Unsex the Lab

Kit Owens, the protagonist of Megan Abbott’s Give Me Your Hand, is a postdoc in the research lab of academic rock star Dr. Lena Severin; Severin has just received a prestigious research grant when Kit’s ...

Robot and Juliet

What makes us fall in love with technology? In those enchanting early days, new tech can seduce with expanded horizons, allowing us to travel faster and farther, or connect across longer distances; and we appreciate this ...

Good with Her Hands

Jennifer Egan’s new novel, her first since 2010’s prismatic, prescient Pulitzer winner, A Visit from the Goon Squad, may surprise you. In Manhattan Beach, Egan’s virtuosic skills are devoted to verisimilitude …

Even Broken History Is History

Last month the mayor of New Orleans, Mitch Landrieu, spoke movingly about the removal of Confederate monuments and “the cult of the lost cause” they celebrate. The “Free Southerners” in Omar El Akkad’s debut novel, which opens in 2074, are also a cult of the lost cause: …

Science and the Wolf

Once upon a time there was Science. Pure of heart, untainted by the kingdom’s societal structures or geopolitical context, Science was simply Science: an apolitical quest for objective truth and beauty. ...

Prophecy in Future Perfect

This is the latest installment of our series An Engineer Reads a Novel.   When you’re looking for representations of technology in literature, it often turns out that Jules Verne got there first ...

Too Bad About the Trees

This is the latest installment of our new blog series, An Engineer Reads a Novel.   Heat and Light, Jennifer Haigh’s fifth novel, highlights the complexity, dirtiness, and danger of the labor of ...