Last and First Men

From Academic Kids

Last and First Men is a science fiction novel written in 1930 by the British author Olaf Stapledon. A work of unprecedented scale, it describes entire future history of humanity across two billion years and eighteen distinct human species, of which our own is the first and most primitive. The story follows a repetitive cycle, with many different civilizations rising from and descending back into savagery, but it is also one of progress, as the later civilizations rise to far greater heights than the first. The book anticipates genetic engineering, and the idea of superminds composed of many telepathically-linked individuals.

In 1932, Stapledon followed Last and First Men with the far less acclaimed Last Men in London. His other great novel, Star Maker (1937), could also be considered a sequel to Last and First Men, but is even more ambitious in scope, being a history of the entire universe.

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