Last and First Men [William Olaf Stapledon] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Last and First Men: A Story of the Near and Far Future is a. Last and First Men: A Story of the Near and Far Future is a science fiction novel written in by the British author Olaf Stapledon. A work of unprecedented. Last and First Men a story of the near and far future. Olaf Stapledon. This web edition published by [email protected] Last updated Monday, May 25, at .

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We took it out of the same country library in Porlock in Somerset. The question of inebriants or other pharmacological accelerants to help you on the way, Lzst leave entirely to you, your God, or that significant other to whom you have entrusted your emotional and neurological well-being. It evolves through the ages: It evolves through the ages: Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web.

One can smile indulgently at how off base he was, but to do so is to completely miss why this book is a classic of the genre; after all, the rest of the 20th century is not even the first tenth of this book, and the First Men’s story covers thousands of years of struggle sometimes genocidal to form a world government, the creation of a scientific religion in which “divine energy” is the object of worship and the purview okaf a rigid guild of scientists, lqst the development of a culture of abundance no disease, no want, a flying car for everybody that values firzt physicality and flight above all else, to the detriment of human intelligence.

But for sheer weirdness, audacity, and scope, this one is still worth it. Aug 18, Glyn Lee rated it really liked it.

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See all reviews. There are no individual characters after the 20th century or so. The early chapters of the novel are best read, by a 21st century sci-fi fan, as a strange form of alternate history a la, say, Harry Turtledove; in this case, our point of departure is not long after Last and First Men’s original publication date, for nothing like World War II and the Holocaust even remotely figures in this extrapolation.


The Evaran Chronicles Box Set: Continue shopping Checkout Continue shopping. I repeatedly double-checked if this wasn’t in reference to something else, a symptom of the lack of belief that characterized my eyes at the time of reading. Everything dies and everything will be forgotten.

Last and First Men. People talk about how Heinlein originally dashed off all of the sci-fi tropes with which we have bh so familiar, but for a lot of them, Stapledon was there first.

A preeminent figure of British science fiction, Olaf Stapledon wrote several influential novels. I can’t fairly comment on the plot, since there isn’t any that I can discern. There is no standard plot. Remarkable book, filled with enough ideas to generate hundreds of SF novels, which it probably has. 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.

This is both clever and shocking as it simultaneously allows Stapledon to free his narrative of the shackles of contemporary perception, and ruthlessly demonstrates the utterly unsympathetic nature of the passage of time. Over a billion years. Stapledon tell you his story, then you’ll be amazed He touches on so many themes that still resonate today, particularly mankind’s potential for both great achievements and selfish cruelty, for deep insight and self-delusion.

Last and First Men, by Olaf Stapledon

Customers who viewed this item also viewed. But then, we must wonder if Stapledon was simply attempting to preserve some mystery, as well as avoid exploring topics of literally no significance, such as other art forms we as a species are yet to develop.


The whole thing is just so fascinating, because while on the surface it all seems like some wild and improbable flights of fancy, Stapledon an put considerable thought into these “visions”, and used the latest at the time scientific and sociological theories, as well as extrapolations based on politics and the global situation in That it will imperfectly shape expectations of stapleddon reading this review, that it will put so much emphasis on my experience of it so that it doesn’t leave room for you, the reader, to form an opinion that completely disregards what might be perceived as the opinion of a wide-eyed fanatic.

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Last and First Men

Unlike modern novels, the book reads like a future history without specific characters, touching down briefly to document key events, and pausing to reflect on their significance. First of all, the civilisations are presented in a way that is detailed and passionate enough as to allow the reader to feel sstapledon at home among them, whether they’d be on Earth, Venus or Neptune.

I felt I was missing some message here, stapledoon more than sweeping history.

In my version of the book the foreword by Gregory Benford actually recommends not reading the first chapters because of their factual errors. A remarkable treatise on the present and aspirational fundamentals of human nature and its relation to our place in the cosmos.

And ultimately, I myself couldn’t help but feel like a character within it. First and Last Men reads like a history of humanity as a stspledon.