Hard Science Fiction
This is genre of science fiction that’s concerned with scientific accuracy, with explaining how something might actually work in the real world.
For example, The Martian was hard science fiction. It presented an example of what an astronaut might actually do if stranded on Mars. A lot of Daniel Saurez’s books – like Delta-V – are hard science fiction as well
The exact opposite phrase – “soft science fiction” – is not as common. Those types of stories are often called “space operas,” because they deal with human emotion and conflict.
Why I Looked It Up
In November 2022, the author Greg Bear died. He was lauded as a seminal author of “hard science fiction.”