In the 1990s, probably inspired by watching Star Trek and the like, I wrote two time-travel based sci-fi books with a political / thriller angle. Looking back I find it easy to be critical of the simplistic writing and derivative dialogue.
There was a long gap in both time and style before I set out to write a sci-fi novel like a grown-up and craft something a bit more intellectual.
In 2006 I completed “Sacred Ground“, a “soft” Sci-Fi novel / space opera about a search for truth, for many people, in many ways. It’s set in a distant post-Earth future, and was inspired by the Iain M Banks novels I was reading at the time.
Since then I’ve found a preference for hard science fiction – catalysed I’m sure by my science degree.
In 2017 I came across some old ideas, including a few chapters of what became “Imperfect Isolation“. It was originally intended to be a prequel to the previous time-travel pair, but my notes didn’t make sense so I took the plot in a whole new direction – and all the better for it. I finished this novel in autumn 2018.
Hard science fiction is a category of science fiction characterized by concern for scientific accuracy and logic. One requirement for hard SF is procedural or intentional: a story should try to be accurate, logical, credible and rigorous in its use of current scientific and technical knowledge about which technology, phenomena, scenarios and situations that are practically and/or theoretically possible.
Soft science fiction is not scientifically accurate or plausible. Some readers might consider any deviation from the possible or probable (for example, including faster-than-light travel or paranormal powers) to be a mark of “softness.”
Space opera is a subgenre of science fiction that emphasizes space warfare, melodramatic adventure, interplanetary battles, chivalric romance, and risk-taking. Set mainly or entirely in outer space, it usually involves conflict between opponents possessing advanced abilities, futuristic weapons, and other sophisticated technology.