A post worth sharing in toto (I hope Tim doesn't mind):
My somewhat satirrical definition of Hard Science Fiction is “Anything that reads like a cross between an engineering textbook and a right-libertarian tract”. This might be one cause of the sexism in the SF world, in that few women are interested in writing that kind of stuff; they insist on having things like three-dimensional characters.
That was something that turned me off consistently with most of the "new hard SF" I kept coming across: it was a race between the techno-porn or the politico-porn to see which would constitute the bigger audience endurance test.
Now that I think about it, though, those two things seem to come joined at the head for a reason. The latter is the theory and the former is the practice.Read more