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The Cygnus Award Categories are:
Soft Sci-Fi/Young Adult
Hard Science Fiction
A few words about the categories: Hard Science Fiction tends to be more “”technology”” based. Speculative fiction might be more concerned with different life forms or the inhabitants of the story have special powers. Some say that science fiction is a subset of speculative fiction… There are no clear or fast rules.
Hard Science Fiction tends to lean more towards the rules and laws of science — even within a story construct. Hard SciFi examples are The Expanse, The Martian, Interstellar.
An examples of Soft SciFiction are Star Trek, Dr. Who, Star Wars (space operas).