A preeminent figure of British science fiction, Olaf Stapledon (1886-1950) wrote several influential novels. Praised by H. G. Wells, Aldous Huxley, and Virginia Woolf, Stapledon's works introduced such innovative concepts as genetic engineering and terraforming.
Last and First Menby Olaf Stapledon
"No book before or since has ever had such an impact upon my imagination," declared Arthur C. Clarke of Last and First Men. This masterpiece of science fiction by British philosopher and writer Olaf Stapledon (18861950) is an imaginative, ambitious history of humanity's future that spans billions of years. Together with its follow-up, Star/i>
"No book before or since has ever had such an impact upon my imagination," declared Arthur C. Clarke of Last and First Men. This masterpiece of science fiction by British philosopher and writer Olaf Stapledon (18861950) is an imaginative, ambitious history of humanity's future that spans billions of years. Together with its follow-up, Star Maker, it is regarded as the standard by which all earlier and later future histories are measured.
The protagonist of this compelling novel is humanity itself, stripped down to sheer intelligence. It evolves through the ages: rising to pinnacles of civilization, teetering on the brink of extinction, surviving onslaughts from other planets and a decline in solar energy, and constantly developing new forms, new senses, and new intellectual abilities. From the present to five billion years into the future, this romance of humanity abounds in profound and imaginative thought.
Meet the Author
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
In the Nook version, the "Chapters" function under the Content (Parallel Lines Icon) didn't work. I tried it on Simple Touch, HD+, and Nook for PC ). However, the Highlight and Book Mark features worked normally. The built in table of contents between the cover and page two took me to the correct locations on all three Nooks, but was hard to see on the Simple Touch display. I normally fail to see typos; but, a some cases of miss scanned letters did manage to catch my attention. I had not heard of Olaf Stephendon until I ran across a reference while reading Parallel Worlds by Micheo Kaku (An excellent book). Checking Olaf's background, I learned that he was a philosopher who wrote science fiction and that Last and First Man was first published in about 1930. It is an unfortunate temporal inconvenience that Olaf could not have Kaku's Parallel Worlds before writing Last and First Man; however, I enjoyed the seeing the difference 80 years of scientific investigation have made. I expected a slow moving protagonist-less book infused with philosophical perspective and was not disappointed. It raises many philosophical topics and resolves none; but seeds many thoughts to ruminate on while and after reading. I purchased a copy of Olaf's Star Maker at the same time. Having heard that Star Maker makes reference to things discussed in Last and First Man; I chose to read the, harder to find, and less famous book first. Last and First Man is pretty much like I expected. Having read it first will probably enhance my experience of reading the more famous Star Maker.