Olaf Stapledon

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Olaf Stapledon

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artificial gravity n. 1930 W. O. Stapledon Last & First Men 261 An ‘artificial gravity’ system, based on the properties of the electro-magnetic field, could be turned on and regulated at will.
avian n. 1953 O. Stapledon Star Maker in To End of Time 303 As flocks of dunlin or redshank stream and wheel and soar and quiver over our estuaries, so above the great tide-flooded cultivated regions of these worlds the animated clouds of avians manoeuvred, each cloud a single centre of consciousness. Presently, like our own winged waders, the litle avians would settle, the huge volume of the cloud shrinking to a mere film upon the ground, a sort of precipitate along the fringe of the receding tide.
avian adj. 1931 W. O. Stapledon Last & First Men 302 The flightless yet still half avian race that now possessed the planet settled down to construct a society based on industry and science. After many vicissitudes of fortune and of aim, they produced a new human species, the Eighth Men. These long-headed and substantial folk were designed to be strictly pedestrian, physically and mentally.
earthlike adj. 1937 O. Stapledon Star Maker (1987) 70 On one very small but earthlike planet we discovered a quasi-human race which was probably unique.
ether ship n. 1930 O. Stapeldon Last & First Men (1937) 214 It did not take the Fifth Men many centuries to devise a tolerable means of voyaging in interplanetary space…. The task of rendering the ‘ether ship’ properly manageable and decently habitable proved difficult, but not insurmountable.
group mind n. 1930 W. O. Stapledon Last & First Men (1937) viii. 168 The Martians, it should be noted, had three possible forms, or formations, namely: first, an ‘open order’ of independent and very tenuous cloudlets in ‘telepathic’ communication, and often in strict unity as a group mind; second, a more concentrated and less vulnerable corporate cloud; and third, an extremely concentrated and formidable cloud-jelly.
Homo superior n. 1935 O. Stapledon Odd John 271 Homo Superior faced the little mob of Homo Sapiens, and it was immediately evident that Homo Superior was indeed the better man.
Homo superior n. 1935 O. Stapledon Odd John vi. 55 ‘Suppose the taste of power goes to my head, and I collar everything? I'm only Homo sapiens, not Homo superior.’ And for once I privately felt that John was perhaps not so superior after all.
insectoid n. 1953 O. Stapledon Star Maker in To End of Time 340 Of the populations of the sub-galaxy most were descendants of the original Ichthyoids or Arachnoids; but…not a few that had sprung from avians, insectoids or plant-men.
insectoid adj. 1953 O. Stapledon Star Maker in To End of Time 306 At the time of our visit to the most striking of these insectoid worlds the world-population consisted of many great nations of swarms. Each individual swarm had its own nest, its Lilliputian city, an area of about an acre, in which the ground was honey-combed to a depth of two feet with chambers and passages. The surrounding district was devoted to the cultivation of the moss-like food-plants. As the swarm increased in size, colonies might be founded beyond the range of the physiological radio system of the parent swarm. Thus arose new group-individuals. But neither in this race, nor in the race of bird-clouds, was their anything corresponding to our successive generations of individual minds. Within the minded group, the insectoid units were ever dying off and giving place to fresh units, but the mind of the group was potentially immortal.
non-human adj. 1930 W. O. Stapledon Last and First Men viii. 164 To describe the biology, psychology and history of a whole world in a few pages is as difficult as it would be to give the Martians themselves in the same compass a true idea of man. Encyclopædias, libraries, would be needed in either case. Yet, somehow, I must contrive to suggest the alien sufferings and delights, and the many aeons of struggle, which went to the making of these strange nonhuman intelligences, in some ways so inferior yet in others definitely superior to the human species which they encountered.
non-human adj. 1937 O. Stapledon Star Maker (1987) 79 I must now try to give some idea of the main types of these ‘non-human’ intelligent worlds.
non-human adj. 1937 O. Stapledon Star Maker (1987) 136 Of the eugenical enterprise of these worlds I shall report little, because much of it would be unintelligible without a minute knowledge of the biological and biochemical nature of each of these non-human world-populations.
planetless adj. 1937 O. Stapledon Star Maker ix. 208 Thousands upon thousands of planetless stars awaited encirclement by rings of Worlds.
supernormal n. 1936 O. Stapledon Odd John i. 4 The great majority of these very rare supernormals, whom John sometimes called ‘wide-awakes’, are either so delicate physically or so unbalanced mentally that they leave no considerable mark on the world. Ibid. xviii. 120 The programme was determined by his telepathic researches. Distance, apparently, made no difference to the ease with which he could pick up the psychic processes of other paranormals.
transgalactic adj. 1930 O. Stapledon Last & First Men (1931) xvi. 365 Only within the last few years have we succeeded in designing an artificial human dust capable of being carried forward on the sun's radiation, hardy enough to endure the conditions of a trans[-]galactic voyage of many millions of years, and yet intricate enough to bear the potentiality of life and of spiritual development. We are now preparing to manufacture this seminal matter in great quantities, and to cast it into space at suitable points on the planet's orbit.
Venerian n. 1 1930 O. Stapledon Last & First Men 265 Evidently the marine Venerians resented the steady depletion of their aqueous world, and were determined to stop it.
worldlet n. 1937 O. Stapledon Star Maker (1987) 156 As the aeons advanced, hundreds of thousands of worldlets were constructed, all of this type, but gradually increasing in size and complexity. Many a star without natural planets came to be surrounded by concentric rings of artificial worlds.