Science Fiction Stapledon, Olaf: Sirius. v1. 25 Jun 2022
#1  GrannyGrump 06-25-2022, 03:56 AM
Our protagonist is a dog named Sirius with humanlike intelligence. A sense of existential questioning suffuses the book, as the author delves into aspects of Sirius’s psyche. The novel deals with many human issues through Sirius and his experiences, his unusual nature, his ideas and his relationships with humans. The characters go to great lengths to prevent Sirius from becoming a circus-type wonderdog, and instead, they seek to develop Sirius’s character much like a family would create and foster that of a human child.

But Sirius isn’t human and the conflicts and inner turmoil that torture him cannot be resolved.

“The most human of all Stapledon’s novels.” — Brian Aldiss.

(adapted from Wikipedia and publisher blurb)

[The 1889 science fiction novella “Solarian” by Edgar Fawcett also told a tale about a dog with humanlike intelligence.
Link to “Solarian”]

William Olaf Stapledon (10 May 1886 – 6 September 1950) – known as Olaf Stapledon – was a British philosopher and author of science fiction. In 2014, he was inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame. Stapledon was awarded a PhD degree in philosophy from the University of Liverpool in 1925 and used his doctoral thesis as the basis for his first published prose book, A Modern Theory of Ethics (1929). However, he soon turned to fiction in the hope of presenting his ideas to a wider public.

Stapledon’s fiction often presents the strivings of some intelligence that is beaten down by an indifferent universe and its inhabitants who, through no fault of their own, fail to comprehend its lofty yearnings. It is filled with protagonists who are tormented by the conflict between their “higher” and “lower” impulses.

Sirius, by Olaf Stapledon (1886-1950), was first published in 1944. This ebook is in the public domain where copyright is “Life+70” or less.
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