Hugo Gernsback, the publisher of one of the first science fiction magazines and the man whom some people label as the godfather of modern science fiction, defined science fiction as "a charming romance intermingled with scientific fact and prophetic vision" (cited in Westfahl, 1998, pp. 38-39). If science fiction truly includes scientific facts, it can have serious implications for the teaching of science to students, as well as implications for the general reader. Studies by Negrete and Lartigue, as well as by Stanhope, Cohen, and Conway, have provided evidence that information learned through narratives can be retained for a longer period of time than information learned through textbooks. The inclusion of science fiction novels into all levels of coursework, from high school to college, could promote learning of not only science but such skills as critical analysis, critical reading, research, and technical writing, to name a few. This paper examines novels by Michael Crichton, one of the most popular science fiction novelists of the 20th and early 21st centuries, to determine if contemporary science fiction writers include meaningful factual information in their novels.


Nancy MacKenzie

Committee Member

Lee Tesdell

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)




Arts and Humanities

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
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