Many years ago I got turned off from science fiction because most of it had been reduced to pure non-science fantasy of the lowest common denominator kind. I liked "Artifact" because it had some real science in it. I would like to find other novels that have some substantial real science in them. By browsing books in a book store, I didn't find any that I could determine had real science in them by examining front and back covers. So, who are the best writers of science fiction with REAL science in their books? I can only think of Sagan, Asimov, and now Benford. Any further real scientists writing real science into their books?
Kim Stanley Robinson wrote the Mars trilogy and loves to have his scientist characters discuss their findings as they explore Mars - geology (areology), weather, soil chemistry, I can't remember the details. And he works it into the plot often, so if they DON'T figure it out, they die or something.
I'm not a top author (yet??), but my aim is to write great science fiction with real science in it. Here's my book for 8 to 12 yr olds (sorry! grown-up novel is in the works!) The Calling (Beyond The Elder Stars)
...where I put in a little orbital mechanics, lifecycle of alien creature, molecular bonds (and the gun that weakens them), electrolysis of water to O2 & H2 for rocket fuel, SHF radio communications, fusion power. OK kids won't learn a huge amount but they'll get familiar with the terms.
Good luck! Tell me if you find any more good scientific authors! I'm with you on that quest. Try Allen Steele and his Coyote series. Alastair Reynolds, Charles Sheffield?