Lab Lit - History and Origins

History and Origins

Fiction that incorporates real science into works of fiction that are not science fiction has also been referred to as "science in fiction." Jennifer Rohn coined the term "lab lit" with the launch of the Lablit webzine in 2005. It was relatively rare throughout most of the twentieth century, but began receiving attention in the cultural pages of science magazines during the first decade of the 21st century and has been championed by such scientist novelists such as Carl Djerassi, Ann Lingard and Jennifer Rohn. An upturn in the publication of lab lit novels occurred around 1990, with five to ten new titles appearing annually in more recent years. This is also reflected in a course at Lyman Briggs College, Michigan State University devoted to lab lit, and The New York Times' The Learning Network. The reasons for this increase are unclear, but may include factors such as an increased interest in science on the part of the general public, publishers, and established authors.

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