November 13, 2018

8.1: The Children of Time pre-read: What is “Hard” Science Fiction?

This November we're reading Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky. Woo Adrians!

This episode we discuss what the "science" in science fiction means. What other books portray science well? What does it mean to write a book about science? Should science fiction try to be "realistic"? 

In addition, we give you the book facts, and discuss a number of other works. Links are at if they don't show up in your podcatcher:

Blindsight by Peter Watts
* Ursula K. Le Guin
Foreigner by CJ Cherryh
The Mote in God's Eye by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (also see episodes 2.1 & 2.2 of Spectology for further discussion thereof)
* The Dark Eden Trilogy by Chris Beckett
* The Mars Trilogy by KSR
Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang
* The Arthur C. Clarke Awards


We'd love to hear from you, either by chatting with us on twitter at @spectologypod, sending us an email at, or submitting the episode to r/printSF on reddit. We'll reply, and shout you out in the next podcast when we talk about your comment.

And if you like the episode, subscribe at or whever you listen to podcasts, and share it with your friends!

Many thanks to Dubby J and Noah Bradley for doing our music and art.

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