People keep telling me I should watch The Expanse, but my tastes in science fiction lean more towards the literary end of the genre (Ted Chiang, Ken Liu, an occasional shot of Greg Benford or David Brin) rather than '50s pulps. I could go my whole life and never see another surly arm-wrestling belt miner snarling into a glass of synthohol or another outing for the trope of cowboy-as-maverick-space-pilot.
To each their own, of course, but I found these comments by H P Lovecraft chime with what I'm looking for:
"A good interplanetary story must have realistic human characters; not the stock scientists, villainous assistants, invincible heroes, and lovely scientist’s-daughter heroines of the usual trash of this sort. Indeed, there is no reason why there should be any 'villain', 'hero', or 'heroine' at all. These artificial character-types belong wholly to artificial plot-forms, and have no place in serious fiction of any kind. [...] We must select only such characters (not necessarily stalwart or dashing or youthful or beautiful or picturesque characters) as would naturally be involved in the events to be depicted, and they must behave exactly as real persons would behave if confronted with the given marvels. The tone of the whole thing must be realism, not romance. [...] It must be remembered that non-human beings would be wholly apart from human motives and perspectives."There's more from HPL's essay “Some Notes on Interplanetary Fiction” on the excellent Robert E Howard site On An Underwood, though I would take issue with Mr Derie's statement that Lovecraft mostly wrote fantasy. The Cthulhu Mythos stories are SF, it just happens that the deluded humans who worship the Great Old Ones imagine that their prayers are heard and that the rituals they perform are magic.
image: "Lovecraft in Space" by Belthazubel on DeviantArt