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Topic: Olaf Stapledon

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In the News (Fri 19 Oct 18)

  Article Abstracts: #28 (The Science Fiction of Olaf Stapledon)
Stapledon's fictions feature a staggering array of visionary experiences, including a confrontation with the Star Maker, a cosmic view of human history over a span of two billion years, and an exploration of spirit and mind among a cast of characters that includes stars, nebulae dogs, flames, and the cosmos itself.
And even when Stapledon is hostile or negative towards Ruskin's thinking, his objections seem either commonsensical, as in his defense of the machine, or else derivative of well-known Marxist doctrine, as in his critique of nostalgic medieval paternalism and capitalist exploitation.
Stapledon was always cautious never to exceed what he assessed to be the boundaries of human perception and knowledge; and to him religion--at least as popularly promulgated--was a snare and a delusion.
www.depauw.edu /sfs/abstracts/a28.htm   (1166 words)

 Stapledon, (William)Olaf (1886-1950)
English philosopher and novelist whose ground-breaking ideas, not least concerning the anatomical, mental, and moral diversity that might exist among intelligent extraterrestrials, served as a fertile source of inspiration for many subsequent science fiction writers.
Almost as the Greek philosophers did, Stapledon seems to touch upon every conceivable possibility, up to and including a single, cosmos-wide entity, so that future writers can only play with variations upon the same ideas.
Among those to be most directly influenced by his breadth of vision were his compatriots, C. Lewis and Arthur C. Clarke.
www.daviddarling.info /encyclopedia/S/Stapledon.html   (245 words)

 Evolutionary Futurism in Stapledon’s ‘Star Maker’
Olaf Stapledon, Ph.D. (1886-1950), a British philosopher and writer of science fiction, combines his interests in philosophy and fiction with an humanitarian concern for the future of mankind in his major science fiction novel, Star Maker (1937).
Stapledon thus brings together his basic concerns for a viable community and a metaphysic as his narrator questions the ultimate meaning of the only good he is able to perceive -- the symbiotic love of two human beings.
Stapledon’s hope at the close of the novel is futuristic, and he hopes that his panoramic, mountain top vision for that future be "not wholly irrelevant" (SM 250).
www.religion-online.org /showarticle.asp?title=2384   (2862 words)

 About Olaf Stapledon
William Olaf Stapledon (1886-1950) may not be a household name, but the fact remains that he is one of the most important writers of the 20th Century.
William Olaf Stapledon, the only child of William Clibbert and Emmeline Miller Stapledon, was born in Poolton cum Seacombe on the Wirral peninsular south of Liverpool, but he spent most of the first six years of his life in Port Said, Egypt, where his father managed a shipping firm.
Stapledon's impact on other science-fiction writers is so pervasive that further examples may be superfluous, but it is worth mentioning that Stanislaw Lem has pointed to Stapledon as the major influence on his writings.
www.geocities.com /olafstapledon_archive/biography.html   (2846 words)

 Olaf Stapledon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
William Olaf Stapledon (1886 1950) was a British philosopher and author of several influential works of science fiction.
Together with his philosophy lectureship at the University of Liverpool (which now houses the Olaf Stapledon archive) he lectured in English literature, industrial history, psychology.
A Modern Theory of Ethics: A study of the Relations of Ethics and Psychology (1929)
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Olaf_Stapledon   (317 words)

 Subject Guides   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-07)
Olaf Stapledon was born in 1886 near Liverpool.
Stapledon had never even heard of 'Sci-fi' and was surprised that 'Last and First Man' and 'Star Maker' had been thought of in such a way by science fiction writers and fans.
Olaf Stapledon has some fantastic ideas in this novel, and his descriptions are both marvelous and extraordinary.
www.mtsn.org.uk /library/bookreviews/star_maker.htm   (696 words)

 Amazon.ca: Books: Last and First Men and Star Maker   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-07)
In his novel Star Maker Olaf Stapledon builds a pyramid based on intricate descriptions of the galaxy's sentient beings and illustrates the spiritual journey of all sentient beings toward a unification into a galactic consciousness, with the ultimate goal of meeting the creator of the universe.
Although Olaf Stapledon is a product of his time, he was one of his time who was looking toward the future with an imaginatino more focused than any other I have read.
Stapledon doesn't do this, and not because he is more subtle than Aldous Huxley-he is much less subtle in fact-but because his "novels" are not so much works of "philosophy" as tracts.
www.amazon.ca /exec/obidos/ASIN/0486219623   (1255 words)

 UPNE | Star Maker   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-07)
Stapledon’s stately prose is unmatched and his great metaphors are the closest thing to pure poetry that science fiction has produced.
OLAF STAPLEDON (1886-1950) served as Lecturer in Psychology and Philosophy at Liverpool University.
PATRICK A. MCCARTHY is Professor of English at the University of Miami, author of Olaf Stapledon (1982) and editor of The Legacy of Olaf Stapledon (1989).
www.upne.com /0-8195-6692-6.html   (313 words)

 SF Hub: Olaf Stapledon archive
William Olaf Stapledon (1886-1950) is one of the great figures in the history of British science fiction.
Although Stapledon wrote other works of fiction, these are the novels that made the greatest impact during his lifetime and which continue to receive widespread critical acclaim.
All material in the Olaf Stapledon Archive is available to researchers for consultation in the University of Liverpool Library's Special Collections and Archives Reading Room by prior arrangement.
www.sfhub.ac.uk /Stapledon.htm   (455 words)

 The Biography Project: Olaf Stapledon   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-07)
- William Olaf Stapledon was born on 10 May 1886 in Wallasey, Merseyside, England, to William Clibbett Stapledon and Emmaline Miller.
Olaf Stapledon: The Man Behind the Works by Sam Moskowitz
Olaf Stapledon Page, includes an Obituary from the New York Times
www.popsubculture.com /pop/bio_project/olaf_stapledon.html   (406 words)

 Amazon.com: Books: Last and First Men (SF Masterworks)   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-07)
Olaf Stapledon (1886-1950) was born near Liverpool and educated at Balliol College, Oxford and Liverpool University.
Stapledon is an excellent sci fi writer and an excellent philosopher of the human condition.
Stapledon's biography: He did earn a DEGREE in philosophy, but he lived off an inheritance and, aside from a short stint as a public grade school teacher among a variety of odd jobs before he came into his inheritance, he did not teach.
www.amazon.com /exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/185798806X?v=glance   (2125 words)

 Olaf Stapledon: Winner of the 2001 Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award
Hence the Award." Mr Stapledon expressed how honoured he was to receive the award to commemorate the fiction of his father.
It is the wish of the Stapledon family, he said, that the award would eventually join the Stapledon Archive, which is one of the most important archives of a science fiction writer in a British library.
Olaf Stapledon: Speaking for the Future, by Robert Crossley, $45.00
www.cordwainer-smith.com /stapledon.htm   (1951 words)

 Last and First Men   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-07)
In fact, one might think Stapledon didn't ignore the notion of technological progress, but rather that he overlooked it: for the next four millennia, mankind's technology is supposed to be coal-based.
There is physical evolution (one subrace actually developed flight, and Stapledon's description of the resulting culture is fascinating), but of much greater interest is the mental evolution of the race.
Surprisingly, though, Stapledon's aliens (mainly the Martians, less so the natives of Venus) are different and original, and cannot be dismissed as the "impossible" or "parallel evolution" variations that were so common in the science fiction of the time.
www.forum2.org /tal/books/last.html   (935 words)

 Olaf Stapledon's Star Maker - The CHUD.COM Message Boards
To the uninitiated, Star Maker is ostensibly the epic story of one “entity’s” physical (as well as spiritual) journey from some nondescript English hilltop up into the firmament and then beyond: to the very edge of space-time, venturing into the mind of God himself.
Along the way, Stapledon theorizes about Homo Sapiens (and other, less conventional life-forms’) future prospects, and their true role within the Universe in a penetratingly lucid manner, free from the cloying sentimentality and ostentatious verbiage that often assails similar works of contemporary philosophical fiction.
Of course, SM isn’t a perfect piece of work; Stapledon’s unshakable belief in a utopian future of ‘communal spirit’, where life holds no fear of death, appears a touch too idealistic.
www.chud.com /forums/showthread.php?t=43349   (723 words)

 The religion of Olaf Stapledon, early science fiction writer   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-07)
"Olaf Stapledon married Agnes Zena Miller, a first cousin from Australia, on July 16, 1919, at Friends Meeting House, a Quaker establishment at Reigate, Surrey.
Frank was a brother of Olaf's mother, Margaret the daughter of Charles Barnard, headmaster of a Quaker school in Yorkshire..." Stapledon spent four years in the Friends Quaker Ambulance Corps.
In his mature years Stapledon denied that he was a Christian, although the increasing strain of mysticism in his work from the 1940's on indicated a deep-rooted sense of religiosity.
www.adherents.com /people/ps/Olaf_Stapledon.html   (208 words)

 Olaf IV Haakonsson --  Encyclopædia Britannica
Norwegian Olav Håkonsson king of Denmark (as Olaf III, 1376–87) and of Norway (1380–87).
After Valdemar's death in 1375, Olaf was elected (1376) king of Denmark and succeeded his father as king of Norway in 1380.
Olaf was the son of Guthfrith (or Godfrey), king of Dublin.
www.britannica.com /eb/article-9056948?tocId=9056948   (689 words)

 The SF Site Featured Review: The Wesleyan Early Classics of Science Fiction Series - Four Titles
Olaf Stapledon makes Robert A. Heinlein and even Cordwainer Smith seem positively provincial as future historians.
Stapledon has received some attention within the science fiction community, but, except while he was alive, he hasn't been noticed much by literary historians.
Nonetheless, Stapledon's book does not make for easy, casual reading, because its scope is as vast as that of any novel ever written -- hundreds of billions of years and the entire reach of the universe pass through fewer than three hundred pages.
www.sfsite.com /05b/we200.htm   (1302 words)

 STAPLEDON, William Olaf - personal data   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-07)
Olaf's first book of scientific fantasy was published in 1931, Last and First Men.
Stapledon was introduced to the Science Fiction field by fellow writer Eric Frank Russell in the late 1930s.
The Olaf Stapledon archive is housed at the Sydney Jones Library on the Liverpool University campus, Liverpool, England.
www.gwillick.com /Spacelight/stapldon.html   (200 words)

 Olaf Stapledon: Last and First Men - an infinity plus review
Stapledon projects our culture as continuing for the next 4,000 years as a coal-powered, airplane-mad 1950s-tech civilization.
Stapledon, who had a doctorate in philosophy, notes in his preface that he "tried to supplement my own slight knowledge of natural science by pestering my scientific friends." Apparently he didn't pester a geologist.
Stapledon's Martians, by contrast, are sophisticated aliens: clouds of viral-size units that can unite to form vast group-minds -- in a nice touch, the bigger the group-mind grows, the more dogmatic and bellicose it becomes.
www.infinityplus.co.uk /nonfiction/lastmen.htm   (1690 words)

As in several of his other novels, Stapledon proceeds to take a look at humanity and its world, through the eyes of an outsider.
Stapledon is far too subtle and sensible to let the story become mere heavy-handed satire or earnest didacticism.
Treasure this book, treasure the work of Olaf Stapledon (1886-1950) who, coming after H.G. Wells, and before Arthur C. Clarke, ranks with them as one of England’s major contributions not only to science fiction, but to liberal and humane thought.
www.waldeneast.fsnet.co.uk /sirius.htm   (323 words)

 The SF Site Featured Review: Star Maker
Olaf Stapledon was born in 1886 on Merseyside and spent much of his childhood in Egypt.
It is philosophical in that it attempts to marry science with religion (though this of course is also an SF tradition dating back to Mary Shelly's Frankenstein) to come up with mutual areas of agreement.
Indeed, Stapledon's thesis tracks with current intelligent-design theory (the Star Maker is God, though not the Father-God of traditional Christianity), which postulates some sort of rule-making authority for how the universe works.
www.sfsite.com /09a/sm88.htm   (902 words)

 Amazon.co.uk: Books: Star Maker (Millennium SF Masterworks S)   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-07)
Olaf Stapledon is better known for Last and First Men (1930), a sweeping history of the future whose early chapters are now embarrassing--but Star Maker leaps straight into a unfurling vision of infinity.
When people refer to any novel as influential, what they seem to mean is that the text captures in its form and function the drift of ideas and concepts at any one time and space.
Olaf Stapledon has enriched us (humanity) with his work.
www.amazon.co.uk /exec/obidos/ASIN/1857988078   (1013 words)

 Amazon.com: Books: Last and First Men and Star Maker : Two Science Fiction Novels   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-07)
Fair Warning: Stapledon, an intellectural pacifist and survivor of the hideous spectacle of World War One, lets his prejudices and peculiarities show in the first five or so chapters of the book.
Stapledon spends chapters discussing the social, moral and spiritual nature of the Martian swarms, comparing their odd society with humanity's.
Stapledon rattles off ideas and concepts that didn't make it into mainstream SF until the last decade or so.
www.amazon.com /exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0486219623?v=glance   (3689 words)

 Dani Zweig's Belated Reviews #15: Olaf Stapledon
Between 1930 and 1950, Olaf Stapledon wrote some of the most impressive and influential science fiction of the century.
Writing good fiction means, among things, that a novel can't coast on clever gimmicks and gadgets, as so much science fiction of the time did.
In Olaf Stapledon's case, that meant tackling *big* subjects.
www-users.cs.york.ac.uk /~susan/sf/dani/015.htm   (731 words)

 Amazon.ca: Books: Olaf Stapledon: A Bibliography   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-07)
In addition to complete descriptions of all first editions, citations are given for later editions, omnibus volumes, and books to which Stapledon contributed chapters or poems.
The dust jackets of all first editions and books to which Stapledon contributed are described in detail, giving the reader unique insight into the manner in which Stapledon's books have been presented.
A previously unpublished Stapledon work, "The Peak and the Town," is included in the bibliography.
www.amazon.ca /exec/obidos/ASIN/031324099X   (303 words)

 Olaf Stapledon -- Facts, Info, and Encyclopedia article   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-07)
Olaf Stapledon -- Facts, Info, and Encyclopedia article
William Olaf Stapledon (1886-1950) was a (The people of Great Britain) British philosopher and author of several influential works of (Literary fantasy involving the imagined impact of science on society) science fiction.
His work directly influenced (Click link for more info and facts about Arthur C. Clarke) Arthur C. Clarke, (Click link for more info and facts about Brian Aldiss) Brian Aldiss, (Click link for more info and facts about Stanislaw Lem) Stanislaw Lem and John Maynard Smith and indirectly influenced countless others.
www.absoluteastronomy.com /encyclopedia/O/Ol/Olaf_Stapledon.htm   (443 words)

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