From the list on hard science fiction published this century.
Who am I?
As a scientist, I love hard science fiction, especially when the story makes me think about the true nature of reality or takes me on an adventure to places unknown. We’ve all read the classics from Clarke, Heinlein, Bear, or Asimov. But books written decades ago are becoming increasingly dated as society progresses into a new century. (Will people of the future really chain smoke? And why are all the characters men?) Never fear, modern hard sci-fi is alive and well. Here are five recent books that tell an intriguing, uplifting, or awe-inspiring story. Even better than the classics, it’s hard sci-fi for the 21st century!
Douglas' book list on hard science fiction published this century
Why did Douglas love this book?
Peter Cawdron has written a whole series based on various first-contact scenarios, each an independent novel.
Apothecary is one of my favorites. Set in 16th-century England, it follows a young apprentice named Anthony, who works at a London apothecary (a pharmacy). When his blind friend Julia is accused of witchcraft and set to burn at the stake, Anthony seeks help from a member of the aristocracy who harbors a deep secret about her arrival in this medieval land.
The story is accurate, fascinating, and fun, as superstition and primitive technology clashes with advanced alien science. But like all Peter Cawdron stories, at its heart Apothecary is a story of characters struggling to do what’s right.