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Ranking Author Olaf Stapledon’s Best Books (A Bibliography Countdown)

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“What are Olaf Stapledon Best Books?” We looked at all of Stapledons authored bibliography and ranked them against one another to answer that very question!

We took all of the books written by Olaf Stapledon and looked at their Goodreads, Amazon, and LibraryThing scores, ranking them against one another to see which books came out on top. The books are ranked in our list below based on which titles have the highest overall score between all 3 review sites in comparison with all of the other books by the same author. The process isn’t super scientific and in reality, most books aren’t “better” than other books as much as they are just different. That being said, we do enjoy seeing where our favorites landed, and if you aren’t familiar with the author at all, the rankings can help you see what books might be best to start with.

The full ranking chart is also included below the countdown on the bottom of the page.

Happy Scrolling!



The Top Book’s Of Olaf Stapledon



13 ) Death into Life

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 13
  • Amazon: 8
  • LibraryThing: 8

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12 ) Old Man in New World

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 12
  • Amazon: 8
  • LibraryThing: 8

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11 ) Four Encounters

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 11
  • Amazon: 8
  • LibraryThing: 8

Four Encounters is an unfinished work by the writer and philosopher Olaf Stapledon, written in the late 1940s but only published 26 years after the author’s death. It takes place in contemporary (post World War II) Britain, and describes four meetings with various characters who are named for the spiritual quality that best defines them: a Christian, a scientist, a mystic and a revolutionary. There were originally to have been ten encounters, but Stapledon died before the project was completed.

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10 ) The Opening of the Eyes

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 10
  • Amazon: 8
  • LibraryThing: 8

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9 ) Saints and Revolutionaries

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 7
  • Amazon: 8
  • LibraryThing: 8

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8 ) The Flames: A Fantasy

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 8
  • Amazon: 8
  • LibraryThing: 4

An introductory note seems called for to explain to the reader the origin of the following strange document, which I have received from a friend with a view to publication. The author has given it the form of a letter to myself, and he signs himself with his nickname, “Cass,” which is an abbreviation of Cassandra. I have seldom met Cass since we were undergraduates together at Oxford before the war of 1914. Even in those days he was addicted to lurid forebodings, hence his nickname.

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7 ) Last Men in London

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 9
  • Amazon: 3
  • LibraryThing: 7

Last Men in London (1932) is a science fiction novel by Olaf Stapledon. The narrator is the same member of the eighteenth and final human species who purportedly induced Stapledon to write Last and First Men. Last Men in London is the story of this being’s exploration of the consciousness of a present-day Englishman named Paul, from childhood through service with an ambulance crew in the First World War (mirroring Stapledon’s own personal history) to adult life as a schoolteacher faced with a “submerged superman” in his class nicknamed Humpty. The inadequacies of Paul’s character, the various dilemmas he has to face during his life, and the occasional influence of the advanced being who shares his experiences, provide Stapledon with a semi-autobiographical platform on which to expound his philosophical and moral beliefs.

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6 ) Odd John: A Story Between Jest and Earnest

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 5
  • Amazon: 6
  • LibraryThing: 6

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 …

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5 ) Darkness and the Light

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 5
  • Amazon: 2
  • LibraryThing: 8

Stapledon projects two separate futures for humanity, depending not on the outcome of World War II but on the failure or success of a future “Tibetan Renaissance” to influence the temper and ideology of the militaristic empires that threaten it.

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4 ) Nebula Maker

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 4
  • Amazon: 7
  • LibraryThing: 3

The narrator of Nebula Maker stands on a hill and sees a vision that leads him to the birth of the universe. He witnesses the creation of the nebulae and the formation of galactic communities as well as the flowering of the personalities of the nebulae. The establishment of pacific and militaristic camps and their relationship leads to events of cosmic strife, not unlike the history of our world in the twentieth century.

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3 ) Last and First Men: A Story of the Near and Far Future

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 3
  • Amazon: 4
  • LibraryThing: 5

The protagonist of this compelling novel is humanity itself, stripped down to sheer intelligence. It evolves through the ages: rising to pinnacles of civilization, teetering on the brink of extinction, surviving onslaughts from other planets and a decline in solar energy, and constantly developing new forms, new senses, and new intellectual abilities. From the present to five billion years into the future, this romance of humanity abounds in profound and imaginative thought.

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2 ) Star Maker

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 1
  • Amazon: 4
  • LibraryThing: 2

One moment a man sits on a suburban hill, gazing curiously at the stars. The next, he is whirling through the firmament, and perhaps the most remarkable of all science fiction journeys has begun. Even Stapledon’s other great work, LAST AND FIRST MEN, pales in ambition next to STAR MAKER, which presents nothing less than an entire imagined history of life in the universe, encompassing billions of years.

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1 ) Sirius: A Fantasy of Love and Discord

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 2
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 1

Sirius is Thomas Trelone’s great experiment—a huge, handsome dog with the brain and intelligence of a human being. Raised and educated in Trelone’s own family alongside Plaxy, his youngest daughter, Sirius is a truly remarkable and gifted creature. His relationship with the Trelones, particularly with Plaxy, is deep and close, and his inquiring mind ranges across the spectrum of human knowledge and experience. But Sirius isn’t human and the conflicts and inner turmoil that torture him cannot be resolved.

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Olaf Stapledon’s Best Books



Olaf Stapledon Review Website Bibliography Rankings

BookGoodreadsAmazonLibraryThingOveral Rank
Sirius: A Fantasy of Love and Discord 211 1
Star Maker 142 2
Nebula Maker 473 4
The Flames: A Fantasy 884 8
Last and First Men: A Story of the Near and Far Future 345 3
Odd John: A Story Between Jest and Earnest 566 6
Last Men in London 937 7
Darkness and the Light 528 5
Saints and Revolutionaries 788 9
The Opening of the Eyes 1088 10
Four Encounters 1188 11
Old Man in New World 1288 12
Death into Life 1388 13