"No book before or since has ever had such an impact upon my imagination," declared 2001 author Arthur C. Clarke of this masterpiece of science fiction. An imaginative, ambitious history of humanity's future that spans billions of years, this 1930 epic abounds in prescient speculations. A must-read for scholars of the genre.
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Olaf Stapledon's first novel Last and First Men, published in 1930, has sometimes been called science fiction's Bible--a sweeping, exhilarating history of humanity's future. Its awesome timescale, stretching across five billion years, was an inspiration to the young Arthur C. Clarke, who later wrote: "No book before or since ever had such an impact on my imagination." However, Last and First Men should come with a health warning: The early chapters, dealing with near-future politics from the viewpoint of 1930, are mired in dodgy short-term speculation and have dated badly. Soon Stapledon rings down the curtain on us "First Men" as an uncontrolled nuclear reaction sweeps the world and boils the oceans--and now his imagination takes flight. The Second Men are plagued with invasions of cloud-like Martians; the bat-eared, six-fingered Third Men deliberately create the Fourth Men who are essentially huge, immobile brains ... and so on through ever-vaster gulfs of time. Individuals, nations, civilizations, even species are evocatively shown as mayflies flickering in and out of existence in an immense, chilly cosmos that goes uncaringly on forever. Yet it's not a gloomy work: even as the dying Sun promises to become their funeral pyre, the Last Men affirm that "It is very good to have been man." Another classic choice from Millennium SF Masterworks. -- David LangfordBook Description:
One of the great classics of the first half of the 20th century - 2 billion years of mankind's history
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 1987. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Spine slightly slanted and creased, some wear to cover, corners and edges. Pages yellowing and page-ends yellowed. Small black mark to page-ends towards foot, does not extend to text. Otherwise in good condition with no noted marks to text, no creasing to pages. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 123428
Book Description Penguin Books. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Minimal damage to cover and binding. Pages show light use. Bookseller Inventory # G0140080880I3N00
Book Description Penguin, 1987. Softcover. Book Condition: Near Fine. Reprint. Size: Small Octavo. 326 pp. Binding is tight, covers and spine fully intact. All edges clean, neat and free of foxing . Remainder mark on bottom. Light general shelfwear to covers. Quantity Available: 1. Shipped Weight: Under 1 kilo. Category: Penguin Classics::Fiction; #94606; Penguin Classics::Science Fiction & Fantasy. ISBN: 0140080880. ISBN/EAN: 9780140080889. Pictures of this item not already displayed here available upon request. Inventory No: 38473. Bookseller Inventory # 38473