Duh, so that’s why I like Richard Powers’ books so much. The simple term is “Lab Lit.” It means works of fiction that get the science right *and* the story. I teach students that effective science writing often involves a main character. In journalism, that character is a real person. In Lab Lit, the authors get to make up the people.
In Lab Lit, Fiction Meets Science of the Real World – NYTimes.com.