There are very few hard science fiction books I find that I actually enjoy. Most of the time, I find that they get too into the science, and their characters suffer from this. Two books I have read in the past few years, however, have broken this.
The first is Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey. This post was actually prompted by a post on IO9, here, using this book as their current book club choice. The book was great. And, not only that, but it is currently in development as a Syfy TV show. I’m not going to say too much more about the novel, because you can find some more information about it at the link to the book club.
The second was The Martian by Andy Weir. This book was quite a surprise in how entertaining it was. It is written almost entirely as an epistolary novel, meaning it is mostly in journal entries, written by the man left behind by the third manned mission to Mars. It is fantastically entertaining, and the author admits that there is a single time when he purposefully got the science wrong in order to have an exciting inciting event. You can listen to a book talk he gave at Google here. In this, he reads the first chapter of the novel and discusses the science behind some of the major points. However, there are quite a number of spoilers in the talk, so be warned.
Does anyone out there know of any other good hard sci-fi books that also have entertaining characters and a good plot to go along with their accurate science?