Yes, scientific accuracy is important in a science fiction short story or novel. A glaring mistake can pull the reader out of the story and ruin the experience for him or her.
Then there's something called "suspension of disbelief". It's the concept that allows us to believe in blue-skinned humanoids with antennae on their heads, or a sentient android, or a time-traveling alien who can alter his appearance before he dies. It allows us to believe in Warp 9.8, hyperspace drive, and a floating space station not far from the event horizon of a black hole. Or a man being trapped in a computer, fighting for his life in a deadly tournament.
Science is one important part of science fiction, but the fiction part is important too. As I stated before, each author puts his or her unique spin on the same concepts, and that is what makes each story unique. Bug eyed aliens (or Reptilians) take over Earth? How do our heroes triumph over the bad guys? Do our heroes stumble all over the universe, finding problems to solve in every space and time? What kind of adventures do they have? Good storytelling transports the reader into that particular world and as the pages turn, he or she becomes so engrossed in the story that the words "THE END" is a disappointment.
That's a hallmark of good writing, no matter what genre. Science Fiction, in particular, should be a balance of science and fiction, in order to tell a good story.
P.S. Can you identify the various SF series/movies/books mentioned in this article (Parts I and II)?
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