Pynchon’s early stories are facile at best, but the introduction to the collection—in which Pynchon addresses his readers and talks about his writing—is invaluable.
Regarding the design of Adrian Frutiger’s Univers:
If all this gave off an air of scientificity, attractive to typographers interested in possibilities of logically determined design, the considerable sophistications of Univers depended on old-fashioned drawing skills and patient small adjustments: it was an exemplary product of the Swiss craft tradition. Though it anticipated the possibilities of computer-aided typeface design, this was done quite innocently.Kinross, Modern Typography, page 154
It’s a common fallacy to observe the trappings of science in a work or text and assume that the process of science lies underneath. Similarly, many people read Pynchon’s novels and assume a familiarity with physics far beyond what he actually possesses (his physics education didn’t persist past his sophomore year); in the preface to Slow Learner, he confesses:
For a while all I worried about was that I’d set things up in terms of temperature and not energy. As I read more about the subject later, I came to see that this had not been such a bad tactic. But do not underestimate the shallowness of my understanding. For instance, I chose 37 degrees Fahrenheit for an equilibrium point because 37 degrees Celsius is the temperature of the human body. Cute, huh?Pynchon, Slow Learner, page 13
It’s the equivalent of a literary or artistic viceroy, in which the appearance of a scientific justification is enough to suggest the existence of the real thing.