Olaf Stapledon

Last and First Men
  • Last and First Men

  • Olaf Stapledon's masterpiece - 'dictated' by the final human species - follows the rise and fall of humanity and its ancestors from their primordial abysses to their cultural and technological heights. Over many long years of future history, the human form itself undergoes dramatic changes - elongating, shrinking, and, finally, escaping the bounds of the body...

    Mesmerising in its imagination and scope, Last and First Men is one of the most influential science fiction novels ever written.

Olaf Stapleon (1886-1950) was born in Cheshire and educated at the University of Oxford. In his early career he worked as a teacher in Manchester and in shipping offices in Liverpool and Egypt. A pacifist and conscientious objector, he drove ambulances in the First World War and won a medal for bravery. He was later awarded a doctorate in philosophy and turned to fiction writing in the hope of making his ideas more widely available. His two masterpieces, Last and First Men (1930) and Star Maker (1937), contributed many ideas to science fiction and profoundly influenced numerous subsequent writers.

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