Jeff Miller's Reviews > Star Maker

Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon
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Feb 16, 2012

really liked it
Read from February 15 to 16, 2012

The rating of this book is more based on its SF historical significance for being quite ground breaking for 1937.

The plot itself is much like his first book "Last and First Men" in that book he provides a history of mankind that transcends millions of years to the end of mankind. The culture-building and description of various civilizations over that period is quite imaginative, but rather dry as it is told as history with little plot involved.

In Star Maker there are similar themes but instead of just following the human race it expands to hundreds of alien races and their development. The story is told through the eyes of a man who kind of astral travels through space and time and interacts with these alien races and develops his powers. Much of what he writes is developed later by other authors and his culture-building and world-building is also very imaginative.

The Star Maker is a term for a creator god, but certainly not a god familiar to the main religions. Olaf's works have a bit of gnosticism tied into them and in some ways these books are like the gnostic influenced "Voyage to Arcturus", though that book is very thorough-going gnosticism. Stapeldon was a philosopher and that just makes some of what he writes worse since the movement towards the god in this just has a lot of bad philosophy in it.

His books seem to be mostly about ideas and so characters suffer in that there is little or not character development and the plotting is just steady and headed in a direction you expect.
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02/15/2012 page 103
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