Wells and Pynchon, Men of Science

Author: David Carr (Sheffield)

  • Wells and Pynchon, Men of Science


    Wells and Pynchon, Men of Science



H. G. Wells and Thomas Pynchon were both educated in science, but subsequently followed careers in creative writing. However, science, and particularly the impact on society of developments in science and technology, remained a major concern to both writers. There are, though, profound differences between these two fictionists' approaches to their subject matter. Wells, who became the prophet for the anxious generations of late Victorian and Edwardian Britain, looked to a rational society run by a Puritan elite. Pynchon, on the other hand, exhibits a profound distrust of governing organizations and of the ubiquitous functionaries of the state apparatus of bureaucratic and military control. Consequently, he shows a reluctance to speak for anyone, seeking invisibility, disappearing into the structureless mass of society, allowing his fiction (albeit ambiguously) to suggest his allegiances.

How to Cite:

Carr, D., (1999) “Wells and Pynchon, Men of Science”, Pynchon Notes , 132-154. doi:

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Published on
21 Sep 1999