Originally I had a nifty idea about where my short story takes place--water miners on a planetary ring system--but as I try and get it under 5,000 words to increase my chances of selling it, I find myself chopping out great swathes of description about the setting. With this comes the realization it's quite an ordinary relationship story with superficial sci-fi trappings. There's some philosophical stuff about how the bleak void of outer space makes people rush into relationships, but mostly it's about two lovers and their hasty relationship.

The characters themselves are from my space opera series, which is most definitely sci-fi. But I'm not sure this story has enough sci-fi to qualify it for the sci-fi short story market. It's mostly just window dressing and light philosophy. So....

How much sci-fi do you need?