I read Einstein’s Dreams (1992), by Alan Lightman, not long after it was published. I was in my mid-20s, freshly released from a degree in maths and physics I had understood very little of, and then a diploma in journalism. I wasn’t a scientist, certainly not a physicist (I loved physics but just wasn’t any good at it). I was working as a science journalist, but what I really wanted to write was fiction that somehow incorporated science. And Alan Lightman was the first author I’d come across who did this, beautifully.