Re: Last & First Men - Re: MEDIA: Hawking predicts improved Humans

From: Technotranscendence (
Date: Wed Jan 17 2001 - 23:08:45 MST

On Wednesday, January 17, 2001 5:13 PM Russell Whitaker wrote:
> >By the next millenium? I saw that on TV. Astounding foresight required
> >that prediction. You'd need a brain the size of a planet. Hmm, probably
> >might get one by the end of the millenium.
> This somehow reminds me of Olaf Stapledon's classic
> "Last & First Men" (
> I read it about 10 years ago, was impressed at its
> historical sweep and beautiful prose, especially given
> its original publication date of 1930:
> ""

I was impressed more with the sweep than the style or the story. I found
his _Sirius_ and _Odd John_ to be better written. Sadly, he had a basically
tragic sense of life.

BTW, Stapeldon was a big influence on a lot of later science fiction
writers, especially Arthur C. Clarke and Larry Niven. Clarke's _Childhood's
End_ is like an updated version of _Odd John_.

You might also try his [Stapeldon's] _Starmaker_, which goes well beyond the
sweep of _Last and First Men_.

Anyway, his work should probably be required reading for Extropians and


Daniel Ust

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