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2 Remote Warehouse Science Fiction and Fantasy- A to Z

Star Maker (Wesleyan Early Classics of Science Fiction Series)

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Star Maker (Wesleyan Early Classics of Science Fiction Series) Cover

ISBN13: 9780819566935
ISBN10: 0819566934
Condition:
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

First scholarly edition of this 20th century science fiction masterpiece.

Synopsis:

Widely regarded as one of the true classics of science fiction, Star Maker is a poetic and deeply philosophical work. The story details the mental journey of an unnamed narrator who is transported not only to other worlds but also other galaxies and parallel universes, until he eventually becomes part of the "cosmic mind." First published in 1937, Olaf Stapledon's descriptions of alien life are a political commentary on human life in the turbulent inter-war years. The book challenges preconceived notions of intelligence and awareness, and ultimately argues for a broadened perspective that would free us from culturally ingrained thought and our inevitable anthropomorphism. This is the first scholarly edition of a book that influenced such writers as C.S. Lewis and Arthur C. Clarke and which Jorge Luis Borges called "a prodigious novel."

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

tyler23, December 8, 2006 (view all comments by tyler23)
This book is not for everyone, but it my single favorite SF novel. This edition is vastly superior to any other I have seen on the market; I found the annotations very useful and interesting. If you know you like Stapledon or are pretty sure you'll like this book, buy this one. If you're not sure, try a cheap used version first.

Here are reasons some other people don't like this book. None of these objections bother me, but I will mention them for fairness' sake.

- Lack of a covnentional plot or normal character development. There isn't an antagonist. The protagonist just flies through space, meets aliens, and has his consciousness expanded one order of magnitude at a time. Some people say "nothing ever happened!" I don't agree, I like that aspect of it, but it's a valid subjective view.

- the prose style. It's written in 1930's high-intellectual semi-Romantic academic style, a bit like Tolkien in the Silmarillion or something, though without the poetic flourishes. It drives some people crazy, and I can understand that. I wouldn't want to read prose in this style all the time. But for me, for this book, it works great and doesn't bother me.

- the subject matter. It's mystical and somewhat psychedelic. Diehard cynics and postmoderists find the complete lack of ironic distance troubling and attack the book in their usual mocking style. If you find the idea of higher consciousness inherently laughable, read something else.

Reasons I like it? Well, read the wikipedia article, with which I agree, though perhaps skip the spoiler-riffic synopsis:
http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Star_Maker

(I had to add a space between '.org/' and 'wiki' to get around some weird powells.com word length rule)

Conceptually it has never been equaled, I think. It broke so much new ground and created so many new concepts that more than a few successful SF authors have made entire careers out of mining small corners of this one book. I could rattle on and on about how deeply it's lodged itself in my psyche, but instead I'll just say that if the marks against it above don't scare you, and you like SF that is more about ideas than action or even character, you owe it to yoruself to give Star Maker a try.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780819566935
Editor:
Stapledon, Olaf
Editor:
McCarthy, Patrick A.
Foreword by:
Dyson, Freeman J.
Foreword:
Dyson, Freeman J.
Editor:
Stapledon, Olaf
Editor:
McCarthy, Patrick A.
Author:
Stapledon, Olaf
Foreword:
Dyson, Freeman J.
Publisher:
Wesleyan University Press
Subject:
Science Fiction - General
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-A to Z
Series:
Wesleyan Early Classics of Science Fiction Series
Publication Date:
20040531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
314
Dimensions:
8.52x5.52x.82 in. .91 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z

Star Maker (Wesleyan Early Classics of Science Fiction Series) New Trade Paper
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$26.50 In Stock
Product details 314 pages Wesleyan University Press - English 9780819566935 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Widely regarded as one of the true classics of science fiction, Star Maker is a poetic and deeply philosophical work. The story details the mental journey of an unnamed narrator who is transported not only to other worlds but also other galaxies and parallel universes, until he eventually becomes part of the "cosmic mind." First published in 1937, Olaf Stapledon's descriptions of alien life are a political commentary on human life in the turbulent inter-war years. The book challenges preconceived notions of intelligence and awareness, and ultimately argues for a broadened perspective that would free us from culturally ingrained thought and our inevitable anthropomorphism. This is the first scholarly edition of a book that influenced such writers as C.S. Lewis and Arthur C. Clarke and which Jorge Luis Borges called "a prodigious novel."
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