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Cosmic Engineers: A Study of Hard Science Fiction, by Gary Westfahl. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1996. 148 pp.
 

Cosmic Engineers: A Study of Hard Science Fiction
This was the first book I ever published (though not the first book I wrote), and it remains in print to this date. The book came about because David N. Samuelson invited me to contribute an article to a special issue of Science-Fiction Studies he was guest-editing about hard science fiction, inspiring me to write such a lengthy article that I eventually had to split it into two articles (one appeared in Science-Fiction Studies, and the other was published in Damon Knight's Monad: Essays on Science Fiction). Still interested in the topic, I continued expanding the original article until it was long enough to be published as a book.

Here is the publisher's description of the book, and here is its Table of Contents:

1. Introduction
2. "Science Fiction vs. Science Faction": Early Efforts to Define Scientific Science Fiction
3. "The Closely Reasoned Technological Story": The Development of the Idea of Hard Science Fiction
4. "Treating the Whole Thing as a Game": Hard Science Fiction as Seen by Its Writers
5. "The Best `Hard' Science Fiction of Its Day": An Inquiry into the Origins of Hard Science Fiction
6. "He Was Part of Mankind": Arthur C. Clarke's A Fall of Moondust
7. "Like Something Living": Hal Clement's Mission of Gravity
8. "Gazing Out at Infinity": Charles Sheffield's Between the Strokes of Night
9. Conclusion
 
Bibliography
 
Index

My original article on hard science fiction, published in the July, 1993 issue of Science-Fiction Studies and essentially a condensed version of chapters two through five, is available at the journal's website:

"'The Closely Reasoned Technological Story': The Critical History of Hard Science Fiction." Science-Fiction Studies, 20 (July 1993), 157–175.

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