An Olaf Stapledon Reader


Product Details

$19.95  $18.35
Syracuse University Press
Publish Date
5.99 X 0.74 X 8.96 inches | 0.96 pounds

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About the Author

Robert Crossley, professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, is editor of Talking Across the World: The Love Letters of Olaf Stapledon and Agnes Miller, 1913-1919 and the author of Olaf Stapledon: Speaking for the Future, also published by Syracuse University Press.


One of the early giants of science fiction, Stapledon is now almost entirely forgotten. The scope of his 'cosmic and philosophical romances'--Last and First Men, Last Men in London, Star Maker, Odd John, and Sirius can be off-putting (a novel encompassing the birth and death of the universe requires a certain commitment), and, frankly, he is hard to read. This reader extracts from his epical long works and reprints shorter pieces whole; arguably, the most important things in it are the essays, the speeches, and the letters that offer glimpses behind his public persona. In this nonfiction, we read Stapledon's genuine concern about humanity's future as well as about the dire yet hopeful time in which he lived. The characteristic mixture of grand vision and down-to-earth human concern afforded by this sampling is rare enough to distinguish him as a vital and important figure not only in the history of science fiction but in general twentieth-century literary history.--Booklist
To read him means taking a leap out from our provisional and temporary sets of mind into a realm that is beyond current notions of space and time, is somewhere in the future of mankind where we have, as a species, still to set foot.--Doris Lessing