By Richard C.
Start your Hard Science Fiction Checklist Challenge with a just-published and aptly-titled short story collection, Carbide Tipped Pens. Number 1 is called The Blue Afternoon that Lasted Forever, and there’s more intensity in its 13 pages than you’ve ever had before. Yes indeed, you’ll find it a work of Hard SF that’s quickly read but never forgotten.
For a classic route, try Fredrick Pohl’s story Day Million in Digital Rapture, or either James Blish’s Surface Tension or Tom Godwin’s The Cold Equation in a book called Science Fiction Hall of Fame. Solaris Rising, Solaris Rising 2, Edge of Infinity, and Beyond the Sun carve out even more rock solid SF.