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The Hard SF Renaissance by David G. Hartwell
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The Hard SF Renaissance

by David G. Hartwell

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Showing 5 of 5
This is a very solid and often thrilling anthology, a veritable cube of a book featuring "hard" science fiction stories from a wide range of authors and sources.

It's not perfect, but what is? Some of the stories seem decidedly less "hard" than others, the Poul Anderson offering is long, and uncharacteristically dull, the near absence of women is depressing but not surprising ... but this is all forgotten when one comes across a story like "Into the Miranda Rift," which swallowed me whole as (nearly) only great science fiction can.

Hard SF has often been associated with an equally hard Libertarian right wing political bent. Although some writers from that crew are here, this anthology is refreshingly free of stridency, the kind of "this is the way things ARE, and you will listen to ME" thing that Robert A. Heinlein was increasingly prone to as he got older.

Very good to great stuff. ( )
  chexmix | Feb 22, 2014 |
A really fine, top quality selection of stories. The other writing by the editors is also really good, talking about the SF, the politics, and a piece about each writer, that is enough to boost it to the 5 level, give the stories themselves average 3.8 out of 5. Or, call the whole thing 4.8 out of 5 if you like, rounded up.

Hard SF Renaissance : Gene Wars - Paul J. McAuley
Hard SF Renaissance : Wangs Carpets - Greg Egan
Hard SF Renaissance : Genesis - Poul Anderson
Hard SF Renaissance : Arthur Sternbach Brings the Curveball to Mars - Kim Stanley Robinson
Hard SF Renaissance : On the Orion Line [Xeelee] - Stephen Baxter
Hard SF Renaissance : Beggars in Spain [Beggars in Spain] - Nancy Kress
Hard SF Renaissance : Matters End - Gregory Benford
Hard SF Renaissance : The Hammer of God - Arthur C. Clarke
Hard SF Renaissance : Think Like a Dinosaur - James Patrick Kelly
Hard SF Renaissance : Mount Olympus [Return to Mars] - Ben Bova
Hard SF Renaissance : Marrow - Robert Reed
Hard SF Renaissance : Microbe - Joan Slonczewski
Hard SF Renaissance : The Lady Vanishes - Charles Sheffield
Hard SF Renaissance : Bicycle Repairman [Chattanooga] - Bruce Sterling
Hard SF Renaissance : An Ever-Reddening Glow - David Brin
Hard SF Renaissance : Sexual Dimorphism - Kim Stanley Robinson
Hard SF Renaissance : Into the Miranda Rift - G. David Nordley
Hard SF Renaissance : The Shoulders of Giants - Robert J. Sawyer
Hard SF Renaissance : A Walk in the Sun - Geoffrey A. Landis
Hard SF Renaissance : For White Hill - Joe Haldeman
Hard SF Renaissance : A Career in Sexual Chemistry - Brian M. Stableford
Hard SF Renaissance : Reef - Paul J. McAuley
Hard SF Renaissance : Exchange Rate - Hal Clement
Hard SF Renaissance : Reasons to Be Cheerful - Greg Egan
Hard SF Renaissance : Griffins Egg - Michael Swanwick
Hard SF Renaissance : Great Wall of Mars - Alastair Reynolds
Hard SF Renaissance : A Niche - Peter Watts
Hard SF Renaissance : Gossamer [Xeelee] - Stephen Baxter
Hard SF Renaissance : Madam Butterfly - James P. Hogan
Hard SF Renaissance : Understand - Ted Chiang
Hard SF Renaissance : Halo - Karl Schroeder
Hard SF Renaissance : Different Kinds of Darkness - David Langford
Hard SF Renaissance : Fast Times at Fairmont High - Vernor Vinge
Hard SF Renaissance : Reality Check - David Brin
Hard SF Renaissance : The Mendelian Lamp Case - Paul Levinson
Hard SF Renaissance : Kinds of Strangers - Sarah Zettel
Hard SF Renaissance : The Good Rat - Allen Steele
Hard SF Renaissance : Built Upon the Sands of Time - Michael F. Flynn
Hard SF Renaissance : Taklamakan [Chattanooga] - Bruce Sterling
Hard SF Renaissance : Hatching the Phoenix [Heechee (Robinette Broadhead)] - Frederik Pohl
Hard SF Renaissance : Immersion - Gregory Benford

Gene Wars - Paul J. McAuley

4 out of 5

Wangs Carpets - Greg Egan

5 out of 5

Genesis - Poul Anderson

3.5 out of 5

Arthur Sternbach Brings the Curveball to Mars - Kim Stanley Robinson

4 out of 5

On the Orion Line [Xeelee] - Stephen Baxter

4 out of 5

Beggars in Spain [Beggars in Spain] - Nancy Kress

4 out of 5

Matters End - Gregory Benford

3.5 out of 5

The Hammer of God - Arthur C. Clarke

3.5 out of 5

Think Like a Dinosaur - James Patrick Kelly

4.5 out of 5

Mount Olympus [Return to Mars] - Ben Bova

4 out of 5

Marrow - Robert Reed

3.5 out of 5

Microbe - Joan Slonczewski

4 out of 5

The Lady Vanishes - Charles Sheffield

3.5 out of 5

Bicycle Repairman [Chattanooga] - Bruce Sterling

4 out of 5

An Ever-Reddening Glow - David Brin

3.5 out of 5

Sexual Dimorphism - Kim Stanley Robinson

4 out of 5

Into the Miranda Rift - G. David Nordley

4 out of 5

The Shoulders of Giants - Robert J. Sawyer

3.5 out of 5

A Walk in the Sun - Geoffrey A. Landis

3 out of 5

For White Hill - Joe Haldeman

2.5 out of 5

A Career in Sexual Chemistry - Brian M. Stableford

3.5 out of 5

Reef - Paul J. McAuley

4 out of 5

Exchange Rate - Hal Clement

3.5 out of 5

Reasons to Be Cheerful - Greg Egan

4.5 out of 5

Griffins Egg - Michael Swanwick

3.5 out of 5

Great Wall of Mars - Alastair Reynolds

4.5 out of 5

A Niche - Peter Watts

4 out of 5

Gossamer [Xeelee] - Stephen Baxter

4 out of 5

Madam Butterfly - James P. Hogan

3 out of 5

Understand - Ted Chiang

4.5 out of 5

Halo - Karl Schroeder

4 out of 5

Different Kinds of Darkness - David Langford

4 out of 5

Fast Times at Fairmont High - Vernor Vinge

4 out of 5

Reality Check - David Brin

3.5 out of 5

The Mendelian Lamp Case - Paul Levinson

4 out of 5

Kinds of Strangers - Sarah Zettel

3 out of 5

The Good Rat - Allen Steele

3.5 out of 5

Built Upon the Sands of Time - Michael F. Flynn

3 out of 5

Taklamakan [Chattanooga] - Bruce Sterling

4 out of 5

Hatching the Phoenix [Heechee (Robinette Broadhead)] - Frederik Pohl

4 out of 5

Immersion - Gregory Benford

4 out of 5

http://notfreesf.blogspot.com/2007/06/hard-sf-renaissance-david-g-hartwell.html ( )
  bluetyson | Mar 17, 2008 |
Having not read any science fiction in years and years I recently decided to find out what’s been going on while I’ve been away. I’m a big fan of SF on the big and small screens and will probably be buried with my Babylon 5 DVDs (NOT the fifth season!) but I felt cut off from the source due to my ignorance of the current literature. All my books from the old days were gone, gone, gone: no more Heinlein, Dick, Herbert, Bradbury, Zelazny, Asimov, Sturgeon, etc. So it was into the Wikipedia I went to look up Hugo Award and Nebula Award to get me started working up a list of names I could take to the library and bookstore. Some of the fruit of that ongoing labor can be seen in my library… some already got the Deep 6 (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, anything by Neal Stephenson. I’ve never been tempted by Harry Potter).

Then there’s this book. I LOVE “massive tomes” and this is one of the massiveist! I had no idea what “hard” science fiction was when I bought it but as soon as I read a few of the stories I knew this was for me... big time! I want to feel that the SF I’m reading could happen. I want to find the concepts I read about in journals like Science and Nature expanded into wild possibilities. I want a story so convincing that I will suspend my disbelief that the "gee-whiz" stuff of today could be tomorrow's mundane reality. I’ll be reading for some time to come on the leads provided by this book. ( )
  Hoagy27 | Dec 2, 2006 |
960 small-print pages with 41 short stories, mostly by front-rank SF (never say "sci-fi") authors.
  fpagan | Nov 11, 2006 |
Showing 5 of 5
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Book description
Collects 41 stories:

"Gene Wars" by Paul J. McAuley

"Wangs Carpets" by Greg Egan

"Genesis" by Poul Anderson

"Arthur Sternbach Brings the Curveball to Mars" by Kim Stanley Robinson

"On the Orion Line" by Stephen Baxter

"Beggars in Spain" by Nancy Kress

"Matters End" by Gregory Benford

"The Hammer of God" by Arthur C. Clarke

"Think Like a Dinosaur" by James Patrick Kelly

"Mount Olympus" by Ben Bova

"Marrow" by Robert Reed

"Microbe" by Joan Slonczewski

"The Lady Vanishes" by Charles Sheffield

"Bicycle Repairman [Chattanooga]" by Bruce Sterling

"An Ever-Reddening Glow" by David Brin

"Sexual Dimorphism" by Kim Stanley Robinson

"Into the Miranda Rift" by G. David Nordley

"The Shoulders of Giants" by Robert J. Sawyer

"A Walk in the Sun" by Geoffrey A. Landis

"For White Hill" by Joe Haldeman

"A Career in Sexual Chemistry" by Brian M. Stableford

"Reef" by Paul J. McAuley

"Exchange Rate" by Hal Clement

"Reasons to Be Cheerful" by Greg Egan

"Griffins Egg" by Michael Swanwick

"Great Wall of Mars" by Alastair Reynolds

"A Niche" by Peter Watts

"Gossamer" by Stephen Baxter

"Madam Butterfly" by James P. Hogan

"Understand" by Ted Chiang

"Halo" by Karl Schroeder

"Different Kinds of Darkness" by David Langford

"Fast Times at Fairmont High" by Vernor Vinge

"Reality Check" by David Brin

"The Mendelian Lamp Case" by Paul Levinson

"Kinds of Strangers" by Sarah Zettel

"The Good Rat" by Allen Steele

"Built Upon the Sands of Time" by Michael F. Flynn

"Taklamakan [Chattanooga]" by Bruce Sterling

"Hatching the Phoenix" by Frederik Pohl

"Immersion" by Gregory Benford
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 031287636X, Paperback)

Edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer, The Hard SF Renaissance (2002) is a thematic sequel to their 1994 anthology The Ascent of Wonder. The first anthology argued that "[t]here has been a persistent viewpoint that hard [science fiction] is somehow the core and the center of the SF field." The Hard SF Renaissance asserts that hard SF has truly become the heart of the genre and supports its assertion by assembling nearly a thousand pages of short stories, novelettes, and novellas originally published between the late 1980s and early 2000s. A different theory says hard SF stories are engineering puzzles disguised as fiction; The Hard SF Renaissance repudiates this theory in regard to modern hard SF. Most of the selections have strong prose and rounded characters, several are classics, and gadget-driven clunkers are mercifully few.

Contributors to The Hard SF Renaissance range from SF gods like Poul Anderson, Arthur C. Clarke, and Frederik Pohl; to promising newcomers like Alastair Reynolds, Karl Schroeder, and Peter Watts; and to acclaimed SF writers not usually associated with hard SF, like James Patrick Kelley, Kim Stanley Robinson, Bruce Sterling, and Michael Swanwick.

You may have noticed the lack of women in that list. It reflects the book: the 30-odd contributors (some with two stories) include only three women (Nancy Kress, Joan Slonczewski, and Sarah Zettel, with one story each). Some eyebrow-elevating omissions are Eleanor Arnason, Catherine Asaro, Nicola Griffith, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Connie Willis, all of whom have written hard SF stories in the period covered by The Hard SF Renaissance. They've certainly written SF harder than the book's implicit definition (the book reprints Kim Stanley Robinson's fine story "Sexual Dimorphism," in which fossil DNA serves as a metaphor for the protagonist's failing relationship; a few cosmetic changes and this SF story would be mainstream). The absence of several crucial authors makes The Hard SF Renaissance a less-than-definitive anthology of late-20th-century hard SF. --Cynthia Ward

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:03 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"After decades of confusion, many of the field's best writers have been returning to the subgenre called, roughly, "hard SF" - science fiction focused on science and technology, often with strong adventure plots. Now, David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer present an immense, authoritative anthology that maps the development and modern-day resurgence of this form, argues for its special virtues and present preeminence - and entertains us with some storytelling along the way." "Included are major stories by contemporary and classic names such as Poul Anderson, Stephen Baxter, Gregory Benford, Ben Bova, David Brin, Arthur C. Clarke, Hal Clement, Greg Egan, Joe Haldeman, Nancy Kress, Paul McAuley, Frederik Pohl, Alastair Reynolds, Kim Stanley Robinson, Robert J. Sawyer, Karl Schroeder, Charles Sheffield, Brian Stableford, Allen Steele, Bruce Sterling, Michael Swanwick, and Vernor Vinge."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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