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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The early part of the book begins with usual geopolitical speculative fiction of the kind that H.

Last and First Men

In short, one has to be concentrated to read this book, for it may be only about pages long, the story itself isn’t your everyday mainstream Sci-Fi. The Complete Exodus Trilogy. The account of all the iterations of mankind’s evolution and the richness in detail and nuance make it read like a convincing historical wtapledon, convincing enough to even entertain the idea proposed by the author that the future speaks to us through these pages. This masterpiece of science fiction by British philosopher and ans Olaf Stapledon — is an imaginative, ambitious history of humanity’s future that spans billions of years.

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It’s more than anything I know, and categorizing it is a mistake. Its scope is dizzying—and despite a somewhat disproportionate acceleration of the tempo toward the end, and a few scientific inferences which might legitimately be challenged, it remains a thing of unparalleled power.

Dec 10, Kate Sherrod rated it really liked it. It evolves through the ages: Yet he can never be sure that he has truly heard it, nor even that there is any such perfect music at all to be heard.

Most tellingly of all, we, whom Stapledon calls the First Men, the primitives of humanity, have already achieved nearly all the great feats of science, technology and exploration that in his book take eighteen successive species of humanity some hundreds of millions of years to accomplish. It is very good to have been man. The book is a history; it’s like reading a textbook. Archived from the original on 23 January Works by Olaf Stapledon.

The book has obvious flaws, but there’s just nothing else like it. 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.


Penned in by a philosophy professor, Last and First Men is heavy on exposition and all but devoid of character, dialogue or even plot beyond “exploring the nature of the 18 races of man from First 20th Century earthbound Homo sapiens sapiens to Last Neptunian superbeings who live for thousands of years and how their society kept on evolving and devolving and evolving again. 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.

Discover Prime Book Box for Kids. There’s one thing that held me back from really liking this book as much as I thought I would, though, and it is the reason that any adjectives I use to describe Stapledon’s work here are always synonyms of “interesting”, or “engrossing”.

Retrieved 1 October In the end, all humans were selfish and cruel, they were great in their achievements by working as a collective, they were astoundingly short-sighted in the way they treat each other, they were capable of grand plans spanning thousands of years. It’s also very, very clever; to encompass so msn time in just pages or so, it has to be. It opens your mind up to the true enormity of time atapledon space, and our insignificance within it all, especially at this primitive point in our species’ evolution.

Contemplating such awe-inspiring vistas is healthy, I think. Absolutely worth knowing, even now. The only book I know with a bigger scope is Stapledon’s own Star Makerwhich covers nothing less than the history of intelligence in the universe. The book is written by Last Man, who is able to visit his long past, for the benefit of First Man, as Last Man suffers the final demise of man. I especially enjoyed the tribulations of the First Men, with quite a few scary parallels to recent history.

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In my youth, I’d spotted this on the shelves in the local bookstore and my curiosity was piqued, but I never got around to reading it.

Last and First Men: It’s stapleon and slow and mostly uninteresting. Though I was a bit disappointed by its final section – The Last Men – it’s final CHAPTER moved me very deeply, and reminded me of Carl Sagan’s image “A pale blue dot”, in which a satellite leaving the solar system captured a picture of Earth, a tiny blue dot hanging in immense blackness.

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Sapledon, Stapledon’s predictions of a League of Nations world power and the various wars in Europe and the unification of science and religion in the United States have no resemblance to the reality we’ve lived through so far, but so what? I would twin this book with Stephen Baxter’s ‘evolution’, which deals with the same subject in a sstapledon biological fashion – Stapledon is more philosophical, his topics are culture and the ‘tidal’ nature of societies, each rising and reaching an ever-increasing pinnacle before collapsing under its own achievements.

In my mind, it is one of the most imaginative early SF classics ever written, just as important as willizm works of H.

Last and First Men, by Olaf Stapledon

The whole thing is just so fascinating, because while on the su A supremely interesting book, without a doubt. The very last part is perhaps the most beautiful and moving: This story tells the story of humanity, so the leap is not that big to make.

Though some of his early ideas proved incorrect, he is surprisingly accurate in his prediction of a polarised global society, in which the cultures of the USA and China are the two rival superpowers. The first American edition of this book, by SF Masterworks, opens with a regrettable foreword by Gregory Benford, in which he nonchalantly remarks: Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers.

A single ” Last and First Men ” has been a unique experience.

Seems more like a worthy experiment to me; I’m almost surprised it got published, but if Ole Olaf had given me this manuscript to read back in his day, I would certainly have devoured it and then praised his visionary imagination to the heavens.

Odd John and Sirius. What’s the last story you read that covered two billion years? WOW, this book is in a class all by itself for originality, imagination and scope. On a basic level, the experience was very pleasant stappedon of the imaginative power of Olaf Stapledon. One star for a gratuitous rewrite of the first few chapters in an attempt to make the work more palatable to modern readers.