I think I mentioned a few days ago that I started a new novel. It's sci fi -- sort of a 20 minutes into the future thing, in a very optimistic interpretation of the job market crashing. I find myself feeling insecure about my version of the future in this book. To my knowledge, the future I'm picturing is plausible -- the components all fit my best understanding of current science.
The thing is, current science is complicated. I don't get most of it. I doubt most sci fi authors get most of it. I wouldn't call this hard sci fi if you put a gun to my head, but I still feel weird about venturing into the realm of 'science' fiction, rather than straight-up fantasy.
"Speculation" is a much more comfortable word, I think, and I think I'm probably going to start referring to this project as speculative fiction, rather than sci fi.