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My Science Fiction Life

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Star Maker

1937

Book: Star Maker

Author: Olaf Stapledon

Recollections...

Ambitious and Mesmericarrow icon

Aged 31 in 2006, reading on a beach in Slovenia.
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Creation Bluesarrow icon

It was only fairly recently that I came across Star Maker, in my early twenties.
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In Depth

Star Maker

Star Maker was Olaf Stapledon's third, and most influential science fiction novel. Largely unknown outside of science-fiction circles, the book is nevertheless cited as a key influence by writers from Doris Lessing, Arthur C Clarke and Iain M Banks.
The book is an audacious attempt to consider the nature of the universe, and to find a moral and philosophical framework within it. The plot - if there is one - simply finds a melancholic man one night spirited off for an out-of-body tour of the cosmos in all its magnitude. He observes alien races, intelligent star clusters, and finally the Star Maker himself, a kind of Darwinistic deity creating universes.

The book has been criticised for its lack of structure and characters. But to many it is "the great, grey, holy book of science fiction" (to quote Brian Aldiss.)
There is no doubt of its importance in the development of Space Opera, as well as being an important late work in the scientific romance tradition.

Star Maker has never been filmed, and with its disdain for drama and plot, most likely never will.

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