Susan M. Gaines

Fiction Writer, Creative Nonfiction Writer

Santa Cruz, CA 95062

Author's Bio

Susan M. Gaines is known for melding science and natural history into literary fiction. Her 2001 novel Carbon Dreams was an early contribution to the genres now variously known as cli-fi, eco-fiction, and lab-lit or science in fiction. Her novel Accidentals takes on both environmental and political themes, and her non-fiction book Echoes of Life combines literary prose and narrative in a scientific account of discoveries in the earth sciences. Raised in California, Gaines has spent much of her adult life South America, where Accidentals is set, and in Europe, where she is a founding director of the Fiction Meets Science program at the University of Bremen.

Literary agent: 
Pamela Malpas of Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency

Publications & Prizes

Creative Nonfiction

Echoes of Life: What Fossil Molecules Reveal about Earth History (Oxford University Press, 2009)
Journals: ,


Sacred Ground: Writings About Home (Milkweed Editions, 1996)
Best of the West V (Norton, 1992)
Accidentals (Torrey House Press, 2020)
Carbon Dreams (Creative Arts Book Company, Inc., 2001)
Prizes won: 

Visiting Writer, American Academy in Rome

2018 Suffrage Science Award (for writing that inspires women in science)

Hanse Institute of Advanced Study Art in Science Fellowship

Pushcart Prize nominations, 1996, 1991

Squaw Valley Community of Writers Workshop Scholarship

Napa Valley Writers Workshop Scholarship

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Prefers to work with: 
Adults, Any, Men, Naturalists/Environmentalists, Seniors, Teenagers, Women
Fluent in: 
English, German, Spanish
Born in: 
Raised in: 
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last update: Feb 15, 2022