The title says it all, really, but some background - this was prompted by a post in another thread where one poster was using “hardness” almost as a recommendation in-and-of itself, that a certain series was worth checking out because it was “hard”.
Now, definitions of SF “hardness” are legion, but I’m not interested in debating that. I’m interested in if, by your own definition, you think “hard” Sf is better than “soft”. NOT whether you just prefer it, but also whether you think it’s objectively better by any metric.
I think hard SF is maybe more effort to write well, because (by my own definition of “hard” ) it removes a lot of the crutches like Psi and FTL. And that’s admirable.
But then I think of the SF properties I really like, and they’re an about equal mix of soft and hard, and hardness isn’t really a criterion I use very often.
When I do, I notice I’m doing it. Like, I read LeGuin, and generally she’s considered “soft”, but then I note the Ekumen doesn’t have FTL. Or I’m reading the Expanse series (beginning book 3, no spoilers!), and it’s generally quite hard, so the magic tech bits really jump out at me.
Anyone else do that occasional recategorization? And what do you think of the title question?