Scott has an excellent Friday column on Richard Powers:
But if in Powers we lose a sense of mystery, we gain a sense of wonder. One of the most striking aspects of a Powers novel is the sense of genuine amazement at the natural world that the reader is left with. This is no small achievement tn an era in which it is often remarked that space shuttle flights are no longer televised because they have become so commonplace, so banal. Powers reveals a very real, very necessary awe at science and nature. This is no preachy exercise, no citing of facts and figures; it is something that is communicated through the stories and metaphors, something that takes hold of you as you read without Powers needing to lay it out for you. It is humbling, which I believe is exactly Powers’s point, to re-instill a needed sense of humility as humans gain truly God-like powers over their environment. This is something that neither Pynchon nor DeLillo does, something I think only a Richard Powers could do.