Theoretical physicist who loves philosophy — and a good story

From the Boston Globe:

SeanCarroll2Sean Carroll, a theoretical physicist at California Institute of Technology, has made a career of making cosmology and physics understandable for those of us who just barely passed high school algebra. Carroll discusses his new book, “The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning and the Universe Itself,” at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Harvard Book Store.

BOOKS: What are you currently reading?

CARROLL: I just finished Helen Wecker’s fantastic “The Golem and the Jinni.” It’s the kind of thing I like reading these days, really good literary fiction with some fantastical element to it. When I was a kid in high school, I read science fiction. When I got to grad school and afterward I discovered the rest of the world and read everything from Jane Austen to Julian Barnes and Thomas Pynchon. I have settled in between with people who are really good writers but who are not purely into realism.

BOOKS: Is that a hard combination to find?

CARROLL: I don’t think it is. Pynchon does that. Barnes too. It’s a gamut from people who get identified as science fiction writers like Ursula K. Le Guin and Kurt Vonnegut to mainstream literary novelists like Michael Chabon. My favorite example is Iain Banks who after publishing his first novel, “The Wasp Factory,” alternated between writing science fiction and literary novels.

More here.