An Engineer Reads a Novel

In An Engineer Reads a Novel, our columnist examines representations of science and technology in new works of fiction.

The Rubble of Creation

This spring, I was enchanted by the story of mathematician Karen Uhlenbeck, awarded the Norwegian Abel Prize in 2019 for her work on bubbles, who at 76 still relishes the “technical obstacle,” “secrets,” and “mystery” of ...

The Pinsetter’s Lament

是什么让人类人类?区分我们来回m the machines we design to perform our tasks, machines we admire for their elegant mimicry, then resent and fear? If a compelling case ...

阉实验室

Kit Owens, the protagonist of Megan Abbott’sGive 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. InManhattan 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: …

科学和狼

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 ...