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Best Hard Science Fiction Books

5 Books | by Ian Morris

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Pulitzer Prize-winning author and astronomer Carl Sagan imagines the greatest adventure of all—the discovery of an advanced civilization in the depths of space. In December of 1999, a multinational team journeys out to the stars, to the most awesome encounter in human history. Who—or what—is out there? In Cosmos, Carl Sagan explained the universe. In Contact, he predicts its future—and our own.
The Martian

The Martian

Books

"Originally self-published as an ebook in 2011 and subsequently published in hardcover in slightly different form in the United States by Crown Publishers ... and as a trade paperback by Broadway Books ... in 2014"--Title page verso.
Game Changer

Game Changer

Books

The breathtaking new technothriller from the New York Times bestselling author of WIRED. What if it were possible to upload years of knowledge into your mind in hours? To become expert in multiple scientific fields, become an MD, or learn several languages -- in a single day? The benefit to humanity would be immense. But so would the danger . . . Rachel Howard is a brilliant neuroscientist trying to make this capability a reality. But when she crosses paths with Kevin Quinn, a Secret Service agent desperately trying to kill the president, she finds herself at the epicenter of an insidious plot. A plot centered on the ultimate technological game changer. An utterly disruptive scientific breakthrough with the greatest power to transform civilization the world has ever seen. Along with breakneck action and unexpected twists, GAME CHANGER explores the fascinating inner world of our minds, and takes a stunningly unique look at how science might someday be used to make profound alterations to the human psyche -- for better or worse. "Richards is a worthy successor to Michael Crichton." (SF Book.com)
Seveneves

Seveneves

Books

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Anathem, Reamde, and Cryptonomicon comes an exciting and thought-provoking science fiction epic—a grand story of annihilation and survival spanning five thousand years. What would happen if the world were ending? A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space. But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remain . . . Five thousand years later, their progeny—seven distinct races now three billion strong—embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown . . . to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth. A writer of dazzling genius and imaginative vision, Neal Stephenson combines science, philosophy, technology, psychology, and literature in a magnificent work of speculative fiction that offers a portrait of a future that is both extraordinary and eerily recognizable. As he did in Anathem, Cryptonomicon, the Baroque Cycle, and Reamde, Stephenson explores some of our biggest ideas and perplexing challenges in a breathtaking saga that is daring, engrossing, and altogether brilliant.
Encounter with Tiber

Encounter with Tiber

Books

An Apollo 11 astronaut and the Nebula Award–nominated author of Directive 51 present a novel that “conveys the wonder and promise of space” (Publishers Weekly). Born the year of the Moon landing, Chris Terence spends his life fighting to return humanity to that pinnacle. An engineering student with dreams of spaceflight, he finds upon graduation that the United States no longer has need for astronauts. Years of bureaucratic meddling have reduced the space program to a shell of itself, and it will take the greatest scientific find in history to send humanity skyward once more. After years battling budget hawks, Chris finally gets his chance to walk on the Moon. While there, he finds evidence of an ancient alien civilization, the Tiberians, who visited Earth’s satellite eight thousand years before. Understanding what happened to those long-forgotten travelers will define the lives of Chris and his son, as they fight against all odds to unlock the secrets of the universe. “The collaboration of the first man to pilot a moon lander (Aldrin) with a major voice in contemporary science fiction (Barnes) has produced a fascinating chronicle of man’s first encounter with alien intelligence” (Booklist).