Science and technology have had influence in the author’s minds to create wonderful characters in their novels. And sometimes the stories even precede the future. Let’s see some of them:
Victor Frankestein is obsessed with life’s creation. After his studies of chemistry, electricity and dissection in the university and based on Cornelius Agrippa’s and Albert Magnu’s work, he decides to carry on an experiment. His goal: to create the life. The result: the creation of a monster.
From The strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Dr. Jekyll discovers that every human being has a personality divided in two halves, one good and one bad. After experimenting in his laboratory, he invents a potion that extracts the other personality. But his other personality is worse than the one that he expected and takes his good personality out.
From Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes is a detective that solves mysteries using the logic. One imagines that Holmes knows everything but this is not true. He knows about chemistry, anatomy, sensational literature and British law, some knowledge of politics, botanic and geology but he ignores all about literature, philosophy and astronomy. On the other hand even Dr. Watson doesn’t solve mysteries; he is a medical doctor indeed.
From The time machine
A man with knowledge in culture, medicine, politics, mathematics, biology and science is able to invent a machine to travel in the time. With this machine he travels to the future and discover a futuristic divided society. The time machine is not explained and the time traveller seems to vanish along the novel.
Julio Vernes’s novels
Verne’s novels are full of interesting scientists.
In 20000 leagues under the sea, the naturalist Arronax and captain Nemo try to decipher the mystery of ship’s disappearances.
In Five Weeks in a Balloon, Doctor Fergusson propose using a ballon to fly over Africa.
In the Mysterious Island, the engineer Cyrus Smith uses all his knowledge to survive with a group alone in an island.
In the novel Journey to the Center of the Earth the professor Lidenbrock is the leader of a travel to discover the secrets to the center of the Earth.
Other science fiction authors are Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Michael Crichton and Carl Sagan.
Asimov creates new scientific branches as the robot-psychology played but Susan Calvin in I robot and the psycho-story of Hari Seldon in the series Foundation.
The movie A Space Odyssey is based in Arthur C. Clarke’s short story named The sentinel that talks about the discover of an alien object.
Michael Crichton was a prolific science fiction author. Among his novels we find Jurassic Park and Congo. In Jurassic Park, the genetic engineering is applied to the reconstruction of prehistoric animals and many kinds of scientists play a crucial role in the novel: the Paleontologists Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler, the mathematician Iam Malcolm, the programmer Dennis Nedry and the genetist Henry Wu, among others.
In Congo, there is an expedition which is looking for diamonds and finds strange behaviours in the gorillas. In the group, Peter Elliot is the scientist expert in primates.
In Contact from Carl Sagan, the Dr. Ellie Arroway is the leader of a project to try to find intelligent signals from the space.
In the list of novels’ scientist there are some of them who are crazy or became like this. Examples of them are Dr. Moreau from The Island of Doctor Moreau (author: H.G. Wells) who makes experiments of creating hybrid beings from humans and animals.
And Dr. Julius from the Ian Flemming’s novel Doctor No, an expert who works in the destroy of Nort-American missiles and fights again James Bond.
Of course the quantity of science fiction books and stories is huge so there are more and more fictional scientists. Do you like to talk about a scientist of any of your favourite novels?