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Olaf Stapledon

William Olaf Stapledon, (1886-1950). British author of several works of Science Fiction, including Last and First Men[?] (1930), which influenced Arthur C. Clarke, Odd John[?] (1936), Star Maker[?] (1937) and Sirius (1944). Although his work predated the word transhuman, the transhuman condition and superminds composed of many individual consciousnesses are recurring themes in his work. Star Maker also contained the first known description of Dyson spheres, and indeed it was this novel which Freeman Dyson credits with giving him the idea.

An excerpt from Star Maker which mentions Dyson spheres:

Not only was every solar system now surrounded by a gauze of light traps, which focused the escaping solar energy for intelligent use, so that the whole galaxy was dimmed, but many stars that were not suited to be suns were disintegrated, and rifled of their prodigious stores of subatomic energy.

He lectured in English literature, industrial history, psychology and philosophy.

During the First World War he served with the Friends' Ambulance Unit, from 1915 to 1919.



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