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Last and First Men is a science fiction novel by British writer Olaf Stapledon, first published in 1930. The book presents a future history of humanity spanning two billion years, as narrated by an unnamed 'last man' who lives in the far future. Stapledon describes the rise and fall of different human civilizations, each with its own unique culture, ideology, and technological advancements. Throughout the book, which begins in the early twenty-first century, we see the rise and fall of the first men (us), the second men, the third men, etc, all the way up to the eighteenth men. Within these incarnations, there are improved versions of homo-sapiens, as well as more primitive ones, and sub-humans, such as Baboon-like and Seal-like men. Anticipating the science of genetic engineering, Stapledon's history shows how the civilisations follow a cycle of rising from primitive status, back down to savagery over millions of years, as the later civilisations rise to far greater heights than the first. Overall, Last and First Men presents a sweeping vision of humanity's past, present, and future, exploring themes of evolution, progress, and the fate of civilizations. It is considered a seminal work of science fiction and a classic of speculative fiction, praised by such people as Arthur C. Clarke, H. P. Lovecraft, and C. S. Lewis.
This book has 115,388 words, 178 pages in the PDF version, and was originally published in 1930.
Production notes: This ebook of Last and First Men was published by Global Grey on the 6th March 2023. The artwork used for the cover is 'The Far Future' - AI generated image.
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