The opinions of the opinionated. Let's take a look at food, cinema, fragrance, baby products, legal decisions, booze, cars, and whatever else catches our interest.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Science Fiction, Science Fact

Please skip this entry unless you're a total nerd like me. I am so excited that science fiction writer Neal Stephenson included Luca Turin's tunnelling electron theory of olfaction in his newest novel, Anathem. It happens on page 590 of the first edition when one of the scientist/monks informs the hero that of course, the nose is a quantum device.

Of course it is!

It grabbed me because I'm such a fan of both men. Turin is a biophysicist and a perfume critic, and his theory of how the sense of smell works is as compelling as his writing about the art of scent. Stephenson, starting with the magnificent first chapter of Snow Crash, turns science and math into great storytelling. Seeing Stephenson refer to Turin's theory in was like finding out that my two good friends already knew and like each other.

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.


Julie said...


Joel said...

That's the response I figured I'd get.