Mountains from Molehills, along with the Baggage series, is probably the closest I’ve gotten to writing hard sci-fi. Post-Einstein is a phrase I use in the opening line, meaning in this timeline they’ve found a way to travel faster through space than we currently think possible.
Like a couple of the Indepentionals before it, it was largely inspired by the science-fiction stories of Arthur Clarke, the story having a certain focus on ‘scientific’ details that are not normally present in my writing. Another piece of inspiration is my, at times, quite literal mind hearing the phrase ‘mountains from molehills’ and trying to think of a way to base a story around a more literal interpretation.
It bears similarities to Eccentric Botchanist in that the discovery of a new planet sparks off the events of the story, but here the events are more benign for Earth and less so for the discovered planet whose ecosystem is damaged by result-focused colonists.