New Wave Soft Science fiction


(permanent link) added: 2011-09-01 15:35:28 sponsor: pcw2727 (last reply: 2012-03-04 13:23:46)

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Around the 1970s the term Soft Science fiction was coined to describe speculative fiction stories which focused not on hard sciences such as engineering, physics, astronomy or chemistry, but on soft ones such as psychology, sociology, anthropology and political science.

A story about an Astronaut alone on the moon which focuses on the psychological stress of his isolation would be a soft science fiction story. The filmmakers may have been extremely accurate in their portrayal of certain hard sciences, but the story isn't about that, it's about the soft science of psychology.

Somewhere during the dawn of the internet people started repurposing the term to mean science fiction of a certain degree of implausibility. It is true that early on writers and critics of science fiction used the term Hard Science Fiction in part to separate the story type from pulp stories like Planetary Romance and Space Opera, however the idea of using "hard" and "soft" as measurable qualities was never intended.

Alternate History could potentially be a subtrope of Soft Science Fiction.

Examples

Literature

Fondly Fahrenheit is a short story exploring murderous behavior present in a synthetic humanoid

{{book/1984}} is a classic example given its exploration of political science and human behavior rather then technology.

Film

Moon

Cube the driving force of the story is the challenge of human cooperation in the face of distrust, stress and the struggle for one's own survival.
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