THE SCIENCE FICTION OF H.G. WELLS by Frank McConnell

THE SCIENCE FICTION OF H.G. WELLS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The new Oxford series of books on science fiction has a worthy goal--serious critical studies of sf freed from the standard, literary-fiction criteria--but this seminar on Wells' speculative and utopian novels, though hard-working and well-informed, offers only the most quintessentially academic approach, heavy on socio-cultural cross-references and close textual analysis; and little of the storytelling under examination here really stands up to the heavily professorial treatment. McConnell begins with a brief biographical sketch stressing Wells' lower-middle-class background (and the belief in ""the power of Will"" that raised him above it), then moves on to Wells' responses to three major fin-de-siecle forces: his thorough assimilation of Darwinian theory, his reaction against art-for-art's-sake decadence, and his fear of the restless proletariat. And against this background McConnell proceeds book by book, from the relatively pessimistic

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1980
Publisher: Oxford Univ. Press