Last Men in London

Last Men in London

by Olaf Stapledon


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In his previous science-fiction novel, Last and First Men, Olaf Stapledon envisioned 2 billion years of history, in which modern humans represented the first and most primitive of 18 increasingly advanced species. In this companion piece, a being from the remote future travels back to the 20th century to inhabit the consciousness of an Englishman named Paul. From inside his subject's mind, the superintelligent mega-human observes Paul's childhood, his experiences during World War I, and his postwar life as a teacher. The narrative provides a compelling commentary on modern life, the horrors of warfare, and the disintegrating state of Western society.
British philosopher William Olaf Stapledon (1886–1950) introduced several innovative concepts to the science-fiction genre, and his books influenced Arthur C. Clarke, Brian Aldiss, C. S. Lewis, John Maynard Smith, and many others. In this science-fictional self-portrait, he offers a captivating combination of memory, imagination, and social criticism.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780486476018
Publisher: Dover Publications
Publication date: 07/19/2011
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.18(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

A preeminent figure of British science fiction, Olaf Stapledon (1886-1950) wrote several influential novels. Praised by H. G. Wells, Aldous Huxley, and Virginia Woolf, Stapledon's works introduced such innovative concepts as genetic engineering and terraforming.

Table of Contents

I. The World of the Last Men
II. Exploring the Past
III. The Child Paul
IV. Paul Comes of Age
V. Origins of the European War
VI. The War
VII. After the War
VIII. The Modern World
IX. On Earth and on Neptune

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