One moment a man sits on a suburban hill, gazing curiously at the stars. The next, he is whirling through the firmament, and perhaps the most remarkable of all science fiction journeys has begun. Even Stapledon's other great work, Last and First Men pales in ambition next to Star Maker which presents nothing less than an entire imagined history of life in the universe, encompassing billions of years.
©2012 Olaf Stapledon (P)2012 Audible Ltd
this is not a slam bam scifi, but rather a more meditative, philosophical piece. the opening is poetic in style and description. then there is the visits to other worlds and peoples section which I enjoyed more when it dealt with differing types of potential creatures and would have liked to see more of this, like Sagan's Cosmos, but this is a very early work and so kudos to Stapledon for stretching ideas beyond bug eyed monsters. this middle gets too political though, showing how these cultures seem to follow similar histories and it may be that he was satirizing human politics. the end is excellent with the meeting with the star maker, though again, not a shoot em up type of finish. overall i thought there was much to ponder and you can see the influence on Clarke's Childhood's End and 2001 and much more beyond. I will keep going with the Stapledon's available.
Blew my mind like few books I've ever read.
Speculative scifi novel? Metaphysical philosophy? Surreal dream-journey? Epic prose-poem?
yes, yes, yes, yes.
And it was published in 1937! Seriously amazing. Stapledon is an under-appreciated genius.
This book is like The Silmarillion, except for alien/religious sci-fi. There is no plot, only history and more existential angst than Nirvana could have ever hoped to imagine. The author would wiggle out of explain in the details of cool alien technology by saying he didn't have time or could not understand it. While a few novel concepts were introduced, it was mostly hackneyed and frustrating in my opinion. I don't recommend it.
Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.
The sad truth is that I ended up using this audiobook to fill the silence while I worked on other things. It couldn't keep my attention and I do not remember what it was about.
Throughout this wonderful book "Star Maker", I recognised many tropes which today seem commonplace among SciFi literature.
What the Star Maker actually is, and the pure prevalence of life in the books' Universe, have been common among similar books which I have read in the past, but not done in this highly entertaining format of writing.
I expect that quite a few of the common Science Fiction tropes originated with this book, and the author.
Or, if they did not originate with this and him, then he is the most influencial SciFi writer to put these tropes onto paper.
There is a LOT of dated science here, but all concepts were up to date with mid 1930's astronomy and physics.
I cannot say that the heavy "Spiritual" ideas in this book were of much interest to me for a good portion of the book, being an Atheist; But the theme was used very well in the context of the books' universe.
Tropes that I was actually expecting to see along the line sidn't show up; surprising me silly. Such as, halfway through the book it seemed lime it was going for the "Universe Egg" trope.
All in all, dated scientifically, like most old SciFi, and a wonderful read, or rather listen.
I loved this book, it explores some of the biggest and most fringe possibilities of existence within a logic frame. A masterpiece
Awesome, Expanding and Remarkable
At the conclusion of the book the author wrote one of the best explanations of mankind's consciousness in relationship to all other potential forms of Being.
I believe that he made the story come alive and I found that his voice never bothered me.
No single moment stood out however, the expanded state that was created within me grew steadily as I absorbed the story. I was constantly being challenged to reset and potentially accept the ideas that the author presents in the book. I loved this experience and recommend it to all.
Just because the book was written over 70 years ago don't think that it is dated. I would suggest that everyone allow themselves the experience of looking into the immense possibilities that exist and enjoy removing the self limiting thoughts and beliefs.
This is the greatest book I have ever read. Sure, its not an easy read - even in audiobook format - but the immense size of the undertaking is incredible. It's like one of those images that zooms out from a grain of sand, up and up, until it is all the way to the end of spacetime and beyond. The philosophy in this book is simply outstanding, deep, thoughtful and insightful. The last few chapters... well, they are worth the price of entry alone.
A powerful cosmic vision of a multitude of living forms and minds in an ever expanding multidimensional universe. That this could have been conceived in the 1930's is mind boggling. it is infused with the author's humanity and literary flair although the style won't suit everyone - it is an exhaustive decription of an endlessly unfolding dream/trip/experience that has you wondering - could this be real?
"Science Fiction Must Read"
One of the best , and helps you understand the history of Science Fiction and this must be one of the great books.
While there is a main character, it more about how this was written that's amazing. More than that i wouldn't want to give away.
I listened to this book over three days, would of been shorter if it wasn't for previous commitments. It was so captivating
This was my first audiobook.
All books are unique, but this book is more unique than all.
Excellent clarity, expression completely in sync with the content of the narrative.
I'm starting to see now why quality of narration is so important. Although this is my first, I would imagine that it doesn't get much better than this guy.
Don't watch it, listen to the audiobook. The quality of the book is the imagination it compels.
Don't read it either, listen to the audiobook. It's an excellent book, but I bailed less than half way through. Listening to the audiobook is way more enjoyable.
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