- Star Maker
infobox Book |
name = Star Maker
image_caption = First Edition
language = English
Science fiction, Novel
publisher = Methuen
media_type = Print (
isbn = NA
"Star Maker" is an influential
science fictionnovel by Olaf Stapledon, written in 1937.
"Star Maker" is a cornerstone work of science fiction. Stapledon undertakes the immense task of describing the entire history of life in the universe. It dwarfs in scale even his
1930book " Last and First Men", which is a history of the human species over two billion years. It tackles philosophical themes such as the essence of life, of birth, decay and death, and the relationship between creation and creator, and it succeeds in evoking a sense of the sheer scale and complexity of the cosmos. The narrator starts with a concern at the clash of ideas on Earth and finds analogies to both communismand fascismamong the aliens he visits.
A pervading theme is that of progressive unity within and between different civilizations. Some of the elements and themes briefly discussed prefigure later fiction concerning
genetic engineeringand alien life forms. It has long been considered to be one of the finest works of science fiction ever written.
cience in "Star Maker"
sciencein "Star Maker" shows its age, but much of the book is much less dated than one could expect for something written in 1937. Astronomical scales would have to be adjusted by a few orders of magnitude, but the overall sense of vastness in time and space is as valid now as then. Stapledon is one of very few authors of science fiction who takes interstellar and galactic distances seriously. Some editions contain a timeline (over billions of years) for the book. It may be instructive to compare these with modern conceptions of orders of magnitude (length)and orders of magnitude (time), in particular 1 E19 s and moreas well as the modern view of the ultimate fate of the universe.
Stapledon imagines alien biologies, minds and civilizations radically different from human ones. But unlike
Stanisław Lem's "Solaris", all these are supposed to be fundamentally similar in the long run, since all are governed by the same Darwinian and Marxist laws of development. These views, rooted in the late 19th and early 20th century, may appear dated to some modern readers. The eclectic mix of popular science, socialismand religious mysticismis Stapledon's own.
Some of Stapledon's ideas for alien minds, such as
collective intelligence, seem far ahead of their time, anticipating recent ideas about swarm intelligenceand the general fascination with . He also mentions the idea of virtual realityin the first alien world visited, in the form of an apparatus that directly affects sense centers in the brain. The idea of entire worlds as spacecraft is used several times.
The novel is one of the most highly acclaimed in science fiction, but critics of the novel see it as full of interesting ideas but its writing as dull, dry, characterless, difficult, and even scientifically implausible at points. However, its admirers at the time of first publication saw it as one of the most brilliant, inventive, and daring science fiction books. Among its more famous admirers were
H.G. Wells, Virginia Woolf, C. S. Lewis, Jorge Luis Borgesand Doris Lessing. Borges wrote a prologue for a 1965 edition and called it “a prodigious novel”. Lessing wrote an afterword for a UK edition. Among SF writers, Arthur C. Clarkehas been strongly influenced by Stapledon.
The book begins with a single human
narratorfrom Englandwho is, via unexplained means, transported out of his body and finds himself able to explore space and other planets. After exploring another planet (the "Other Earth") in some detail, his mind merges with that of one of its inhabitants, and as they travel together, they are joined by still more minds or group-minds. This snowballingprocess is paralleled by the expansion of the book's scale, describing more and more planets in less and less detail.
The travellers encounter many ideas that are interesting from both science-fictional and philosophical points of view. These include the first known instance of what is now called the
Dyson sphere, reference to a scenario closely predicting the later zoo hypothesisor Star Trek's Prime Directive[http://www.spacearchaeology.org/2008/01/zoo-hypothesis-prime-directive.html] , many imaginative descriptions of species, civilizations and methods of warfare, and the idea that the stars and even the pre-galactic nebulae are intelligent beings, operating on vast time scales. A key idea is the formation of collective minds from many telepathically linked individuals, on the level of planets, galaxies, and eventually the cosmositself.
The climax of the book is the "supreme moment of the cosmos", when the cosmical mind (which includes the narrator) attains momentary contact with the "Star Maker" of the title. The Star Maker is the creator of the universe, but stands in the same relation to it as an artist to his work, and calmly assesses its quality without any feeling for the suffering of its inhabitants. (This cynical point of view vis à vis
Godwas the brain-child of the nineteenth century, not Stapledon's invention.) This element makes the novel one of Stapledon's efforts to write "an essay in myth making".
##The Starting Point
##Earth among the Stars
#The Other Earth
##On the Other Earth
##A Busy World
##Prospects of the Race
#I Travel Again
##The Diversity of Worlds
#Intimations of the Star Maker
##A Symbiotic Race
##Plant Men and Others
#Concerning the Explorers
#The Community of Worlds
##A Crisis in Galactic History
##Triumph in a Sub-Galaxy
##The Tragedy of the Perverts
##A Galactic Utopia
#A Vision of the Galaxy
#Stars and Vermin
##The Many Galaxies
##Disaster in Our Galaxy
#A Stunted Cosmical Spirit
#The Beginning and the End
##Back to the Nebulae
##The Supreme Moment Nears
##The Supreme Moment and After
#The Myth of Creation
#The Maker and his Works
##The Ultimate Cosmos and the Eternal Spirit
#Epilogue: Back to Earth:Appendix: A Note on Magnitude
*A paperback edition has appeared in the
* [http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0601841.txt Book transcript by Project Gutenberg of Australia]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Star Maker — Créateur d étoiles Créateur d étoiles est un roman de science fiction, écrit en 1937 par Olaf Stapledon (Royaume Uni). Portail de la science fiction Ce document provient de « Cr%C3%A9ateur d%27%C3%A9toiles ». Catégories … Wikipédia en Français
The Star Maker — (as best known L Uomo delle stelle in Italy) is a 1995 Italian language motion picture. It was produced by Rita Cecchi Gori, Vittorio Cecchi Gori, directed by Giuseppe Tornatore, role playing by Sergio Castellitto. It was nominated for the… … Wikipedia
Star Academy — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les articles traitant d un même sujet en fonction du pays ou de la juridiction. Star Academy est une émission de télé réalité produite par Endemol. Il s agit d un concours musical où de jeunes… … Wikipédia en Français
Star Academy — Расположение различных версий проекта Star Academy … Википедия
Maker's Mark — Maker’s Mark ist ein Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky, der in der Maker’s Mark Brennerei (hervorgegangen aus der Star Hill Farm) in Loretto, Kentucky produziert wird. Die Geschicke der 1889 gegründeten Brennerei lenkt seit fünf Generationen die… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope Título En Hispanoamérica y España durante su estreno: La guerra de … Wikipedia Español
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope — An original 1977 North American theatrical film poster by Tom Jung Directed by George Lucas … Wikipedia
Star Wars Tales Volume 5 — Publishing company Dark Horse Comics Subject Star Wars Genre Science fiction Rele … Wikipedia
Star Wars (BD) — Star Wars (bande dessinée) Les bandes dessinées Star Wars ont été éditées en français par Dark Horse France entre 1996 et 1998, puis par les éditions Delcourt à partir de 1999. Elles traduisent les comics américains publiés par Dark Horse sous… … Wikipédia en Français
Star Wars (bande dessinee) — Star Wars (bande dessinée) Les bandes dessinées Star Wars ont été éditées en français par Dark Horse France entre 1996 et 1998, puis par les éditions Delcourt à partir de 1999. Elles traduisent les comics américains publiés par Dark Horse sous… … Wikipédia en Français