Soft science fiction


Soft science fiction or soft SF is science fiction whose plots and themes tend to focus on human feelings, while de-emphasizing the details of technological hardware and physical laws. In addition, ‘science’ in soft science fiction often falls into the realm of things which current scientists consider impossible or at least highly unlikely. It is called soft science fiction by analogy to hard science fiction and because soft science fiction is often based around the ‘softer’ sciences (philosophy, psychology, politics and sociology).

Soft SF is much less a defined subgenre than its counterpart, hard science fiction. It is sometimes used in a pejorative fashion when it is implied a given science fiction story is not rigerous enough in its application of science or is not ‘proper’ science fiction. Soft science fiction is also used as a synonym for New Wave science fiction.

Ray Bradbury is a good example of a Soft SF writer. In his short stories collected in R is for Rocket and The Martian Chronicles he takes common themes in Hard SF, like rocket travel or Mars colonies but focuses on the feelings evoked by these themes. (via Wikipedia)

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