Thank goodness authors pull from fact to write their fiction. It is the only way I can actually have conversations with people about advanced science and physics theories – thank you Michael Crichton! Ok, so I don’t have too many of those, but at least I know what is going on in my Discover magazine. I have a basic understanding of nanotechnology from Prey, chaos theory from Jurassic Park and the idea of multiple worlds because of Timeline. Also, Dan Brown, taught me about the science experiments currently happening about the weight of the soul, or being able to affect electrons with our minds. Wow! I loved The Lost Symbol mainly because of that “wild” story line. Diana Gabaldon showed me what the Scottish Highlands might have been like in the 1800s and what would be like to live there. She also placed some of the events that happened over there in the English and American history timeline I have a tenuous grasp on. Anne Rice, the Shroud of Turin…wow, I never really understood the story until you showed it through Lestat’s eyes. Lisa See, I can’t believe women used to bind their feet like that! Charlaine Harris helped to remind me all about the devastation hurricane Katrina caused in New Orleans and beyond. This list goes on and on.
So, while some people see popular fiction as brain candy, there are bits of fact peppered throughout and you can learn without realizing that is what you are doing! I love that. I read only a little bit of non-fiction, and it pleases me to no end that my fiction authors keep me “smart”.
One of my favorite blogs, Today in Shenaya, is by an author who writes about her novel’s fictional setting and explains the background and real beliefs she bases her world and characters on. Interesting stuff!