Novelist at Work: Allegra Goodman

Maybe you’ve already seen the excellent article for fiction writers tucked into the “Science Times” section of yesterday’s New York Times. If not, you’ll have to register to read Gina Kolata’s “Writer Depicts Scientists Risking Glory for Truth and Truth for Glory” online. Meantime, here’s a summary:

Allegra Goodman’s new novel, Intuition (Dial Press), is, in Kolata’s words, “a tale about life in a science lab that rings so true and includes details so accurate and vivid that [scientists] say they are left reeling.”

Goodman is not a scientist. So some have wondered how “an outsider, someone who has not been bathed in the culture and mores of science,” “could get it so right?”

Well, apparently her research process has something to do with it. And that’s what the article details.

To return to one of my favorite arguments–writing what you know does not necessarily mean writing what you have (already) lived. You can learn to know what you write, too.

Call for Submissions: Futurist Fiction

High Country News, a newspaper that focuses on the American West, is planning a one-time science fiction issue, “imagining what the West might look like in 50 years, if we were to create what Wallace Stegner once called ‘a society to match the scenery.'” The newspaper seeks stories of a sustainable future in the American West. “We’re not looking for idyllic utopia, necessarily, but a realistic assessment of people and their place in the landscape.” Since the winning story (or stories) will complement a dark tale (the West during a massive drought), “we’re looking for something to balance the grimness. A few positive trends that we’ve identified in recent years include a growing ecological restoration movement, dense, ‘New Urbanist’ development in lieu of sprawl; and blossoming local economies.

The submission deadline is March 30, 2006. Word limit: 3,500 words. Payment: $.30/word, on publication. Send via postal mail–no simultaneous or multiple submissions.

For the full announcement, click here.

(Via PayingWriterJobs)