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 End of All Things.

It does seem to mellow a bit when the Last Man narrator reaches his own time. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Some were actually artificially created by their prede Written inLast and First Men is unique in my experience of reading science fiction. Jan 18, ashley c rated it it was amazing Shelves: Leaving aside the visionary and vivid imaginings of our future selves which in itself justifies reading this masterpiecethe most bu provoking, but ultimately most depressing concept, concerns the minuteness of our present existence in the greater scheme of future and past events within the confines of our finite solar system.

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I would twin this book with Stephen Baxter’s ‘evolution’, which deals with the same subject in a more biological fashion – Stapledon is more philosophical, his topics are culture and the ‘tidal’ nature of ffirst, each rising and reaching an ever-increasing pinnacle before collapsing under its own achievements.

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Man eventually destroys the Martians. ComiXology Thousands of Digital Comics. This is not a novel. It has no characters or plot as such, concentrating on the large sweeping trends that become larger and more sweeping as it proceeds, and it periodically dives into issues of national or racial character and motivations rather than actions.

You submitted the following rating and review. In my mind, it is one of the most willism early SF classics ever written, just as important as the works of H. Clarke, who indicated that this book and its later successor Star Maker were the two most influential books he had eve Last and First Men: Yet it wasn’t ideal. The journey for which Stapledon is our guide is nothing less than the Evolution of Man, not from the past to the present, but from the present to the far, far, far, far, very, very, very, almost nuttily far future.


The novel appears in the computer game Deus Ex as a reference sstapledon a corporation in the game allegedly tries to develop the Second Men in the series, but also in a much broader aspect as the game deals with genetic engineeringthe next phase of evolution and human augmentations.

A word of warning. Inevitably so, for if it exists, it is not for him in his littleness. Yes, 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 olag lived through so far, but so what?

All that is familiar to us, the empires of mind and mammon, nations and names, the languages of Shakespeare and Tolstoy, are simply swept away by the passing of the years; slipping first into obscurity, then passing into mythology, before finally succumbing to oblivion.

I have not read something so bold, so richly descriptive, and so imaginative before. However, because I remained largely sober through girst volume, I can only offer up 4 with another half-star for Stapledon’s willingness to write a novel with no real characters and barely any dialog, but with a fluidity of imagination similar to that willima a toddler, though the topic itself is phantasmagorically sophisticated; and yet, all of this overwhelming structurelessness nonetheless holds together, forcing one to turn the page though the clock advises you that it is nearly dawn.

The book has obvious flaws, but there’s just nothing else like it. Until finally the human race reaches it’s tragic ending. His timescales would feel more meen if you divide by a olad of ten, or even more in certain places.


It promotes a kind of humanism, a non-religious call-to-arms for love, as well as examining the long, winding and blood-stained road to achieving such a society. Man himself in his degree is eternally a beauty in the eternal form of things. 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, las in gas giants, and sometimes merely striving only to improve the human race.

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In fact, even in his supposedly wrong predictions of the near future, Stapledon touched on some very true traits of human nature. Man himself, at the very least, is music, a brave theme that makes music also of its vast accompaniment, its matrix of storms and stars.

Last and First Men

It’s just that, well, gripping storytelling it ain’t. A definite must in my view for anyone who claims to oolaf even the slightest interest in science fiction and philosophy and definately anyone with an imagination that likes to be pushed to the limits.

It would be a whopping five-starrer if it wasn’t so egregiously boring at times. If I had taken the same mushrooms as Stapledon, I would certainly have given this book five stars. 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.

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The vast time-scale of this novel alone is enough to earn it some admiration. Some were actually artificially created by their predecessors. The review must be at least 50 characters long.