This is a review of the kindle edition of "Last and First Men and Star Maker : Two Science Fiction Novels". Note that despite the title, the kindle edition does NOT contain Star Maker; it only contains the book Last and First Men! The kindle production itself is also simply disgraceful. The line breaks and pagination are wrong and there is an excessive number of typos. The kindle edition is not expensive, but even so, there is no excuse for such poor quality.
As for the book itself: the 1930 book "Last and First Men” was apparently very influential. I hated it. The simplistic depiction of the future history of humanity that Stapledon offers us is one driven largely by ideology, with societies often rising and falling because of the pursuit of various (often half baked) ideas. It goes on at great length initially about the nature of the English (cautious), the French (scheming), the German (pedantic), the Chinese, the American, the Jewish, the Patagonian; what immature prattle! A lot of the subsequent development is put down to environmental crises and motivations based on preposterous made-up religions. One thing I found particularly annoying is the repeated reference to people of the past as being “primitive”. Ultimately we follow humanity’s chaotic journey to “spiritual maturity”; indeed, much of the last half of the book embraces mystic notions, like the “cosmic mind”, which in practice doesn’t seem to involve much more original than telepathy and polygamous heterosexual sex. I think the book did have the distinction of being unique in attempting to give a possible future history of humanity for the coming hundreds of millions of years. But personally I found the ideas Stapledon elaborates to be tedious, pretentious and very dated.
- Paperback: 238 pages
- Publisher: Bibliotech Press (6 January 2020)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1618957988
- ISBN-13: 978-1618957986
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.4 x 22.9 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 358 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review