H.G. Wells erupted onto the literary scene with a succession of brilliant scientific novels, or 'scientific romances', including The Time Machine (1895), The War of the Worlds (1898) and The First Men in the Moon (1901). Generally acknowledged as the pioneers of modern science fiction, Wells's early novels are immersed in contemporary science.
In The Early Fiction of H.G. Wells: Fantasies of Science, Steven McLean offers a detailed and comprehensive study of the interconnections between Wells's scientific romances and the discourses of science in the 1890s and early years of the twentieth century. Restoring the author's early fiction to the context of the periodical press and scientific publications more generally, McLean investigates how Wells utilises his scientific romances to participate in a range of topical scientific debates, but also disputes with such leading 'men of science' as T.H. Huxley and Herbert Spencer. He concludes that Wells's scientific romances retain a definite resonance in the twenty-first century.
Table of Contents
Heart of Darkness: The Time Machine and Retrogression
‘An Infernally Rum Place’: The Island of Doctor Moreau and Degeneration
Science behind the Blinds: Scientist and Society in The Invisible Man
The Descent of Mars: Evolution and Ethics in The War of the World
‘Science is a Match that Man Has Just Got Alight’: Science and Social Organisation in The First Men in the Moon
The Limits of a Sociological Holiday: Social Progress in A Modern Utopia
Hardcover / 242 pages / $127
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