STAR MAKER

3.92 avg rating
( 4,508 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780140035414: STAR MAKER

"A buried treasure of 20th century literature.” -- Robert Crossley, author of Olaf Stapledon: Speaking for the Future

Widely regarded as one of the true classics of science fiction, Star Maker is a poetic and deeply philosophical work. The story details the mental journey of an unnamed narrator who is transported not only to other worlds but also other galaxies and parallel universes, until he eventually becomes part of the "cosmic mind." First published in 1937, Olaf Stapledon's descriptions of alien life are a political commentary on human life in the turbulent inter-war years. The book challenges preconceived notions of intelligence and awareness, and ultimately argues for a broadened perspective that would free us from culturally ingrained thought and our inevitable anthropomorphism.

This bold exploration of the cosmos ventures into intelligent star clusters and mingles among alien races for a memorable vision of infinity. Cited as a key influence by science-fiction masters such as Doris Lessing, this classic has left its mark not only in modern literature but also in the fields of social anthropology and philosophy.

Olaf Stapledon's 1937 successor to Last and First Men offers another entrancing speculative history of the future. Its narrator, a contemporary Earthman, joins a community of explorers who travel to the farthest reaches of the universe, seeking traces of intelligence. Along the way, they encounter nautiloid water beings, races of hyperspiders and hyperfish, composite group intelligences, plantlike creatures, and other strange life forms. Their dramatic voyage unfolds against a backdrop of life-and-death struggles on a cosmic scale.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Product Description:

Widely regarded as one of the true classics of science fiction, Star Maker is a poetic and deeply philosophical work. The story details the mental journey of an unnamed narrator who is transported not only to other worlds but also other galaxies and parallel universes, until he eventually becomes part of the ""cosmic mind."" First published in 1937, Olaf Stapledon's descriptions of alien life are a political commentary on human life in the turbulent inter-war years. The book challenges preconceived notions of intelligence and awareness, and ultimately argues for a broadened perspective that would free us from culturally ingrained thought and our inevitable anthropomorphism. This is the first scholarly edition of a book that influenced such writers as C.S. Lewis and Arthur C. Clarke and which Jorge Luis Borges called ""a prodigious novel.

Review:

Brian Aldiss calls this 1937 SF classic "the most wonderful novel I have ever read", and its Millennium Masterworks reissue adds admiring remarks by Jorge Luis Borges, Arthur C Clarke, Doris Lessing, Virginia Woolf among others. Olaf Stapledon is better known for Last and First Men (1930), a sweeping history of the future whose early chapters are now embarrassing--but Star Maker leaps straight into a unfurling vision of infinity.

Looking at the starry night from an English hillside, the unnamed narrator is snatched from his earthly body and flung through space at impossible acceleration, soon outstripping light. He visits other stars, sees other worlds and alien races, a gallery of SF marvels in documentary rather than story form. (Some of this now seems over-familiar, however fresh and new in 1937: the book drags a little here.) Fellow disembodied intelligences from the galactic community join our hero, sensing something beyond mere matter and energy:

The felt presence of the Star Maker remained unintelligible, even though it increasingly illuminated the cosmos, like the splendour of the unseen sun at dawn.

But the godlike Star Maker is not exactly God, as we see when the scope expands beyond one mere universe to show an endless cycle of creations, many of them being crude and "immature" products of this experimenter's hand. Further "mature" creations follow, foreshadowing the Ultimate Cosmos whose crystalline perfection is not comforting but terrifying. Star Maker's final unsparing evocation of the deep chill of infinity has even been compared to Dante. --David Langford

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Olaf Stapledon
Published by Penguin Books (1973)
ISBN 10: 0140035419 ISBN 13: 9780140035414
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books, 1973. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0140035419

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
9.31
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.07
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Stapledon, Olaf
Published by Penguin Books 1973-02-01 (1973)
ISBN 10: 0140035419 ISBN 13: 9780140035414
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
M and N Media
(Acworth, GA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books 1973-02-01, 1973. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 0140035419 We guarantee all of our items - customer service and satisfaction are our top priorities. Please allow 4 - 14 business days for Standard shipping, within the US. Bookseller Inventory # TM-0140035419

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
14.90
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.07
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Stapledon, Olaf
Published by Penguin Books (1973)
ISBN 10: 0140035419 ISBN 13: 9780140035414
New Paperback Quantity Available: 2
Seller
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books, 1973. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110140035419

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
31.75
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.30
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Stapledon, Olaf
Published by Penguin Books
ISBN 10: 0140035419 ISBN 13: 9780140035414
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Cloud 9 Books
(Wellington, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0140035419 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.1043266

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
47.61
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.85
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Olaf Stapledon
ISBN 10: 0140035419 ISBN 13: 9780140035414
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Castle Rock
(Pittsford, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97801400354141.0

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
85.90
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.07
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds