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Last and First Men: A Story of the near and…
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Last and First Men: A Story of the near and far future (1930 original; edició 2014)

de Olaf Stapledon (Autor)

Sèrie: Last Men (1)

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1,1712612,327 (3.65)1 / 56
One of the most extraordinary, imaginative and ambitious novels of the century: a history of the evolution of humankind over the next 2 billion years. Among all science fiction writers Olaf Stapledon stands alone for the sheer scope and ambition of his work. First published in 1930, Last and First Men is full of pioneering speculations about evolution, terraforming, genetic engineering and many other subjects.… (més)
Membre:Gerardo_006
Títol:Last and First Men: A Story of the near and far future
Autors:Olaf Stapledon (Autor)
Informació:Indo-European Publishing (2014), 238 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
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Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

Detalls de l'obra

Last and First Men de Olaf Stapledon (1930)

Afegit fa poc perIanPercival, narrator_v, TechThing, dstephenc759, statler19, D.Prisson, Katamariguy, biblioteca privada, ElliotS, agtgibson
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I bought this book in November 2013 at Waterstones in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, while on a short holiday. Going through it briefly in the shop, I found the idea of the story quite interesting. So I decided to go for it. I also bought "Star Maker", but I haven't read it yet. And since it comes after "Last And First Men"...

Full of excitement and interest I started reading the book shortly after the purchase, but barely a few weeks later I couldn't move on, and thus had to put the book aside. In short, one has to be concentrated to read this book, for it may be only about 310 pages long, the story itself isn't your everyday mainstream Sci-Fi. It reads more like a history book, as it describes the history of mankind (the evolutionary rise and fall of 18 distinct races of men, of which Homo Sapiens is the first and most primitive) over a period of 2 billion years. So you can imagine the scope of it all. Or maybe you can't, but once you've read the book, you'll see more clearly.

In addition, there are no dialogues, there's no action - well, there is, but it's described. There is no cast of characters that determines the events and what not. Also, and that's both good and bad, the writing style - as the book came out originally in 1930 - is so wonderful, tasty, fantastically advanced, lush, and literary, that it's also the reason why you must keep your mind to it when reading. Last, there's a good touch of philosophy inside, too. In a world where everything has to be or go fast, this book asks that you flip the switch in your mind, slow down, and focus.

It is a heavy, but worthwhile, read, and you may want to ditch the book aside or stop before halfway or maybe after, but if you take the time and let mr. Stapledon tell you his story, then you'll be amazed... or perhaps confused. In any case, it might change the way you look at the world, at life. ( )
  TechThing | Jan 22, 2021 |
It's really hard to describe this novel in a way that can do it justice because any cursory explanation such as "plotless" and "characterless" has some rather negative connotations. :)

Indeed, it's kinda impossible to have those here except in brief glances relying on bird's eye views before necessarily jumping on to the next BIG IDEA and Super-Imaginative setting.

For what we have here, way back in 1930, is novel of Future History influencing every big SF author of the day, even influencing Winston Churchill, HG Wells, Arthur C. Clarke, and countless SF writers ever since.

Why? Let me do this quick: Eighteen iterations of mankind over a billion years, from the total death of our mankind, the evolutionary re-emergence of the next, the differences, oddities, rediscoveries after soooo much time, the new dreams, aspirations, religions, the different values, before the next mankind dies off. We have Martian invasion, we have our invasion of Venus, we have major genetic modifications, telepathy during other iterations, the ability to experience racial memory a-la Dune, adding multiple sexes, immortality, living in gas giants, and sometimes merely striving only to improve the human race. Over a billion years. And of course, whole races die. Over and over.

It's grand, majestic, awe-some, and brilliant.

So much imagination is crammed into so few pages that a prospective SF author could just pour through this and continue to point at reused story ideas for even current-day authors! I look at the nuclear-powered version of life on Venus, the intelligent clouds of Mars, the huge brains, the musical race, the race of time-travelers, and my jaw just drops.

It's not without emotion, either. There's a deep an abiding love for everyone here even as a whole race suffers deep ennui and an existential crisis or during others that suffer impossible odds, accidents, or the final death of our solar system. The philosophies give it away. The spirit of the human races rise and ebb and undergo vast changes.

And yet there's no characters or plot. Just setting and world-building and vast movements of so many people. :)

It would never get published today.

And yet, it's still brilliant. Absolutely worth knowing, even now. :) It makes me wonder what we're collectively doing. We can't forget that works like this EXIST. :) ( )
1 vota bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
!!!

This took me forever to read but since it spans a zillion years that's probably for the best

The back half esp is weirdly emotional. Had to put it down bc I got too sad about how fucked everything is, particularly in distinction to his vision of how beautiful and replete Existence is for the second and last people; his Understated Objective Prose really got me. Oh well!

Some weird race science stuff here and there (tropical temperatures do not make you dumber????????) but dude internalized his Marx/Spinoza in a way that was a true treat to read

Also I read childhoods end earlier this year and while I liked it fine it's funny how it's basically an elaboration on a couple of paragraphs worth of story for Stapledon
  theodoram | Apr 7, 2020 |
I thought the author's time periods for the various generations of men, from first to last to be incredibly long, especially those of the period on Venus. An interesting look at how man works to perfect himself and maintain a universal existence in spite of devastating galactic or earthly events. ( )
  LindaLeeJacobs | Feb 15, 2020 |
Many millions of years hence, the most evolved form of humans, having learnt that the Sun is about to become a supernova, send back a message to us, the first form of human, about the historical and evolutionary path from us to them.

It is a novel of ideas rather than of character or plot since we rarely see individuals rather than historical movements and descriptions of types of human. I found it compelling if somewhat heavy-going at times, but I am so glad it is done. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Dec 13, 2019 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Olaf Stapledonautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Bacon, C.W.Autor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Benford, GregoryPròlegautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Edwards, LesIl·lustradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Goodfellow, PeterAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Kirby, WestPrefaciautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Lessing, DorisEpílegautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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Observe now your own epoch of history as it appears to the Last Men.
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One of the most extraordinary, imaginative and ambitious novels of the century: a history of the evolution of humankind over the next 2 billion years. Among all science fiction writers Olaf Stapledon stands alone for the sheer scope and ambition of his work. First published in 1930, Last and First Men is full of pioneering speculations about evolution, terraforming, genetic engineering and many other subjects.

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