And on the skin of that little grain all the swarms of men, generation by generation, had lived in labor and blindness, with intermittent joy and intermittent lucidity of spirit. And all their history, with its folk-wanderings, its empires, its philosophies, its proud sciences, its social revolutions, its increasing hunger for community, was but a flicker in one day of the lives of stars. I found no planets. I knew well that the birth of planets was due to the close approach of two or more stars, and that such accidents must be very uncommon.
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Posted at Fantasy Literature Star Maker is perhaps the grandest and most awe-inspiring vision of the universe ever penned by a SF author, before the term even existed, in by the pioneering English writer Olaf Stapledon. Although some readers might think that this book was only outstanding for its time, I would say it remains an amazing tour-de-force today, and has clearly inspired many of the genres most famous practitioners, including Arthur Star Maker: The grandest vision of the universe Posted at Fantasy Literature Star Maker is perhaps the grandest and most awe-inspiring vision of the universe ever penned by a SF author, before the term even existed, in by the pioneering English writer Olaf Stapledon.
Clarke, with its fountain of ideas about galaxies, nebulae, cosmological minds, artificial habitats, super-heavy gravity environments, an infinite variety of alien species, and telepathic communications among stars. A nameless narrator sits on a hill contemplating the stars, when without warning his consciousness is transported into space, and he starts rushing towards the nearest stars.
He discovers he can control his speed and direction, and proceeds to search for stars with intelligent life. Initially his search is fruitless, and the oppressive loneliness of space discourages him. Eventually he discovers other intelligent minds, and joins in a collective mind with them. We are then treated to a mind-blowing series of encounters with ever greater and stranger life forms, as the scale expands by increasing series of magnitudes, until individual galaxies and universes have formed united spirits and proceed to seek the ultimate creator of the universe.
To give you an idea of his writing style, below is a brief passage. The entire book is written like this, so it may not be your cup of tea if you like quirky characters, intricate plots, or pithy dialogue.
When at last our galaxy was able to make a full telepathic exploration of the cosmos of galaxies it discovered that the state of life in the cosmos was precarious. Very few of the galaxies were in their youth; most were already far past their prime.
Throughout the cosmos the dead and lightless stars far outnumbered the living and luminous. In many galaxies the strife of stars and worlds had been even more disastrous than in our own. Peace had been secured only after both sides had degenerated past hope of recovery.
In most of the younger galaxies, however, this strife had not yet appeared; and efforts were already being made by the most awakened galactic spirits to enlighten the ignorant stellar and planetary societies about one another before they should blunder into conflict. The communal spirit of our galaxy now joined the little company of the most awakened beings of the cosmos, the scattered band of advanced galactic spirits, whose aim it was to create a real cosmical community, with a single mind, the communal spirit of its myriad and diverse worlds and individual intelligences.
This it was hoped to acquire powers of insight and of creativity impossible on the merely galactic plane. The book culminates with a brief but searing encounter with the omnipotent and yet imperfect Star Maker, who created all the universes in an endless series of efforts to improve upon the last, never satisfied, yet deriving ultimate meaning through those acts of creation. It is a staggering achievement, still more incredible considering this was published in
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Olaf Stapledon: érase una vez el universo