Spring is not quite upon us here at the LabLit nerve center – winter is having one last bash and we are all hunkered down waiting for its final chill to pass.

I’ve been quite busy, with the science day job intruding regularly into my evenings and weekends, but have still managed to keep up with Fiction Lab. We had a great discussion of Richard Powers’ latest novel The Overstory this past Monday at the Royal Institution, with the usual range of rapture-to-quibbles in evidence.

I really liked it, being a pretty passionate tree-hugger myself, but others recoiled against the author’s attempt to make more of trees than meets the eye. I won’t spoil it except to say that there’s lots of interesting science, and one particularly convincing scientist character. It’s well worth the effort – even if you aren’t a Powers fanatic like I am. What The Overstory most reminds me of is one of his earlier lab lit classics, Galatea 2.2 – but far more sweeping…and maybe slightly somewhat (but not completely) less melancholy.