I’m an inveterate fan of hard science fiction. An exceptional science fiction story is underpinned by theoretical if not practical science. A slavish hanging-on to incontrovertible fact isn’t necessary; however, an appreciation of what is scientifically unlikely can only aid the development of a believable yarn.
The purpose of a good science fiction story can be to show us the potential of a future reality. Hard science fiction can take us closer to reality, an aspirational reality, a better place to be than today. It’s essentially the difference between Star Trek and Star Wars.
This article is not about the virtues of Star Trek over Star Wars. Yet there is a lesson about how we approach the future through science over fantasy. The reality of the future is science; fantasy is the province of dreams.
I look to hard science fiction as not only the stuff of a good story but a path to a believable optimistic future reality. In the end, science – whether in story or present day life- is the only starship that will get us to the reality of tomorrow.