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.
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.
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