction 17
4 "Treating the Whole Thing as a Game": Hard Science Fiction as Seen by Its Writers 39
5 "The Best 'Hard' Science Fiction of Its Day": An Inquiry into the Origins of Hard Science Fiction 53
6 "He Was Part of Mankind": Arthur C. Clarke's A Fall of Moondust 67
7 "Like Something Living": Hal Clement's Mission of Gravity 83
8 "Gazing Out at Infinity": Charles Sheffield's Between the Strokes of Night 97
9 Conclusion 111
Bibliography 125
Index 139
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