Wordy Wednesday – Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon
Arthur C Clarke considered this novel to be one of the finest science fiction novels ever written. I consider Mr. Clarke to be one of the best sci-fi writers ever, so his opinion holds a lot of weight for me. I was not led astray.
It starts like this – an Englishman goes outside and lies down on a little hill. He’s looking up at the stars, letting his mind wander. He wonders about god, and life elsewhere, and the meaning of the universe, and his place in it.
Then he’s rising out of himself. He looks back – there is his body, still reclining! Has he died? It doesn’t feel like death. It is something else.
It’s classified as science fiction, but Star Maker is more like a spiritual journey that has more in common with religious movements than science fiction. He meets aliens, sure, but it’s all while he’s on this out-of-body experience.
However, it in no way reduces the power of the novel. This was something of an emotional novel for me – I have recently been getting into the nature of life and the universe. This novel had a strong impact. It has solid writing, and the journey it takes you on is amazing.
The sheer scope of ambition for this book is incredible. I feel like it lifted me spiritually. That’s how good it was.
I highly recommend this book to any sci-fi fans out there, with the slight caution that it was written in 1937 and certainly reads like it.