What is Novel: Definition and 94 Discussions

A novel is a relatively long work of narrative fiction, typically written in prose and published as a book. The present English word for a long work of prose fiction derives from the Italian: novella for "new", "news", or "short story of something new", itself from the Latin: novella, a singular noun use of the neuter plural of novellus, diminutive of novus, meaning "new".Some novelists, including Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Ann Radcliffe, John Cowper Powys, preferred the term "romance" to describe their novels.
According to Margaret Doody, the novel has "a continuous and comprehensive history of about two thousand years", with its origins in the Ancient Greek and Roman novel, in Chivalric romance, and in the tradition of the Italian renaissance novella. The ancient romance form was revived by Romanticism, especially the historical romances of Walter Scott and the Gothic novel. Some, including M. H. Abrams and Walter Scott, have argued that a novel is a fiction narrative that displays a realistic depiction of the state of a society, while the romance encompasses any fictitious narrative that emphasizes marvellous or uncommon incidents.Works of fiction that include marvellous or uncommon incidents are also novels, including The Lord of The Rings, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Frankenstein. "Romances" are works of fiction whose main emphasis is on marvellous or unusual incidents, and should not be confused with the romance novel, a type of genre fiction that focuses on romantic love.
Murasaki Shikibu's Tale of Genji, an early 11th-century Japanese text, has sometimes been described as the world's first novel, but there is considerable debate over this — there were certainly long fictional works that preceded it. Spread of printed books in China led to the appearance of classical Chinese novels by the Ming dynasty (1368–1644). An early example from Europe was written in Muslim Spain by the Sufi writer Ibn Tufayl entitled Hayy ibn Yaqdhan. Later developments occurred after the invention of the printing press. Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote (the first part of which was published in 1605), is frequently cited as the first significant European novelist of the modern era. Literary historian Ian Watt, in The Rise of the Novel (1957), argued that the modern novel was born in the early 18th century.

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  1. U

    My fantasy story idea with photon particles

    I'm a fantasy writer and I am twisting and almost bending science in my story. I see no harm in it, and if you agree, I would like to ask for help. I'm writing a fantasy novel where the protagonist must battle an army of strange creatures. I say strange because these creatures are made of...
  2. sbrothy

    Biography of Marie Curie as Graphic Novel

    Just stumbled over this one: https://readcomiconline.li/Comic/Marie-Curie-A-Quest-For-Light I know I'm one out of around only ~7 people who can stomach the amount of ads on these sites. It helps to set it to "low quality" and "show all pages" though. Anyway, the thing *can* be bought the old...
  3. H

    Can Sci-Fi Writers Use Real Science to Enhance Their Stories?

    I am writing a (hard!) Sci-Fi novel and am considering capturing some of my research in references. I would welcome any suggestions as to online resources that pull together across all science (+ physics) disciplines the sort of subject materials I would likely need. Idea is to focus somehow...
  4. anorlunda

    Can lasers guide lightning strikes to a safe target?

    I like this idea. Very creative, but in retrospect it sounds obvious. Just create a path of ionized atoms.
  5. benorin

    Insights A Novel Technique of Calculating Unit Hypercube Integrals

    Introduction Best viewed on a desktop, if you must use a phone, maximize your browser in landscape mode and sorry some of the math won’t fully display on a mobile yet. In this insight article, we will build all the machinery necessary to evaluate unit hypercube integrals by a novel technique...
  6. K

    Can Simplified Spacetime Analogies Work in Sci-Fi?

    Summary:: Sci-Fi author looking for science advisor Hi everyone :) I have just completed the first draft of a novel and am looking for someone to review the science and confirm I'm not wildly off base, misunderstanding, or otherwise talking out of my ass before I begin the edits for the...
  7. K

    Ideas for novel I'm writing I would love some insight on a concept

    Summary:: Ideas for a novel I want to begin writing. Brainstorming ideas and need help with a certain concept. Any help is appreciated! Hello to you all, this is my first post, and I Google searched this astrophysics forum because I thought it might be a good place to begin asking for advice...
  8. M

    Altered Carbon Season 2 -- Better to have read the novel or not?

    I love Morgan's Takeshi Kovacs character, and after Netflix serialized Altered Carbon in 2018, I went back and read all three novels again: Altered Carbon, Broken Angels, and Woken Furies. Netflix has now released season two of Altered Carbon, which seems so nominally based on Broken Angels...
  9. bagasme

    How to write a novel, given the synopsis that I had written?

    Hello all, In schools I had been dealt with novels (just quotes from them) on any language classes. I had discussed a lot about its plot, the characters, background, and even moral stories. But I haven't ever been taught about how to write my own. In grade 12 of high school, instead I learned...
  10. Rubidium_71

    Could Terraforming Ceres with a Smart Diamond Shell Be Possible?

    In an ebook I read recently, the author has a future society construct a shell around Ceres consisting of transparent orbital panels that are joined together into a solid sphere. They are made from a smart material of some kind, referred to as "Smart Diamond" that allows in sunlight but blocks...
  11. learn.steadfast

    I Novel Schrodinger equation examples for 1D

    I've been studying the 1D schrodinger equation, and getting a feel for solutions in the harmonic oscillator, or potentials of inverse radius (atomic/hydrogen), and many versions of stair-step/ square potentials (square wells.) But, I've noticed that there are very few exact 1D potentials in the...
  12. Howie BL

    Need help crafting a cataclysm (for SF novel)

    Hello I'm in the process of writing a novel and there is one specific event that I need help nailing down. The story is very much fantasy / science fiction, so reality is no barrier, however I want to stay as true as possible to laws of physics. Skipping background details, imagine a mini...
  13. Elon303

    Question about space suits on Mars - for YA novel

    Hi! I have a question about space suits on Mars. I've done a google search and find conflicting information. In my YA novel the protagonist makes a quick stop on Mars (just for a couple of minutes). I wonder if it's possible for a human to visit Mars surface for a couple of minutes with just...
  14. S

    How Can Time Dilation Be Achieved Near a Black Hole in Sci-Fi?

    Super frustrated English major here trying to do calculus! Please help! I'm in way over my head... So, I'm writing this manuscript that involves humans with genetically inherited teleporting abilities. Near the end of the book, my protagonist wants to fling the antagonist close enough to a...
  15. DrChinese

    A Novel entangled photon source with heralding

    Just saw this article from a highly respected research team, and thought some might enjoy seeing how the state of the art continues to develop rapidly: 12-photon entanglement and scalable scattershot boson sampling with optimal entangled-photon pairs from parametric down-conversion Han-Sen...
  16. jedishrfu

    Novel Technology to clean the ocean of plastics

    http://www.upworthy.com/a-dutch-boy-genius-said-he-could-get-the-ocean-to-clean-itself-turns-out-he-s-right This young Dutch inventor is set to solve a major ecological problem cleaning the great garbage patch in the ocean between Hawaii and California in a cost effective and possibly...
  17. M

    "Trajectory" question for my novel

    I am in the midst of penning a novel and need help with a physical analogy. I've scoured google for an answer and, perhaps because I have a headache right now, my eyeballs are swimming. So, I figured I should come here and ask. An object (in this case, a person's career) is on a trajectory...
  18. Curiose

    A Question: A novel set in the future

    I have been writing this science fiction novel in the form of a blog so that I can get feedback. It's based on the direction that technology is progressing on a whole, but in a "distant" future when we basically Ray Kurzweil got his way, but it didn't turn out exactly how he predicted. Chapter...
  19. JeffCyr

    A theoretical flotation device using a vacuum (for a novel)

    I'm writing a serialized Steampunk-fantasy story in which the cities float high in the planet's atmosphere using a combination of Magic and technology (sci-fi-ish steampunk technology) Though I want to bring it as close to real science as I can. From some google searches it seems that a vacuum...
  20. Roark

    Testing PhD Thesis - "Novel" vs. "Short Stories"

    My adviser and I have some disagreements about what my thesis should look like. I am a proponent of a single specific theme that encompasses the entire work. He believes in tying many different projects together with a much broader theme. I have been involved in a variety of projects (In order...
  21. K

    Who are the Iconic Characters in Physics and Mathematics?

    Dear PF Members! This is my first post. I've been reading these boards for some time now and the community as well as the pool of information is great and very inspiring. I realize this post may have seem better posted in fantasy section, however, I hope the discussion taking place focuses on...
  22. pac0master

    Alien technologies as portrayed in Sci-fi

    This is something that got me thinking for a while. Especially after learning the basic of physics and chemistry. Basically, pretty much every movies, novel, etc that feature an advanced race of aliens(or any alien in general), they gives them some sort of technology or their organic...
  23. Boltar

    Advice on Quantum Physics for Novel Writing

    Hi all, I thought this might be the best place to ask rather than just go charging in with inane questions and getting shot down. In short, I'm writing a novel which is based heavily on Quantum Physics and am looking for advice on aspects of this subject as they relate to events in the story...
  24. Flakes

    Working on the rough draft of a novel, mind if I ask some....

    I'm working on a science fiction novel, so feel free to ignore reality if you bother to answer this. In my book (rough draft) I was using laser beams to transfer data. Essentially imagine a relay of nodes between the Earth and Mars. Each node contains at least one (and probably more) laser beam...
  25. Zephyr007

    Is Sherlock Holmes a Sci-fi novel?

    We all know our favorite detective Sherlock Holmes is a fiction character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. But do we consider the novels "A Study in Scarlet, The Sign of the Four, etc." a sci-fi novel due to the detective's deductions or does it belong to another genre?
  26. U

    I Revolutionize Space Travel with Innovative Vacuum Launch Method

    I know magnetic launch tracks on the side of mountains has been proposed before but what if... you vacuum the inside of the launch track on the side of the mountain and extend the tube up from about 5K meters to 30K meters? The tube on the side of the mountain would be made of a strong metal...
  27. Docscientist

    What do you expect from a sci fi novel?

    Hello friends, I was about to write a plot for my novel when something struck me.I have seen people who read a sci fi novel for hours together but end up discarding the book halfway between the story as they found it so boring after a particular point.What do you really expect from a sci fi...
  28. jedishrfu

    Novel Idea on the Origin of Life

    Novel idea on the origin of life based on a system self organizing to dissipate energy as efficiently as possible: http://www.businessinsider.com/physicist-has-a-groundbreaking-idea-about-why-life-exists-2016-1?amp
  29. S

    Robust, novel, innovative, and unprecedented

    The following article just appeared in the British Medical Journal: Vinkers CH, Tijdink JK, Otte WM. Use of positive and negative words in scientific PubMed abstracts between 1974 and 2014: retrospective analysis. BMJ 2015;351:h6467...
  30. writer

    I Time dilation time travel for novel - I need a calculation

    Hi! I've written a novel in which my main character travels through time (into the future) 18 years. While the concept of time travel is necessary to the plot, the details are not. Meaning, the book isn't sci-fi, but contains elements that wouldn't normally exist in a contemporary novel, so...
  31. U

    Novel idea for space travel (launch track around the moon)

    What if we built an electromagnetic track around the circumference of the moon? We could then accelerate a spacecraft to a very high speed. In theory it would only be limited by the strength of the materials holding the craft to the track and the centripetal acceleration that the craft/people...
  32. KenJackson

    Calculating relativistic effects of motion in solar system

    This question and answer are posed in Kim Stanley Robinson's novel "2312". My question is, is this all made up? Or might it be accurate?
  33. Z

    Help with a novel: uses of a time gradient?

    Hello! I had a username on here from a few years ago (the site looked different then), but I can't remember the email or password, so I humbly return to the community as a noob. I am working on a short science fiction novel, and I could use a little informed insight. The planet on which the...
  34. X

    Fiction/Nonfiction novel explaining Magnetism?

    Hi, I am new to the forums and thought of asking this question convenient right here. So, I was wondering that we have many novels explaining Astronomy and Particle physics for non physicists or physics enthusiasts. For example books on Biographies of say Einstein go a little deep into his...
  35. E

    Research Question - How to find novel research ideas?

    Hey! So I've been reading a ton of papers on magnetic hyperthermia research (implanting nanoparticles into cancerous tissue and heating up the implanted area with an AC magnetic field to melt away the tumor cells). And now it's to the point where I would like to actually do something of my own...
  36. DaveC426913

    Baxter novel factoid or fictoid?

    I've just finished reading Stephen Baxter's Proxima - a gritty telling on the first interstellar voyage and colonization of P. Centauri. I like to think that, while Baxter pens audacious and fanciful stories about exploration, he is not one to simply fabricate physics like some Jules Vernian...
  37. Naomi

    What Novel are You Reading? Holiday Read Recommendations?

    The holidays are upon us. With the holiday's comes time off work and school for many. What books are you reading during your spare time? Do you Have any Favorite holiday reads? Perhaps some guilty favorites? Currently I am working on four novels: 1. The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene 2. Anna...
  38. A

    Can an AI write a credible novel with Wikipedia and YouTube?

    I always wanted to create a toolbox of critical analysis tools for young people to analyze, debate, and anticipate the near term future given our human nature and our history, especially since the scientific revolution. This is what my novel is intended to do, but writing a first (crap) edition...
  39. D

    Novel work-in-progress--Nano-Info

    This question is relative to a fiction novel that I am writing. There would be about three or four paragraphs. It concerns Nano-Bots. I wish to present the concept in a more intelligent manner...or is it okay as it is, and will not post, if it is unworthy of your expertise. May I post these for...
  40. E

    Ship Mounted Coilgun Measurements

    In the story I am currently working on, a weapon commonly used on ships is a sort of coilgun. I want to create a ratings system for these coilguns and want to know the range of ampule-turns that would be used in large coilguns (barrel diameters range from six inches to two feet).
  41. voodooattack

    Flashover: A hard sci-fi novel I'm working on

    Here's a story I've been working on for the past week. It's more of an experiment really. This novel does (or will eventually) interact with a myriad of fields, including computer science, nanotechnology, molecular biology, and quantum mechanics. I'd really love to see some input from...
  42. H

    Question on a Stephen King novel

    If you've read "The Stand", you'll remember the part where all the scientists in the underground facility die when the virus is released. I was always confused by this because the virus took weeks to kill everyone else, but the scientists seemed to have died on the spot while going about their...
  43. B

    Novel Flying Device: Balloon Copter

    Any reason why the balloon could not be substituted for a turbine to make a practicle flying device . One that could have comercial use. http://www.presentsformen.co.uk/science-museum-balloon-copter-prod9413/?gclid=cpdtrkvg074cfcpmtaodrnoa5g
  44. Ryan_m_b

    Novel and simple means of iPSC production

    I'm a few weeks behind in this news but it seems that an astoundingly simple way of producing pluripotent stem cells has been discovered. The method is being called stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency and involves a transient exposure to low pH...
  45. S

    Assistance needed with sci fi novel

    Hi all, Thank you for the pleasure of being part of this forum. I'm sorry if this is in the wrong area, please feel free to move this post if it is. I'm in the process of creating a science fiction novel and I need some help please. Very simply, Earth has over time destroyed itself and...
  46. Z

    How do you determine the pKa values of novel bases?

    Imagine there is a reaction performed and it contains a product that is easily separable via an acid base extraction. This product is only formed in 50% yield. The other 50% formed unwanted products that are to be separated and done away with. If all that is known is the structure of these...
  47. U

    Novel way for interstellar travel

    Suppose there was a ring of some material (steel? future carbon nano tubes?) around the sun. The ring would have a diameter of 2*10^9th meters. If a solar sail were placed attached to the ring with the reflector at a 45 degree angle) then the solar sails velocity would only be limited by the...
  48. R

    Is Writing a Sci-Fi Novel as Challenging as Becoming a Bestseller?

    Firstly, it's darn hard work, and any notion I had about overtaking Crawford's, Lights Out, have been dealt a painful blow. He became a multimillionaire in the time it takes the photons leaving your monitor to pass the end of your nose. Well, so it's said. I talked at length to Richard...
  49. W

    Need verification of physics phrase for novel

    Need verification of "physics phrase" for novel Dear scientists, I am currently working on a novel, and for that I need a phrase to be verified for accuracy and validity, as I do not want to come up with something that is complete nonsense. In plain English, I want to say that you cannot...
  50. E

    Can Evolved State: Dichotomy Capture Your Imagination?

    Hello Everyone! My brother and I are a writing a book, and I'd love it if you guys would provide some feedback. You love it, you hate it, what have you. Honestly I've been developing this for so long I can't realistically appraise it. If you like what you see, feel free to like us on...