Odd John (S.F. MASTERWORKS) Paperback – 8 Mar 2012
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The book that gave the world the term Homo superior.
From the Back Cover
Introduction by Adam Roberts
John Wainwright is a freak, a human mutation with an extraordinary intelligence which is both awesome and frightening to behold. Ordinary humans are mere playthings to him. And Odd John has a plan - to create a new order on Earth, a new supernormal species. But the world is not ready for such a change . . .
Olaf Stapledon (1886-1950)
Educated at Balliol College, Oxford, and Liverpool University, Olaf Stapledon worked for a shipping office in Liverpool and Port Said before returning to lecture at Liverpool University. His books included the SF classics Last and First Men and Star Maker.
'Stapledon is the great classical example . . . the ultimate SF writer' Brian Aldiss
'Olaf Stapledon was one of the most creative thinkers of our time' Greg Bear
978 0 575 07224 4
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Top Customer Reviews
John Wainwright doesn't look like a superhero. He has bulging eyes, a big brow and the features of a foetus. People who look at him are both repulsed and fascinated. He uses his looks as a test of character, other people's character that is. He is beyond testing.
John Wainwright doesn't act like a superhero. He kills a policeman among others. He has affairs with both genders and with his own mother (probably). He bullies others to learn about them and himself, like a scientist conducting experiments with rats. He isn't weighed down with an overwhelming sense of responsibility because of his great gifts. His most usual response is to laugh.
John Wainwright doesn't think like a superhero. He is a maths prodigy, an inventor, he uses his brain. He philosophises; he cares about 'spirituality'. He does not care about homo sapiens, either to rule or destroy us. He is 'homo superior' and only cares about his own kind.
John Wainwright doesn't have powers like a superhero. Oh yes, there's the telepathy, the telekinesis, and assorted psi abilities. But before all this, he has total control over his own psychological and physiological responses. He reads books like other kids drink milkshakes. He can learn a foreign language in two weeks. He composes music that no-one else can appreciate...Read more ›
I am working my way through the SF Masterworks collection and this is up there with the best of them.
John sees us as we see the chimps in the zoo. He has a fondness for individuals but is unable to see himself as part of the race. This leads to acts of violence which we would see as morally wrong but he sees as justified in order to protect himself and his own kind.
His own kind... yes, he does find more. This becomes his calling and after putting his incredible intelligence to work to build a nuclear powered yacht and plane (well, sort of nuclear) he travels the globe seeking beings with similar powers. Like Professor X he is a telepath and uses this to track them down - just like Prof X does in the film. I do think there is a bit of plagarism going on here but I have been entertained by both so I am not bothered.
This is a good book to read if you are an X-Men fan or simply interested in mans next step along the path of evolution.
Well written and imaginative. Cleverly thought out.
Leaves lots for the reader to fill in.
Enjoyed this thoroughly.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This may be an old book now but it hasn't dated and is quite superb. A genius writer.Published 6 months ago by P. Hughes
I do not understand people writing it is a masterpiece. Unless Olaf Stapledon was 12y old when he wrote it.Published 6 months ago by Serge Berthier
Olaf Stapledon is one of the great Sci-Fi imaginations - a highly original and creative writer - all of his books are well worth reading.Published 21 months ago by gabeso