Author: Olaf Stapledon
Description: Not your run-of-the-mill superhero story, which may have had something to do with the fact that Stapledon wasn’t a typical person to be writing a superhero story in the first place; he was a Professor of Philosophy, and apparently a friend of both Virginia Woolf and Winston Churchill. It has always surprised me that this book isn’t better known.
Most superhero scenarios, starting with Superman, take it for granted that the guy will spend most of his time acting as a kind of elite first responder service, cleaning up or preventing the more challenging train crashes, armed robberies, earthquakes and so on. Now, if we take the superhero idea seriously for even ten seconds, why ever should this godlike creature think that his top priority is to rescue beings who are, to him, about as significant as mice are to us? I mean, even though your average human could probably save a whole lot of mice if he put his mind to it, you find that that’s an unusual career choice. Stapledon, however, goes back to first principles, and asks what a superhero might find to do that wasn’t essentially just rescuing mice. The result is a book that’s interesting, even if not totally convincing. The obvious problem is that a mouse, even a very clever one, isn’t going to be able to write a good book about what it’s like to be human – but Stapledon at least tries, and we should give him credit for that.
One idea I liked, which occurs elsewhere in Stapledon’s writing, is that it isn’t primarily about winning (conquering the world, amassing a colossal fortune, etc), but rather about living your life absolutely to the full. He has a good shot at showing us how John tries to achieve that. He also has a much more interesting take on the battle between good and evil than is common in this genre. Evil people have just, as it were, been handed the Black pieces in the cosmic chess game; it’s a question of how artistically they handle their resources. I don’t know whether I agree with this, but at least it makes you think, which is more than you can say for variants on Clark Kent versus Lex Luthor.
It’s a shortish book and easy to read. If you want to check out some SF that doesn’t immediately fit one of the 12 standard SF plots, you could do worse than this.
“Bad news she brings Odd John bad news,” muttered the old Manxman.In the course of the contest with the Egyptians, Caesar took possession of the Pharos, and of the island on which it stood and as the Pharos was then regarded as one of the seven wonders of the world, the fame of the exploit, Odd John though it was probably nothing remarkable in a military point of view, spread rapidly throughout the world.Chyba, zebym trafil uzywany w dobrej cenie. Odd JohnLet It Be DVD Odd John The Beatles 1970 23.Posted by: Nathaniel : August 24, 2012 Odd John 05:02 PM.The canoe was very long, tapering off into a beautiful fish’s tail, something like this: Illustration of fish’s tail and was ornamented at both ends with Odd John mother-of-pearl let into the wood in bands and patterns.I agree with Odd John Mark Weber and other historians that it is a great pity.The Adagios unthreaded them all, with the kind Odd John of purity that makes you gasp.Bithynia, together with Paphlagonia and part Odd John of Pontus.Humboldt thus beautifully describes this phenomenon: The Odd John intensity of this light is at times so great, that Lowenörn (on June 29, 1786) recognised its coruscation in bright sunshine.If she showed any tendency to coquetry he would be apt to straighten her tie, or if she “took up” with him at all, to call her by Odd John her first name.I would get Odd John the TravelZabba Pastel-Dot (Kiwi.You see, things like that depend on how you’re raised. Odd JohnRunning Wild South Island Odd John Trail Run.Continuing homeward, I took the train for Abilene, hesitating whether to stop there or visit my Odd John brother in Missouri before returning to Texas.