SCIENCE & LITERATURE--Together at Last

Only 50 years ago British historian C. P. Snow lamented that Science and the Humanities were two distinct and separate cultures. Today we may see them increasingly coming together. Please post here "science that reads like a novel", and "Novels based on real science" Science fiction is not out of bounds, but only if the science is hard and central to the story.
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180 books · 127 voters · list created April 1st, 2010 by Thom Dunn (votes) .
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Comments Showing 1-7 of 7 (7 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Hazel (new)

Hazel I have trouble thinking of Michael Crichton's books as 'literature'...


message 2: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Hazel wrote: "I have trouble thinking of Michael Crichton's books as 'literature'..."

Point taken. NEXT was not ready for publication IMO. On the other hand, Crichton may have known he was on short time when he wrote it. He's an Idea Man (PC: Idea Person), not a writer. Never was.


message 3: by Hazel (new)

Hazel Thom wrote: "He's an Idea Man (PC: Idea Person), not a writer. Never was."

Agreed. Great ideas.


message 4: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl So is Frankenstein out?


message 5: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn I wouldn't think Frankenstein was out. Many regard it as the first work of science fiction (after Le Dernier Homme), but it is certainly literature, IMO.


message 6: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Ok, I added it then. I thought maybe the "science" in it wasn't "hard" enough, as per your description above. Given that all we know is that Frankenstein took some body parts and stuck them together and used something....not sure what....(I think Shelley makes a reference to "galvinism" somewhere) to animate them. It didn't seem terribly realistic to me but I'll go with your ruling.


message 7: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Lobstergirl wrote: "Ok, I added it then. I thought maybe the "science" in it wasn't "hard" enough, as per your description above. Given that all we know is that Frankenstein took some body parts and stuck them toget..."

Allessandro Volta succeeded with electricity in making the limbs of a dead frog move, and this around 1793, if memory serves. So Mary Shelley was indeed aware of the "hard" science of the time....perhaps, I think, maybe, IMO.


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