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Star Maker Paperback – May 19 2008

3.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (May 19 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486466833
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486466835
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 1 x 21.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #129,612 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Olaf Stapledon, English novelist and philosopher whose “histories of the future” are a major influence on contemporary science fiction. He received a Ph.D. in philosophy and psychology from the University of Liverpool. In 1929 he published A Modern Theory of Ethics and seemed destined for an academic career, but after the success of his novel Last and First Men (1930), he turned to fiction. Stapledon also wrote for technical and scholarly reviews on ethics and philosophy. His other works include The Last Men in London (1932), Odd John (1935), Philosophy and Living (1938), Star Maker (1937), and Sirius (1944). --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"A buried treasure of 20th century literature reemerges in this splendid and practical edition. McCarthy's revealing introduction and notes display the genius of Star Maker to a new century." -- Robert Crossley, author of Olaf Stapledon: Speaking for the Future --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
'Star Maker' by Olaf Stapledon is more about philosophy than about science fiction, but it has enough of both to make all kinds of fans happy. The author covers the history of, well, almost everything. He travels through space and time, back and forth, to explore everything from intelligent stars to the alien civilizations that rise ands fall, from simple plant-men to massive utopias. Always, he is also looking for the Star Maker, God, the Great Creator.
He even links this book to his first novel, 'Last And First Man', by talking about some periods in mankind's history, like the war with Mars. This book is all about scale. Yet while I enjoyed this book it didn't feel as well planned, as detailed as 'Last And First Man'. But I'm not sure a book of 272 pages could be said to be lacking in details. Its scope is vast and giving too many details might of limited it, framed it into too small a canvas. Olaf is using wide strokes of his huge brush to build this story.
With a forword by Brain Aldiss and a interesting glossary, I would suggest this book for both sci-fi fans, people looking for God in what seems like a godless universe and also people who just enjoy philosophy.
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By A Customer on July 17 2004
Format: Paperback
I rather doubt Douglas Adams "was thinking of Stapledon when he invented, in the Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy [actually, in "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe"]...the Total Perspective Vortex", just as I doubt former Late Show host Johnny Carson was thinking of Stapledon when he parodied Carl Sagan with his "billions and billions" speech. Douglas Adams and Johnny Carson were quite capable of finding out for themselves, without help from Stapledon, that the universe is big and that time is vast.
For that matter, it is a different thing for comics to harp on this simple-minded theme and for a science fiction writer who seems to take himself very seriously to do so. Rather than read "Star Maker" or "The First and Last Man", I suggest you read instead H. G. Wells's short story "Under the Knife", written several decades earlier. "Under the Knife" deftly and SUCCINCTLY puts the "Total Perspective Vortex" itself into perspective.
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By A Customer on July 17 2004
Format: Paperback
It's amazing to me that someone could call a book first published nearly a half-century after "The Time Machine" and five years after "Brave New World" "EARLY [my emphasis]...science fiction". Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" is an "early classic of science fiction", although, for that matter, the great astronomer and mathematician Johannes Kepler wrote a science fiction story about a voyage to the moon four centuries ago. Any way you slice it, however, science fiction had become a continuous tradition in the 1890's with H. G. Wells, and it is absurd to call a science fiction book published four to five decades later "early".
So much for "early"; now about "classic": For a work to be classic it has to be (at least) 1) very good and 2) WIDELY recognized in its own time. You can have your own opinion about 1) as far as "Star Maker" is concerned, but you can't reasonably argue that it meets criterium 2).
P. S.: Amazon's biographical blurb above is not quite accurate:
>After spending eighteen months working in a shipping office in Liverpool and Port Said, he lectured extramurally for Liverpool University in English Literature and industrial history.
Actually, after (and before) leaving the Blue Funnel Line and while teaching at Manchester Grammar School, Stapledon lectured evenings in the Liverpool area for the Workers Educational Association, NOT for Liverpool University.
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