I've been thinking about the post that I put up last night. Gritty novels, especially science fiction novels, seem to be in vogue at present. Overall, I have no objection to grittiness. I used to own the complete "Dirty Harry" boxed set and I'm an overall Clint Eastwood fan (I guess I'm showing my age here). However, I don't read a lot of hard SF because it seems to me that the writing is often hard as well. Hard as in gritty.
I think I don't really enjoy gritty writing, but I do find it compelling. I didn't particularly enjoy reading The Hidden Worlds, but I did find it hard to put down. It compelled me. So did the first two chapters that I wrote about last night. Perhaps I read them too soon after The Hidden Worlds and I just was not in the mood for another gritty novel.
However, I got to thinking about some of the hard SF novels that I've read that were not gritty. Elizabeth Moon's The Speed of Dark was an immediate standout. As are most of Arthur C. Clark's novels. (For a long time, Clark was the ONLY speculative fiction author that I would read.) I don't suppose you can call Pat Frank's Alas, Babylon science fiction, but it seemed SF-like to me, and I didn't find it gritty.
I really don't know of many others. Do you know of any that you would recommend?