R284. Science in Literary and Mainstream Fiction: A New Wave

Room 101, Washington Convention Center, Level One
Thursday, February 9, 2017
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm


Recent decades have seen an upsurge of novels that deal with knowledge, themes, and characters from scientific fields such as biology, ecology, chemistry, genetics, paleontology, neuroscience, and psychology. Panelists discuss the reasons for this trend, the particular craft challenges and responsibilities of writing about science in realistic fiction, and the ramifications of such fiction for public understandings of science and debates on related social and environmental issues.



Nancy Lord is the author of several books including Early Warming and Beluga Days and recently edited the anthology Made of Salmon. Her science novel The Pteropod Gang is forthcoming. She teaches creative writing for the University of Alaska and science writing for Johns Hopkins University.

Susan M. Gaines’s books include Carbon Dreams, a novel, and Echoes of Life, a science narrative. Her fiction has appeared in North American Review, Missouri Review, Best of the West, and other anthologies. She is founding director of the Fiction Meets Science program at the University of Bremen, Germany.

Kathleen Dean Moore is an Oregon writer, philosopher, and environmental activist. She has published a dozen books, including Wild Comfort and two recent books about the moral urgency of climate action—Moral Ground and Great Tide Rising. Her new novel, Piano Tide, is set in tidewater Alaska.

Michael Byers is the author of the story collection The Coast of Good Intentions and the novels Long for This World and Percival's Planet. He teaches in the MFA program at the University of Michigan.

Jean Hegland's most recent novel, Still Time, is about an aging Shakespearean scholar's final encounters with the plays. A film adaptation of her novel Into the Forest was released in 2016. She has discussed science and "nerd" novels with scientific and literary audiences in Europe and the US.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center