|Submitted by Joel |
(Jul 30, 2007)
"Star Maker" is one of the two most recognised works of Olaf Stapledon, the other being "Last and First Men". In it, Olaf Stapledon imagines the life of the entire universe, from it's creation until it's eventual demise.
In "Star Maker", the narrator goes for a walk one evening, and suddenly finds himself having an out-of-body experience. He decides to take this opportunity to explore the universe. During this process, he meets many alien groups that gradually become more and more fantastic, until he is able to meet the Star Maker itself, the creator of the universe.
There are many fantastical ideas presented in this story, from races of plant-like people, to symbiotic races, to dyson spheres. Many philosophical questions and ideas are presented to the reader, and thought about these ideas stays with the reader long after the novel has been finished.
In this story, every major heavenly body is given the essence of life, from the smallest of creatures that inhabit a planet, scaling up to stars, and then galaxies.
This story is quite different in it's narration than most science fiction stories, in that there is little characterisation, and the style of it's narrative seems to be partly a philosophical discussion, and partly an unbiased historical account. Although some of the scientific ideas and timescales are dated, due to the time of writing, this book is definitely worthy of your time.
You can read this book for free online at: http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0601841.txt