February and March Madness

Today I’m starting a new category of posts called “News.” They will focus on personal developments in my life that relate in some way to my blog on fiction about science. I’m writing this first news post because I haven’t been keeping up with a promise I made earlier to put up a post every […]

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Questions About Genre

When I’m asked by the writers I meet what kind of fiction I write, I almost always have to clarify that my fiction about science is not “science-fiction” and has very little in common with the science is found in the typical science-fiction novel.  The time has therefore come for me to discuss why fiction […]

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Review of “Cosm” by Gregory Benford

Cosmology has always seemed to me to be a very strange discipline.  Although it makes extensive use of sophisticated mathematical formulations, its subject matter strikes a nonphysicist like me as beyond the realm of empirical tests.  As my knowledge and understanding of physics increased, I was struck by another facet of cosmology.  Unlike the core […]

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A Scientist’s Coming of Age

The coming-of-age novel or Bildungsroman is a well-established genre with such venerable examples of Voltaire’s Candide, Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship, Dickens David Copperfield and Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye.  But there are almost no corresponding novels that focus on a young scientist growing up and mastering the practice and pursuit of a science.  That’s what […]

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The Problem of Explaining Science in Fiction

In my review of Carbon Dreams I went out of my way to warn readers that they might find some passages of the novel tough sledding.  Too much (dry? dull?) science, not enough action.  It’s a criticism I’ve heard from readers many times as I’ve written and rewritten Vanessa’s Curve of Mind.  I’m still learning […]

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Review of “Carbon Dreams” by Susan Gaines

Counting Intuition and The Gold Bug Variations, I’ve so far reviewed four novels set in a molecular biology laboratory.  Lest I give the impression that fiction about science can only be stories about molecular biologists, I turn now to another chemist in a completely different field.  Tina Arenas, the protagonist of Susan Gaines’s Carbon Dreams, […]

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Future Reviews

I’ve decided to post this special note to alert readers to the titles they can expect to see reviewed in coming months.  You’ll recall that in my second post, I said that I’d read 19 of the novels on the Lab Lit List, three of which I’d recently re-read.  In my third post I wrote […]

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