Sci-Fi That Takes Science Seriously

June 18th, 2018

Episode description

The golden era of “hard” science fiction that respects the rules of actual science lasted from the 1940s to the 1960s. In the 1970s, demand for hard sci-fi fell off a cliff, with a big push from the first Star Wars movie in 1977. But for the last year and a half, Soonish host Wade Roush has been part of a project to revive this underappreciated genre. This week’s episode is all about Twelve Tomorrows, the new short-story anthology Wade edited for MIT Technology Review and the MIT Press. The episode outlines the book’s mission and origin story. And four of the eleven authors who contributed stories to the book weight in on the differences between hard science fiction, fantasy, and other sci-fi sub-genres.

Soonish listeners can get 30% off the book's list price by calling 1-800-405-1619 or writing to and using the discount code SOONISH30. And now through July 31, listeners who become new Soonish patrons at Patreon at the $5 per episode level or above will get a free autographed copy of the book! To sign up go to

The full video of the Twelve Tomorrows launch event, including readings by Elizabeth Bear, Lisa Huang, and Ken Liu is at

Music in this episode by Graham Gordon Ramsay and Titlecard Music. Full episode details:

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