|Author||Susan M. Gaines|
|Publisher||Creative Arts Book Company|
Carbon Dreams is a novel by Susan M. Gaines and an example of what has come to be known as Lab lit or "science in fiction". It was published by Creative Arts Book Company in 2000 and is Gaines' first novel.
Thomas Christensen writing for the San Francisco Chronicle has said, "In her debut novel, "Carbon Dreams," Susan M. Gaines gives us a work that's equal parts geology and romance. Gaines, who has degrees in chemistry and oceanography, has boldly built the novel around challenging scientific theories".
Karen Bushaw-Newton writing for the BioScience said, "Susan Gaines combined fact and fiction to depict the life and struggles of a female geochemist as her career developed. The book portrayed the scientific world in both positive and negative ways by highlighting the passion that scientists have for their research, the difficulties and frustrations of finding funding, and the politics of scientific discovery".
In New Scientist the book has been described as "It's all here: the fight for grants, intellectual ownership, a triumph at a conference (dream scene for any researcher), an affair or two and inevitable heartbreak as work edges out the lover. Gripping stuff." 
- Green, Bill (2009-07-20). "Tracing Earth History – An exploration of how fossil molecules can provide valuable clues to geological and biological history". asc.org. Chemical & Engineering News. Archived from the original on 2010-05-07. Retrieved 2010-05-07.
Susan Gaines, is a novelist whose works include the highly regarded "Carbon Dreams"
- Wilson E.K. “Novelist Combines CO2 and Romance” C&E News 79 (2001): 80-81.
- Christensen, Thomas (March 4, 2001). "She Blinded Them With Science". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
- Bushaw-Newton, Karen (September 4, 2009). "Molecules, Mud, Moon Rocks, and Microbes". BioScience, September 2009 / Vol. 59 No. 8, page 711-712. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- McDonald, Maggie (2001-06-09). "It's only a paper June". newscientist.com. New Scientist. Archived from the original on 2010-05-07. Retrieved 2010-05-07.
It's all here: the fight for grants, intellectual ownership, a triumph at a conference (dream scene for any researcher), an affair or two and inevitable heartbreak as work edges out the lover. Gripping stuff.