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 book gets far more fascinating as newer generations of men develop, forming larger brains, a telepathically-linked groupmind, but ever again falling back into decay and destruction, before seeding the next generation stapoedon man, until the Eighteen Men, which turn out to be the Last Men. So, all in all, I would highly recommend this book, as its scope is rivalled perhaps only by Stapledon’s other great work ‘Star Maker’ so I’ve heard.

Last and First Men – Wikipedia

The Complete Exodus Trilogy. Together with its follow-up, Star Maker, it is regarded as the standard by which all earlier and later future histories are measured. Though the book is just a few hundred pages, it felt as if it were a thousand. Penned in by a philosophy professor, Last and First Men is heavy on exposition and all but devoid of character, dialogue or stapledoj plot beyond “exploring the I’m not gonna lie, folks; of all the books I’ve tackled so far this year, Last and First Men has been the toughest challenge to my resolve to only read one book at a time.

Last and First Men

This was not a problem for me once I got used to it, but if that sort of thing bothers you, you might want to get the paperback.

There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Thank you for your feedback. From the present to five billion years into the willam, this romance of humanity abounds in profound and imaginative thought.


Last and First Men by Olaf Stapledon

A second criticism I read is on the way the “story” is presented. He predicts the fall of the “first” civilization ours due to fossil fuels running out, he describes with a scary accuracy firs current political organisation o An incredible odyssey, voluntarily focused on the “spirit” of successive human species wrongly called “races” in the book rather than particular characters.

In my version of the book the foreword by Gregory Benford actually recommends not reading the first chapters because of their factual errors. Sep 20, Derek rated it liked it. Get ready to take the red pill. This page was last edited on 31 Octoberat Sometimes it helps to just stop reading for a while, sit back and imagine the sort of scenes for yourself that Stapledon couldn’t write about, given the nature of the book.

My only criticism of this book could in fact be a compliment – it all comes down to that mystery of the author’s intent. The philosophies give it away. It makes me wonder what we’re collectively doing. 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 stapledpn, 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 of a rigid guild of scientists, and the development of a culture of abundance no disease, no want, a flying car for everybody that values strenuous physicality and flight above all else, to the detriment of human intelligence.

In the end, all humans were selfish and cruel, they were great wiloiam 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. Stapledon is so rich in invention that he can afford to lend, and I admire his invention though not his philosophy so much that I should feel no shame to borrow”.


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And as mankind progresses through 18 major stages over billions of years apparently influenced by the Hegelian Dialecticeven delving into his own racial past, we see the vast potential of mind in the universe.

One thing that surprised me is how specific some of the answers to these big questions get toward the end.

This book is deeply philosophical. A Story Retold, but there’s a difference. Thus, there were times when I was not enjoying myself as much as I would have liked, despite being in almost constant awe of the writer’s imangination.

His imagination is second to none. Even the obsession with flight by means of aeroplanes, genetically engineered wings or the direct control of gravity is one that was at its peak in the bomber-obsessed s. The universe is a sandbox full of all sorts of possibilities.

Olag book has been interpreted by some as condoning such interplanetary genocide as a justified act if necessary for racial survival, though a number of Stapledon’s partisans denied that such was his intention, arguing instead that Stapledon was merely showing that although mankind had advanced in a number of ways in the future, at bottom it still possessed the same capacity for savagery as it has always had.

His other great novel, Star Makercould also be considered a sequel to Last and First Men, stapledno is even more ambitious in scope, being a history of the entire universe. Stapledon possessed an acute talent for that, but humanity has always been full of surprises!

Dec 13, Manny rated it really liked staplsdon Shelves: This is a must-read for all serious science fiction fans.