Last and First Men and Star Maker Author:Olaf Stapledon The late British philosopher W. Olaf Stapledon (1886-1950) has long been regarded as one of the major figures in modern science fiction. His novel Odd John is the definitive fictionalization of the mutated superman; Sirius is the type-story for an alien intelligence forced to live in a human civilization; and his two great novles Last and First... more » Men and Star Marker are generally considered the finest future histories ever written, the gauge by which all earlier and later works are measured.
In Last and First Men the protagnoist is "mankind" in an ultimate definition-human intelligence. Through the ages mankind evolves, rising on occasion to pinnacles of civilization, facing extinction at the next moment through inner weaknesses, surviving onslaughts from other plants, overcoming the waning of solar energy, developing new appearances, new senses, and new intellectual abilities.
Star Maker is in a sense a sequel to Last and First Men. Concerned with the history of intelligence in the entire cosmos, it describes the many strange mankinds that have arisen: nautiloid water beings, symbiotic races of hyperspiders and hyperfish, composite group intelligences and plantlike beings, among others.« less