Olaf Stapledon (1886–1950)

Autor von Der Sternenschöpfer

64+ Werke 5,626 Mitglieder 124 Rezensionen Lieblingsautor von 17 Lesern

Über den Autor

Bildnachweis: Courtesy of the NYPL Digital Gallery (image use requires permission from the New York Public Library)


Werke von Olaf Stapledon

Der Sternenschöpfer (1937) 1,667 Exemplare
Die Letzten und die Ersten Menschen (1930) — Vorwort — 1,445 Exemplare
Sirius (1944) 567 Exemplare
Die Insel der Mutanten (1935) 477 Exemplare
Odd John and Sirius (1972) 291 Exemplare
Last Men in London (1932) 120 Exemplare
Nebula Maker (1976) 46 Exemplare
Darkness and the Light (1942) 42 Exemplare
An Olaf Stapledon Reader (1997) 29 Exemplare
Far Future Calling (1979) 25 Exemplare
The Flames: A Fantasy (1947) 17 Exemplare
Death into Life (1946) 17 Exemplare
Philosophy and Living, Volume 1 (1939) 15 Exemplare
Philosophy and Living, Volume 2 (1939) 13 Exemplare
Worlds of Wonder (1949) 11 Exemplare
A Man Divided (1932) 11 Exemplare
Collected Stories 4 Exemplare
A modern theory of ethics (1929) 3 Exemplare
THE SEED AND THE FLOWER (2012) 3 Exemplare
Arms Out Of Hand 3 Exemplare
Four Encounters (2013) 3 Exemplare
A Modern Magician 3 Exemplare
A World Of Sound 3 Exemplare
East Is West 3 Exemplare
Youth and Tomorrow (1946) 2 Exemplare
Waking World 2 Exemplare
Interplanetary Man 2 Exemplare
Olaf Stapledon anthology (2013) 2 Exemplare
The opening of the eyes (1954) 2 Exemplare
Liekit (2021) 1 Exemplar
STA Juan Raro 1 Exemplar
X Rare stories 1 Exemplar
Beyond the "isms" 1 Exemplar
Olaf Stapledon Collection (2014) 1 Exemplar
X Biography 1 Exemplar

Zugehörige Werke

The Book of Fantasy (1940) — Mitwirkender — 616 Exemplare
Galactic Empires, Volume Two (1976) — Epilogue, einige Ausgaben393 Exemplare
A Century of Science Fiction (1962) — Mitwirkender — 196 Exemplare
The Road to Science Fiction #2: From Wells to Heinlein (1979) — Mitwirkender — 138 Exemplare
The Utopia Reader (1999) — Mitwirkender — 113 Exemplare
The Treasury of Science Fiction Classics (1954) — Mitwirkender — 75 Exemplare
This Way to the End Times: Classic Tales of the Apocalypse (2016) — Mitwirkender — 48 Exemplare
The Portable Novels Of Science (1945) 41 Exemplare
Tales of Dungeons and Dragons (1986) — Mitwirkender — 24 Exemplare
Titan-21 (1976) — Mitwirkender, einige Ausgaben9 Exemplare
Explorers of the Infinite (1963) — Mitwirkender — 1 Exemplar



Rechtmäßiger Name
Stapledon, William Olaf
Dee Estuary, Wales, UK (ashes scattered)
Land (für Karte)
England, UK
Seacombe, Wallasey, Cheshire, England, UK
Caldy, Wirral, Merseyside, England, UK
Seacombe, Merseyside, England, UK
Caldy, Wirral, Merseyside, England, UK
Port Said, Egypt
Rocester, Staffordshire, England, UK
Manchester, England, UK
West Kirby, Merseyside, England, UK
Oxford University (Balliol College)
University of Liverpool (Phd)
Abbotsholme School (Rocester, Staffordshire, England, UK)
ambulance driver (WWI) (Zeige alle 7)
peace activist
Stapledon, Sir Reginald George (uncle)
University of Liverpool
Preise und Auszeichnungen
Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award (2001)
Croix de Guerre (WWI)
Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame (2014)
Olaf Stapledon, englischer Philosoph und Schriftsteller, wuchs in Ägypten auf und studierte in Oxford. Neben seiner Tätigkeit in einer Reederei hielt er an der Universität Liverpool Gastvorlesungen über englische Literatur und über Geschichte der Industrialisierung. Nach seiner Promotion zum Doktor der Philosophie wandte er sich der Erforschung der philosophischen Richtungen im 20. Jahrhundert zu. Von 1930 an schrieb er Science Fiction. In der Tradition von H. G. Wells stehend, schuf er mit seinen Romanen gigantische Extrapolationen der menschlichen Entwicklung und der Entfaltung des Lebens im Kosmos. (Rückentext »Der Sternenschöpfer«)



Olaf Stapledon Question in Science Fiction Fans (Februar 2014)
"Last and First Men" Group Discussion in Group Reads - Sci-Fi (August 2013)


Perhaps my rating of this book is a bit too flattering. But that's because it's inspired by childhood nostalgia: I first read this when I was only 15, and it just blew me away. Perhaps that was what determined my choice to study history later. Because make no mistake: this may seem like a science fiction book, but in many ways it is more of a historical work. In this book, the Brit Olaf Stapledon (1886-1950) lets the Last Man (that is, the last descendant of the 18th human species) look back on 2 billion years of human history. Yes, you read that right: 2 billion years. This book does not stick to a million more or less, and one civilization and human species follows the other, at an increasing pace.

Of course, Stapledon was a child of his time and there are expressions and opinions that are ‘not done’ any more in our time (almost a century later), such as the description that 'negro dance' (sic) has a "sexual and primitive character". Especially in the first chapters, which describe the succession of wars between European countries and then between America and China, Stapledon candidly expresses his opinion about peoples and countries. In this way, the unique merits of England are highlighted (English pacifism is interpreted as the highest expression of civilization in our era), and America in particular is hit hard ("this was essentially a race of bright, but arrested, adolescents. Something lacking which should have enabled them to grow up.”). In fact, the entire Americanization of the world would lead to the eventual demise of the First Man. Perhaps it is indeed better to skip the first 4 chapters, because they are too close to Stapledon's own time and as a consequence are too colored by his present views.

From the fifth chapter onwards, the new human species and their ascending and descending civilizations follow each other in rapid succession, spread over millions of years, with regularly very long Dark Ages. What Stapledon serves here testifies to a particularly inventive mind, which was also surprisingly well informed with the state of science at the time. It is striking that he has a good command of the principles of evolutionary theory, and is even up to date with the latest developments in atomic science and quantum physics. Before you start to think that Stapledon mainly focuses on abstract aspects: he pays a striking amount of attention to culture and religion. Almost all civilizations he describes, have special cultural characteristics and in almost all of them forms of religion set the tone, bringing those civilizations to both great heights and terrible lows. For example, during the third human species there is an extremely musical civilization, also called the Holy Empire of Music, which in no time falls into a tyrannical regime, a musical theocracy.

There is, of course, a system in Stapledon's review of the heroic history of the human species: “again and again folk after folk would clamber out of savagery and barbarism into relative enlightenment; and mostly, though not always, the main theme of this enlightenment was some special mood either of biological creativity or of sadism, or of both.” Apparently, Stapledon's vision was strongly marked by the horror of the First World War, and undoubtedly also by Oswald Spengler's Untergang des Abendlandes (the Decline of the West), 1918-1922. He may have derived his cyclical view of man (perhaps it is better to speak of a spiral view of history) from Spengler. But Stapledon certainly did not share the German's deep pessimism. In many respects (as is evident from his other writings) he stands in the utopian tradition, with the associated optimism. This Last and First Men ends with a striking eulogy for humanity (we are now at the 18th and last human species): “Great are the stars, and man is of no account to them. But man is a fair spirit, whom a star conceived and a star kills. He is greater than those bright blind companies. For though in them there is incalculable potentiality, in him there is achievement, small, but actual. Too soon, apparently, he comes to his end. But when he is done he will not be nothing, not as though he had never been; for he is eternally a beauty in the eternal form of things.”

As mentioned, my appreciation for this book may be a bit exaggerated. But the lyrical description of so many eras, and the infectious (naive) recurring resurrection of the human species, really appeal to me. Even with almost 50 years between my first and second reading of this book. No doubt that says something about me.
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1 abstimmen
bookomaniac | 30 weitere Rezensionen | May 9, 2024 |
Story: 8 / 10
Characters: 10
Setting: 10
Prose: 7

Star Maker is the most ambitious book I have read. Unlike what the description suggests, it is a profound and fictional, anthropological history of the universe. The unexpected religious ending is endearing. The only weak points are the unnatural and loose direction of the plot, as well as the contradictory epilogue. Nevertheless, the story structures works. It starts a bit slow, as you would expect from a book that mirrors scientific texts.
Recommended for everyone, but scifi fans should endure.
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MXMLLN | 36 weitere Rezensionen | Jan 12, 2024 |
Story: 8 / 10
Characters: 7
Setting: 6
Prose: 6

Another fantastic adventure by Stapledon. Much like Star Maker, the reader is taken on the journey through one life. Sirius explores a host of interesting themes as he tries to find meaning in his unique, canine life: family, love, lust, nature, work, existentialism, friendship
MXMLLN | 20 weitere Rezensionen | Jan 12, 2024 |
Early sci-fi that I know I read, but don't remember.
mykl-s | 9 weitere Rezensionen | Aug 12, 2023 |



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