science fiction

science fiction

Our guest has grappled with large moral and religious questions on and off the page. We discover what she discerned -- in the act of creating a new universe -- about God and about dilemmas of evil, doubt, and free will. The ultimate moral of any life and any event, she believes, only shows itself across generations. And so the novelist, like God, she says, paints with the brush of time.

We probed a bit deeper into the musical affections of a "well-ordered" novelist — tastes that include Beethoven, Chopin, and Puccini but also Van Halen and Def Leppard. A light-hearted fiesta of conversation and sound.

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Hear Russell talk about the meaning and influence of music in her writing.

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Will the transcendent possibilities of "the singularity" invade our spiritual domains too?

Even though On Being producers sit within virtually an arm's length of one another, sometimes the conversation's better played out online. Check out the comment thread.