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Last and First Men and Star Maker : Two…
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Last and First Men and Star Maker : Two Science Fiction Novels (1968 original; edició 1968)

de Olaf Stapledon

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473944,495 (4.13)5
The greatest future histories in science fiction. In Last and First Men the protagonist is "mankind" in an ultimate definition — intelligence. Star Maker, in a sense its sequel, is concerned with the history of intelligence in the entire cosmos.
Membre:rasandberg
Títol:Last and First Men and Star Maker : Two Science Fiction Novels
Autors:Olaf Stapledon
Informació:Dover Publications (1968), Paperback, 438 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
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Last and First Men and Star Maker : Two Science Fiction Novels de Olaf Stapledon (1968)

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» Mira també 5 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 9 (següent | mostra-les totes)
I started reading this over a year ago but never got through.
  igorversteeg | May 24, 2020 |
There's really nothing else quite like this book. ( )
  rahkan | Jun 7, 2019 |
Last and First Men

This is one of those books that changed me a bit. The opening's very interesting with its mix of naïvety and wisdom, so he correctly predicts the rise of the EU, but gets the US's reaction wrong (so far). He correctly predicts a second European war, the existence of DNA and it's manipulation, atomic power and the global spread of American culture. And funny too, like the "Gawd 'elp us" bit and the delayed punchline. And the passage about the Negro dancers. I was about to become an apologist for him but it turns into a sharp satire on poor race relations.

But when time starts telescoping and again and again he strikes these magisterial notes as man is reduced to microscopic insignificance and we're just tremors in the opening bars of the music... It just made me realise how inadequate we are with our wars and prejudices, and how embarrassing it would be if future human species could look back at us, or if aliens turned up now, they'd be like, "What ARE you doing?"

And the influence on later sf is obvious. Childhood's End, Dune and Hothouse spring to mind. I would imagine those chapters that didn't remind me of anything have simply inspired books I haven't read yet.

Star Maker

Very clever writing. The opening is a case in point, where you don't know if you're reading science fiction or apocalyptic literature and he plays intellectual games with you. There's so much variety and satire and his imagination is just so fertile.

The problem for me was the middle section of the book. In Last Men you have forwards narrative drive and a clear protagonist. Here, there is no clear protagonist and the unnamed narrator jumps around in time. I realise Stapledon has done this for artistic reasons, but as a reader it doesn't half make reading it bloody difficult. It degenerates into a series of articles of varying levels of interest and it was a real struggle for me to keep going.

Which is a shame as the ending is very well done. It's worth ploughing on to get to it as you come full circle back to revelation. ( )
  Lukerik | Aug 17, 2016 |
The world's most effective sleeping pill. ( )
  Carnophile | Jan 18, 2008 |
"Last and First Men" is perhaps the greatest future history ever written. "Star Maker" is a visionary masterpiece of biologic and experiential metamorphoses, like a scientifically-informed "Voyage to Arcturus"(by David Lindsay). Stapledon is one of the great science-fiction authors, and a major incluence on Arthur C. Clarke, among others. Both novels are filled with ideas, and Stapledon manages to hold our interest even when writing in the detached manner of a historian of vast epochs of human evolution.

There is little consolation here for those, like myself, who seek surety of a purpose to our existence. The perspective is atheistic, or at most a pantheism in which the exercise of human will and intelligence suffice for themselves. But this, at times, almost inhuman detachement is accompanied by some of the most awesome visions of social and technological possibility ever committed to writing.

What mystifies this reviewer is that Olaf Stapledon is not better known among the reading public. It is possible that his time has not yet come. ( )
1 vota jeffreyhooks | Aug 31, 2007 |
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The greatest future histories in science fiction. In Last and First Men the protagonist is "mankind" in an ultimate definition — intelligence. Star Maker, in a sense its sequel, is concerned with the history of intelligence in the entire cosmos.

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