William Olaf Stapledon (1886-1950) may not be a household name, but the fact remains that he is one of the most important writers of the 20th Century. He is known primarily for his four major works Last and First Men (1930), Odd John (1935), Star Maker (1937) and Sirius (1944). All of these stand amongst the greatest in science fiction literature, and there are many who consider Star Maker to be the single greatest work of science fiction ever written.
Below is his entry in the 1942 edition of Twentieth Century Authors, followed by his posthumous entry in the 1955 edition. Whilst I do not agree with the some of the comments in these entries, they are very useful contemporary biographies, as Stapledon himself contributed to them. Also included is Patrick A McCarthy’s essay on him.
The bibliography is the most complete one available. For other biographical information, check out the links page.
STAPLEDON, WILLIAM OLAF (May 10, 1886- ).
English philosopher and novelist who signs his works Olaf Stapledon, writes: "I was born in the Wirral, across the water from Liverpool. The Wirral has nearly always been my headquarters. I now live at the opposite comer of the peninsula, across the water from Wales. Most of my childhood, however, was spent on the Suez Canal, which in a way still seems my home. Subsequently I was educated at Abbotsholme School and Balliol College, Oxford. Then, for a year, with much nerve strain and little success, I taught at the Manchester Grammar School. Next I entered a shipping office in Liverpool, to deal ineffectively with manifestoes and bills of lading. A short period in a shipping agency at Port Said concluded my business career. I then lectured to tutorial classes for the Workers' Educational Association, under the University of Liverpool, imparting my vague knowledge of history and English literature to a few of the workers of Northwestern England. For the three last years of the first great war I was with the Friends' Ambulance Unit, in a motor convoy attached to a division of the French Army. After the war I married Agnes Miller, an Australian. Thus was sealed an intermittent romance of twelve years' standing. We have a daughter and a son.
"Having returned to Workers' Educational Association work, I also began to study philosophy and psychology at Liverpool, and took a Ph.D. Henceforth these were my lecturing subjects, both outside the university and for a short time within. I wrote a technical philosophical book, and purposed an academic career. But I also wrote my Last and First Men, which was a success. I therefore, relying on unearned increment, rashly gave up my university post, determining to pull my weight by writing. Well, well! I have written mostly fantastic fiction of a semi-philosophical kind, and occasionally I have ventured into sociological fields.
“I find it difficult to summarize the main interests and influences in my life. Philosophy, in spite of a late attack, has always taken a high place. Formerly English literature dominated. Science, though I lacked scientific training, was first a sort of gospel and later something the fundamental principles of which must be carefully criticized. It took me long to realize both its true value and its mischief. In politics I accept the label Socialist, though all labels are misleading. My chief recreations have been foreign travel, and rough walking with a very small spot of rock climbing. I am addicted to swimming, and I like the arduous and brainless side of gardening."
* * *
Mr. Stapledon writes occasionally on ethics and philosophy for the technical and scholarly reviews. He is primarily not a novelist but a philosopher, and his style is sometimes cumbersome and crude, but the originality and brilliance of his thought outweighs these disadvantages. Elmer Davis, though he acknowledged that "fiction is a tool he uses awkwardly," said of Mr. Stapledon's first and most successful novel that it is "perhaps the boldest and most intelligently imaginative book of our times." Stapledon himself considers Star Maker "by far the best" of his novels. He is striking in appearance, with thick dark hair, deep-set eyes, and a lined, brooding face.
PRINCIPAL WORKS: Novels-- Last and First Men, 1931; The Last Men in London, 1932; Waking World, 1934; Odd John, 1935; Star Maker, 1937. Non-Fiction-- A Modern Theory of Ethics, 1929; Philosophy and Living, 1938; Saints and Revolutionaries, 1939; New Hope for Britain, 1939.
ABOUT: Saturday Review of Literature July 18, 1936.
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.STAPLEDON, WILLIAM OLAF (May 10, 1886-September 6, 1950).
For autobiographical sketch and list of earlier works and references, see TWENTIETH CENTURY AUTHORS, 1942
Olaf Stapledon died at his home in Cheshire, England, of coronary occlusion, at sixty-four.
In 1949 he was the only delegate from Great Britain given a visa by the United States Embassy to attend a Conference for World Peace held in New York by the National Council of the Arts, Sciences and Professions. The conference had been labelled a "Communist sounding board by the U.S. State Department.
His last work, The Opening of the Eyes, completed and edited by his wife from notes, is a rather mystical statement of the conclusion of his life-long search for a philosophical truth. It is not quite accurate to describe his novels as "science fiction"; E. V. Rieu has called them cosmic "histories of the future. "As one of the few really creative intelligences working in his medium, he has been "an inspiration to good writers and a veritable quarry to hacks," in the words of Basil Davenport, who added: "William Olaf Stapledon was not a great poet, nor even in some conventional respects a very good novelist; but he was a mythmaker, and as such he was unique. In his chosen field, his books stand absolutely unequalled in their combination of intellectual brilliance, imaginative sweep, and tragic dignity."
ADDITIONAL WORKS: Beyond the 'Isms, 1942; Darkness and the Light, 1942; Sirius; a Fantasy of Love and Discord, 1944; Death into Life, 1946; Youth and Tomorrow, 1946; Flames, a Fantasy 1947; Worlds of Wonder (including Flames, Death into Life, Old Man in a New World) 1949; Man Divided, 1950; The Opening of the Eyes, 1951; To the End of Time: The Best of Olaf Stapledon, 1953.
ABOUT: Stap1edon, O. The Opening of the Eyes (preface by E. V. Rieu); To the End of Time (preface by B. Davenport); London Times September 8, 1950; New York Times September 8, 1950.
Partick A McCarthy
University of Miami
Few writers fit so oddly into their chosen fields as Olaf Stapledon, a science-fiction writer whose knowledge of the genre was so limited that he appears to have written his early "philosophical romances" without any clear idea of the widespread interest in this particular branch of fantasy. A serious writer, whose novels criticize received political, social, and philosophical views, Stapledon regarded his stories primarily as vehicles for the propagation of his ideas and chose science fiction as his medium largely because it provided him with a convenient means of dealing with the cosmic themes that he found most important. For many readers, however, Stapledon's works are equally interesting for their bold experimentation with narrative form and for their introduction of themes that have now become commonplace in science fiction: galactic empires, sentient stars, genetic engineering, and symbiotic relationships between beings of different species are among e many science-fiction motifs that can be traced to Stapledon’s novels
William Olaf Stapledon, the only child of William Clibbert and Emmeline Miller Stapledon, was born in Poolton cum Seacombe on the Wirral peninsular south of Liverpool, but he spent most of the first six years of his life in Port Said, Egypt, where his father managed a shipping firm. Several of Stapledon's interests and inclinations derive from his early experiences: the recurrent motifs of sailing and shipbuilding in his works have their sources in his father's business; the open-mindedness and political liberalism of the writer stem from the examples of his progressive parents, who encouraged their son's independence of mind; and the fascination with alien intelligences in a book like Star Maker (1937) may be a result of the author's early childhood in cosmopolitan Port Said, where he encountered people from many countries and cultures. Having returned to England to begin his formal education, Stapledon studied at schools in the Liverpool area before attending the Abbotsholme School and reading modern history at Balliol College, Oxford (B.A., 1909; M.A., 1913). In the years before World War I, he held a variety of jobs in schools and shipping offices, and his first book, a volume of undistinguished philosophical poems, Latter-Day Psalms, was published in 1914. When war broke out he opposed the conflict but opted for service as a driver in the Friends' Ambulance Unit as a compromise between regular military service and conscientious-objector status; his war experiences reinforced his inclination toward pacifism. Released from service in January 1919, Stapledon married his cousin, Agnes Zena Miller, in July; their children, Mary Sydney and John David, were born in 1920 and 1923.
With encouragement and financial support from his parents, Stapledon chose to spend the postwar years not in entering upon a profession but in extramural lecturing and in postgraduate study at the University of Liverpool, which awarded him a Ph.D. in philosophy in 1925. Despite the publication of several of his philosophical articles and of a book, A Modern Theory of Ethics (1929), he was unable to obtain a regular lectureship at a university. His lack of success in the academic world was almost certainly one factor in Stapledon's decision to seek a wider audience for his ideas through fiction, beginning with Last and First Men (1930). The surprising popularity of his first novel and the favourable response from critics such as J. B. Priestley, who called it "a masterpiece," confirmed Stapledon's determination to make his mark as a novelist.
Last and First Men was influenced by several works, including J. B. S. Haldane's speculative essays "Man's Destiny" (1928) and "The Last Judgment" (1927), but in most ways it is a strikingly original performance. The book is narrated by one of the Last Men, a highly evolved species of mankind living on Neptune two billion years hence, and it purports to be nothing less than a true history of man's future. The broad sweep of the novel is breathtaking: Stapledon describes the rise and fall of great civilizations, distinguishes among eighteen distinct human species, brings the human race to the brink of disaster time and time again, and forces his hero, mankind, into two interplanetary migrations and two deadly confrontations with alien races. What is perhaps most impressive about the novel is Stapledon's ability to describe not only the material cultures but also the different psychologies and philosophies of various species of mankind, ranging from our own species, the First Men—a "half-human" race that will find its highest expression in a Patagonian civilization a hundred thousand years hence--to the Eighteenth or Last Men, a spiritually awakened race that incorporates the finest elements of earlier species. The narrator of Last and First Men speaks again in the sequel, Last Men in London (1932), where he uses the history of a modern Englishman, Paul, as the focus for a wide-ranging criticism of twentieth-century civilization. Although it is too diffuse and abstract for most readers, Last Men in London Contains a lucid examination of the condition of modern man, and the analysis of Paul's life is particularly interesting since it is based partly on Stapledon's own experiences.
Narrower in scope and more conventional in form than the Last Men books, Stapledon's third novel, Odd John (1935), is a classic example of the superman novel. The narrator, a journalist, describes the life of John Wainwright, whose superhuman mentality inevitably leads to conflict with normal human society and to the destruction of the utopian colony organized by John and other supernormal beings. The influence of Friedrich Nietzsche is evident here, most obviously in John's argument that the Superman is not necessarily bound by the same code of morality as other people. Yet, as a socialist, Stapledon could never be altogether comfortable with Nietzsche's distinction between the Übermensch and the "all-too-many," and his doubts must have grown more serious in the late 1930s and early 1940s as he saw how Nietzschean ideas were being enlisted in the cause of Aryan racial superiority in Nazi Germany. The book that most clearly reveals Stapledon's doubts is Sirius (1944), the story of a highly intelligent and articulate dog. In many ways, Sirius reverses the terms of Odd John: John, for example, often describes human beings (including the narrator) as dogs, yet in Sirius the dog is clearly the superior being. Despite his spiritual and mental superiority, however, unlike John, Sirius never treats human beings as insignificant; rather, he senses his brotherhood with mankind even when he is forced to kill a brutal farmer in order to save his own life. The rejection of Nietzsche's moral argument is particularly striking since Sirius, like Nietzsche's Übermensch, is a unique being obsessed with the sense of his isolation. The characterization of Sirius, with all his problems and insights, is one of Stapledon's finest achievements.
Stapledon's most ambitious novel, Star Maker, appeared in 1937. Broader in scope than The Divine Comedy, which at times it seems to parody, Star Maker is the story of a man's mental voyage through the cosmos in search of a vision of the creating and sustaining force behind the universe. Much of the book is devoted to surveys of strange alien civilizations and sentient life forms ranging from "human echinoderms" to intelligent stars, but at the end of the novel the narrator, who has now become part of a "cosmic mind," achieves a vision of the Star Maker. In an early draft of the novel, discovered and published in 1976 under the title "Nebula maker," Stapledon intended the narrator to see God, but the final text of Star Maker denies that the usual idea of God is anything more than an incomplete and anthropomorphized version of the Star Maker, whose attitude toward his creation is not the love that Christians expect from God but a critical and somewhat indifferent contemplation of the universe as an aspect of his own being. Star Maker is both a masterpiece of science fiction and a stimulating philosophical novel.
The later novels are Darkness and the Light (1942), which describes two possible future histories for mankind; Sirius (1944); Death into Life (1946), an obscure book dealing with the searchings of the communal human spirit for meaning amid the destruction of World War II; The Flames (1947), a sharp, ironic work about the attempt of flame creatures to establish contact with human beings; and A Man Divided (1950), the story of a split personality. In general, the works all enunciate the same themes as Last and First Men and the other early novels: the need to achieve an "awakened" view of mankind that transcends parochial concerns and individual prejudices; the possibility that intelligence exists in many different forms; the close connection between political, social, or technological conditions and spiritual development; and the conviction that modern man faces a political and spiritual crisis requiring a choice between the "archaic" values of selfishness and domination and the "fully human" values of the liberated mind. The same themes appear, less successfully, in two posthumously published books: The Opening of the Eyes (1954) and 4 Encounters (1976).
Virtually every one of Stapledon's books stresses the need for community, and for this writer the primary model of community was his own family. An understanding and devoted father, he particularly enjoyed making model boats for his children and sailing them at the lake in West Kirby, where the family lived from 1920 until a new home, Simon's Field, was built in 1940 in nearby Caldy. In addition to his fiction, Stapledon put out a steady stream of philosophical works, and he regularly lectured for the Worker's Educational Association and the University of Liverpool's extramural pro- gram. In the 1930s and 1940s he also attended numerous conferences where he presented papers; of these meetings, perhaps the most important and controversial was the Cultural and Scientific Conference for Peace (New York, 1949), which the American press generally described as Communist-dominated. Partly through his participation in these meetings and partly through his writings, Stapledon came to know many members of the British in telligentsia, particularly those with leftist political sympathies, and he maintained a lively correspondence with such people as H. G. Wells, J. B. S. Haldane, Bertrand Russell, J. B. Priestley, C. E. M. Joad, and Gerald Heard.
The correspondence with Wells is particularly interesting since it outlines the relationship between Stapled on and the writer who is often said to have shaped his attitude toward science fiction. Stapledon did owe a debt to Wells, as he said in his first letter (16 October 1931), but the influence came primarily from Wells's later works; of Wells's early science fiction, Stapledon had read only one novel, The War of the Worlds (1898), and one short story, "The Star," before he wrote Last and First Men. Stapledon and Wells kept up a steady correspondence over the next decade and met several times, beginning in April 1936. In several letters (and in some of his books, particularly Waking World, 1934), Stapledon criticized Wells for failing to take the spiritual aspects of life into account—a charge he also levelled at the Communists—but it is clear that Stapled on saw Wells as one of the major thinkers of the twentieth century and that he was profoundly influenced by Wells's analysis of man's condition in biological and economic terms.
Stapledon's influence on others can be seen in the works of a wide range of authors, beginning with C. S. Lewis, who said that he wrote Out of the Silent Planet (1938) in reaction to the "scientific humanism" of Stapledon and other writer&. In fact Weston, the villain of Lewis's book, is given a number of speeches that present, in exaggerated form, the ideas that Lewis attributed to Stapledon. More sympathetic treatment of Stapledonian ideas may be found in the works of Arthur C. Clarke, who said that his reading of Last and First Men "transformed my life." The Overmind in Childhood's End (1953), for instance, is an adaptation of the "cosmic mind" of Star Maker. Stapledon's impact on other science-fiction writers is so pervasive that further examples may be superfluous, but it is worth mentioning that Stanislaw Lem has pointed to Stapledon as the major influence on his writings.
Despite his early years in Egypt and his World War I experiences in France and Belgium, Stapledon led a rather quiet life until his death, of coronary arterial occlusion, in 1950. To his neighbours he seemed a friendly fellow, rather eccentric (he swam in the lake at all times of year) but otherwise unexceptional. Science-fiction readers—and many general readers of fiction, especially in Britain—saw a different Stapledon: a writer whose imagination, in the words of science-fiction historian Sam Moskowitz, was the "most titanic…ever brought to science fiction." In the range and depth of his vision, the importance of his themes, the novelty of his narrative forms, and his impact on later writers, Stapled on remains one of the most important contributors to modern science fiction..
Last and First Men: A Story of the Near and Far Future. London: Methuen, 1930.
Last Men in London. London: Methuen, 1932.
Odd John: A Story Between Jest and Earnest. London: Methuen, 1935.
Star Maker. London: Methuen, 1937.
Darkness and the Light. London: Methuen, 1942.
Old Man in New World. London: Allen and Unwin [P.E.N. Books], 1944.
Sirius: A Fantasy of Love and Discord. London: Secker and Warburg, 1944.
Death into Life. London: Methuen, 1946.
The Flames: A Fantasy. London: Secker and Warburg, 1947.
A Man Divided. London: Methuen, 1950.
Nebula Maker & Four Encounters, introductions by Arthur C. Clarke and Brian W. Aldiss. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1983..
"The Road to the Aide Post," F[riends] A[mbulance] U[nit]. Monthly Magazine. No. 1 (January 1916), 11-14
"The Seed and the Flower." Friends’ Quarterly Examiner 50 (October 1916): 464-75.
"A World of Sound." In Hotch-Potch, edited by John Brophy, 243-51. Liverpool: Council of the Royal Liverpool Children’s Hospital, 1936.
"Arms Out of Hand" In Transformation Four, edited by Stefan Schimanski and Henry Treece, 243-51. London: Lindsay Drummond Ltd, 1946.
Far Future Calling: Uncollected Science Fiction and Fantasies of Olaf Stapledon. Edited by Sam Moskowitz. Philadelphia: Oswald Train, 1979. [Fiction includes "The Man Who Became a Tree," "A Modern Magician," "East Is West," "Arms Out of Hand," "A World of Sound." Also Stapledon’s unproduced radio script "Far Future Calling," based on Last and First Men.]
"The Peak and the Town." In Olaf Stapledon: A Bibliography, edited by Harvey J. Satty and Curtis C. Smith, xxvii-xxxviii. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1984.
"The Story of John" In An Olaf Stapledon Reader. Edited by Robert Crossley Syracuse University Press 1997.
"The Builder." The Old Abbotsholmian 3, no. 11(1912): 169.
"A Prayer," Highway 5 (October 1912), 5
Latter-Day Psalms. Liverpool: Henry Young, 1914.
"The World Egg" and "Timber," Poetry 6, No. 54 (June 1923), 147.
Poets of Merseyside: An Anthology of Present-Day Liverpool Poetry. Edited by S. Fowler Wright. London: Merton Press, 1923. [Eight poems by Stapledon: "God the Artist," "Creator Creatus," "A Prophet’s Tragedy," "The Good," "Revolt Against Death," "The Unknown," "Futility," "The Relativity of Beauty," 93-100.1]
Voices on the Wind, Second Series. Edited by S. Fowler Wright. London: Merton Press, 1924. [Five poems by Stapledon: "Pain," "Swallows at Maffrecourt," "Moriturus," "A Prophet’s Tragedy," "God the Artist," 165-67].
"Euthanasia," Poetry, Vol. 6, No. 58 (November 1923), 275.
"In the Dark," Poetry, Vol. 7, No. 64 (June-July 1924), 145-146.
"Symptoms," The New Age, Vol. 35, No. 23 (2 October 1924),
"Ad Astra," Poetry, Vol. 7, No.87 November-December 1924), 261
"Smoke," The New Age, vol. 36, No 14 (29 January 1925)
"Evanescence," Poetry, Vol. 8, No, 70 (March 1925), 74.
"Western Culture, "Wet Weather," and "A Gull On the Mersey" Poetry and the Play, Vol. 8; No. 73 (July-August 1925), 2
"Reason", "A Mystic, "Worshippers", "Two Chinese Poems" "Ratra Avis," Poetry of To-Day: A Quarterly ‘Extra’ of the Poetry Review Winter 1925, 7,10,11, 18, 21
"Star Worship" Poetry and the Play, Vol 9, No, 79 (July-September 1926), 527
"Squire to Knight" The Two Houses (Beechcroft Settlement Magazine October 1927) 11
"Be Absolute," Adelphi 15, No. 12 (September 1939), 571
"Paradox," Adelphi 16 No. 6 (March 1940), 247
"Of Poems", "Parenthood" and "Al Fresco" in Olaf Stapledon: Speaking for the Future. by Robert Crossley (Liverpool University Press 1994)
Some Revised Poems from Latter-Day Psalms, Some Poems from Metaphysical Posters, "Resignation", "Our Shame", in An Olaf Stapledon Reader. Edited by Robert Crossley Syracuse University Press 1997.
A Modern Theory of Ethics: A Study of the Relations of Ethics and Psychology. London: Methuen, 1929.
Waking World. London: Methuen, 1934.
Philosophy and Living. 2 vols. Harmondsworth, Eng.: Penguin, 1939.
Saints and Revolutionaries [I Believe, No. 10]. London: Heinemann, 1939.
New Hope for Britain. London: Methuen, 1939.
Beyond the "Isms" [Searchlight Books No. 16]. London: Secker and Warburg, 1942.
Youth and Tomorrow London St Botolph 1946
The Opening of the Eyes Edited by Agnes Z Stapledon London Methuen 1954
"Fields Within Fields" in An Olaf Stapledon Reader. Edited by Robert Crossley Syracuse University Press 1997.
Essays (pamphlets and contributions to books)
"Problems and Solutions, or the Future." In An Outline for Boys and Girls and Their Parents, edited by Naomi Mitchison (London: Gollancz, 1932). 691-749.
"Education and World Citizenship." In Manifesto: Being the Book of the Federation of Progressive Societies and Individuals, edited by C.E.M. Joad, (London: Allen and Unwin, 1934). 142-63.
"Experiences in the Friends' Ambulance Unit" in We Did Not Fight 1914-18: Experiences of War Resisters, edited by Julian Bell (London: Cobden-Sanderson, 1935). 359-374
"I Support the Spanish Government." In Authors Take Sides on the Spanish Civil War, (London, Left Review, 1937). 25
"Foreword." In Life: A Poem, by John Pride, (Liverpool, Daily Post Printers, 1939). 5
"Federalism and Socialism." In Federal Union: A Symposium, edited by M. Chaning-Pearce (London: Jonathan Cape, 1940). 115-29
"Literature and the Unity of Man." In Writers in Freedom: A Symposium, edited by Herman Ould, (London: Hutchinson, 1942). 113-19.
Seven Pillars of Peace. London: Common Wealth, 1944
"The Great Certainty." In In Search of Faith: A Symposium, edited by Ernest W. Martin, (London: Lindsay Drummond, 1944). 37-59.
"Effects of Lidice." In Lidice, edited by Ernest W. Martin (Aberdeen, George Allen & Unwin, 1944). 85-89
"What Are ‘Spiritual’ Values?" In Freedom of Expression: A Symposium, edited by Herman Ould (London: Hutchinson, 1945). 16-26.
"What Humanists Can Learn from Christians" In The Challenge of Humanism (London: World Union of Freethinkers 1947). 54-57.
"The Religious Approach" In The Present Question, edited by H. Westmann,. (London: Chapman & Hall, 1947). 108-123
"Ethical Values Common to East and West" and "From England." In Speaking of Peace, edited by Daniel Gillmor,. (New York: National Council of the Arts, Sciences and Professions, 1949). 119-21; 130-31
"The Meaning of ‘Spirit.’" In Here and Now: Miscellany No. 5, edited by Peter Albery and Sylvia Read. (London: Falcon Press, 1950). 72-82.
"The Bridge Between" in Two Worlds in Focus: Studies of the Cold War (London: National Peace Council, 1950), 44-60.
"Fields Within Fields" in An Olaf Stapledon Reader. Edited by Robert Crossley Syracuse University Press 1997.
Essays and Memoirs (periodicals and newspapers)
"The Most Splendid Race." The Old Abbotsholmian 2, no. 7 (1907): 159-161.
"The Splendid Race." The Old Abbotsholmian 2, no. 8 (1908): 212-216.
"The Novice Schoolmaster." The Old Abbotsholmian 3, no. 2 (1910): 14-18.
"The People, Self Educator." The Old Abbotsholmian 3, no. 1 (1913): 203-7.
"Poetry and the Worker." The Highway 6 (Oct. 1913): 4-6.
"Poetry and the Worker: Wordsworth." The Highway 6 (Dec. 1913): 51-53.
"Poetry and the Worker-Tennyson." The Highway 6 (Feb. 1914): 87-89.
"Poetry and the Worker-Browning." The Highway 6 (Apr. 1914): 125-27.
"Poetry and the Worker-Shakespeare." The Highway 7 (Jan. 1915): 56-58.
"The Reflections of an Ambulance Orderly." The Friend (14 April 1916) 246.
"Problem of Universals." Monist 34 (October 1924): 574-98.
"The Need for Ethics," The Open Court [Chicago) 41, No 851 (April 1927), 206-219.
"The Bearing of Ethics on Psychology," Journal of Philosophical Studies 2, No. 7 (July 1927), 365-376
"Mr. Bertrand Russell’s Ethical Beliefs." International Journal of Ethics 37 (July 1927): 390-402.
"Theory of the Unconscious," Monist [Chicago] 37, No 3 (July 1927), 422-444.
"Ethics and Teleological Activity," The International Journal of Ethics [Philadelphia] 38 No. 3 (April 1928), 241-257.
"The Location of Physical Objects." Journal of Philosophical Studies 4 (Jan. 1929):64-75.
"The Remaking of Man." The Listener, 8 April 1931, 575-76.
"Broadcasting and World Unity," World-Radio 14 (April .1932) 632,634
"Disarmament and the League." Birkenhead News and Wirral General Advertiser, 3 November 1934
"The Scope of Education" The Highway 27 (December 1934): 58-60
"The World of Tomorrow" Tomorrow: The Journal of Living and Learning 3 No. 3 (December 1934): 4-6
"The Open Conspiracy and the Labour Party" The Open Conspiracy (H.G. Wells Society) Monthly Bulletin 7, January 1935
"Education and Propaganda," Adult Education, 7, No. 3 (April 1935), 193-199
"Education for World-Citizenship" The Open Conspiracy (H.G. Wells Society) Monthly Bulletin 10, April 1935
"Possible Men," Zigzag, Vol. 1, No. 2 (Autumn 1935), 3-5.
Untitled ["On Cultural Diversity"], Personal View column. Manchester Evening News, 20 August 1937, 8.
"Public Opinion and Democracy," Adult Education, 10 No 2 (December 1937), 156-167
"Kindliness or Curtain," Reader’s News, August 1938), 4
"Science, Art and Society." London Mercury 38 (October1938): 521-28.
"Saints and Revolutionaries," Plan 6, No. 5 (May 1939), 8-12
"Writers and Politics." Scrutiny 8 (Sept. 1939): 151-56.
"Escapism in Literature." Scrutiny 8 (Dec. 1939): 298-308.
"Federation," The New Commonwealth 5, .No 2 (war series; April 1940), 25-26.
"Tradition and Innovation To-Day", Scrutiny [Cambridge, England], 9, No, 1 (June 1940) 33-45
"Federalism and Capitalism," Union 1 No- 7 (July 1940) 216-219
"Federalism and Socialism," The New Commonwealth Quarterly 6 No. 3 (January l941) 183-194
"Religion in the New World," News Chronicle, 29 January 1941.
"Socialism and Ethics," Left News, No. 57 (March 1941) 1661-1665
"Should We Hate the Germans?" University Forward [Cambridge, England] 7, No. 4 (March 1942) 13-14
"Sketch-Map of Human Nature." Philosophy 17 (July 1942): 210-30.
"Morality, Scepticism and Theism." Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, new series, 44 (1943-44): 15-42.
"Tune Up For Action," The Daily Worker, 27 March 1944
"Left Unity," Common Wealth 1, No. 2 (April 1944), 7-8.
"Hate Leads Backwards," Common Wealth Review (January 1945), 12,14.
"Socialism in a Changing Climate," Left Revue (February 1945), 325-326
"Snobbery, Yesterday and Today," The Norseman, 3 (March-April 1945), 133-137.
"How Deal with Germany?" Left Revue, No. 102 (April 1945) 372-374.
"Freedom," Common Wealth Review 2, No. 7 (June 1945), 8, 11.
"The Core," The Windmill 1, No. 2 (9 July 945), 112-117.
"Our Stupendous Future," Leader 2, No. 44 (18 August 1945) 9, 22.
"Man: Should We Re-Make Him?" Leader, 2 (1 September 1945): 12-13
"Planning and Liberty: Talks with the Troops," The London Quarterly of World Affairs 11, No. 5 (October 1945). 245-253.
"Social Implications of Atomic Power." The Norseman 3 (Nov.-Dec. 1945): 390-93.
"Liverpool and Britain," The Liverpolitan 11, No. 1 (January 1946), 9,8.
"Britain’s Part in this New World," Common Wealth Review 3, No. 4 (February 1946), 10.
"Reconstruction in Holland" The Contemporary Review 169, No. 962 (February 1946), 71-76,
"Education for Personality-in-Community," New Era in Home and School, 27 (March 1946): 63-67;
"Is Humanism Enough?" The Monthly Record (published by the South Place Ethical Society) 51, No. 3 (March 1946), 15.
"Adult Education in Industry," Highway 37 (April 1946), 87-58
"Personal Relations in the family," The Monthly Record (published by the South Place Ethical Society) 5, No. 5 (May 1946) 9-11
"Writers confer at Stockholm" The New Statesman, 31, No. 800 (22 June 1946), 447-448
"The P.E.N. Congress at Stockholm," Adam International Review No. 159-160 (June-July 1946), 11.
"Reason and Religion," The Monthly Record (published, by the South Place Ethical Society) 51, No.8 (August 1946), 8-10.
"The Pen and the Sword," The Author, Playwright and Composer, Vol. 57, No, 1 (Autumn 1946), 4-6
"Discussion with the Forces," Cambridge University Labour Review, October 1946.
"Henrietta Leslie," P.E.N. News, No. 146 (October 1946)
"Health of Body and Mind," Health Horizon (January 1947), 17-22.
"Dr. Olaf Stapledon on ‘Human Health’," The Monthly Record (published by the South Place Ethical Society) 52, No. 4 (April 1947), 15
"Liberty and Discipline." Modern Education 1 (Apr. 1947): 109-11.
"Beyond Christian Morality?" Common Wealth Review 4, No. 3 (September 1947), 4-5.
"Scepticism and the Modern World," World Review (February 1948), 55-59,
"The Plight of Man," The Monthly Record (published by the South Place Ethical Society), 53, No. 3 (March 1948), 5-7.
"Data for a World View: 1. The Human Situation and Natural Science." Enquiry 1 (Apr. 1948): 13-18.
"Data for a World View: 2. Paranormal Experiences." Enquiry 1 (July 1948): 13-18.
"Wroclaw," Peace News, No 637 (10 September 1948), 2
"A New Unity is Born," Our Time (incorporating Poetry and the People) 7, No. 13 (October 1948) 340,
"When Man Steps Out to the Planets," Sunday Express, 10 October 1948
Interplanetary Man?" Journal of the British Interplanetary Society 7 (Nov. 1948): 212-33.
"Note," The Monthly Record (published by the South Place Ethical Society) 54, No. 3 (March 1949) 11-13
"Discussion: The Church," Question 1, No. 3 (Spring 1949) 193-199
"Man’s Future," Prediction 14, No. 9 (April 1949), 4-6.
"Personality and Living," Philosophy, 24 (April 1949): 144-156;
"The Peaceful Temper," One World 3, No. 4 (June-July 1949) 54-57
"Conflict of Wisdoms," Enquiry 2, No. 2 (August 1949), 24-29.
"Our Fundamental Principles Under the Searchlight ," Plan 17, No. 8 (August 1949), 3-8.
"Our Fundamental Principles Under the Searchlight ," Plan 17, No. 9 (September 1949) 5-8.
"Science Finds a New Universe," Prediction 15, No. 9 (August 1949), 14-16
"A Plain Man Talks About Values." Rider’s Review 76 (Spring 1950): 22-28.
"Power Through Philosophy: A Lecture Given to the New Renascence School" Humanity Now 9, No. 1 (Spring 1950), 11-14.
"Religion To-day," Faith and Freedom, [Leeds, England] 3 Part 2, No, 8 (Spring 1950), 49-53.
"The Ways of Peace," One World, 3 (October-November 1950): 178-185..
Reviews and Interviews (periodicals and newspapers)
Untitled review, Journal of Philosophical Studies, 4 (October 1929), 568-569 (Review of John McKenzie’s A Manual of Ethics)
Untitled review, Journal of Philosophical Studies, 5 (April 1930), 301-302 (Review of Beatrice Edgell’s Ethical Problems: An Introduction to Ethics for Hospital Nurses and Social Workers)
Untitled review, Journal of Philosophical Studies, 5 (October 1930), 610-612 (Review of Hans Driesch’s Ethical Principles in Theory and Practice)
Untitled review, Philosophy, 7. No. 25 (January 1932) 107-108 (Review of Radoslav A. Tsanoff’s The Nature of Evil)
"Sleepers Wake!" The Listener, Vol. 7, No. 163 (24 January 1932)
Untitled review, Philosophy, 8. No. 29 (January 1933) 107-108 (Review of Edward Westermarck’s Ethical Relativity)
Untitled news item, Monthly Bulletin H.G. Wells Society 1 (June 1934)
"A Plea for Philosophy," The London Mercury, 31 (March 1935), 489-490
"Human Stupidity," The London Mercury, 32, No188 (March 1935), 172-174
"Dr. Olaf Stapledon on the Way the World is Heading," Star Mercury [Birmingham] 4 August 1935
"Spirit and Economic Man," The London Mercury, 32 (September 1935), 499-500
"Religion and Science-the Conflict" The London Mercury, 33 No 196 (February 1936), 444-445
"The Science of Living," The London Mercury, 33 No 198 (April 1936), 653
"The Credo of Mr. Gill," The London Mercury, 34 No 200 (June 1936), 183
"The Philosophic Temper," The London Mercury, 34 No 204 (October 1936), 551-552
"Life Among Savages," Liverpool Daily Post, 3 February 1937
"Hidden Consciousness," The London Mercury, 35 No 209 (March 1937), 523-524
"Count Keyserling’s Philosophy," The London Mercury, 36 No 212 (June 1937), 210
"Mr. Wells Calls in the Martians" [review of Star-Begotten 1. The London Mercury 36 (July 1937): 295-96.
"Olaf Stapledon: His War Service and Pacifist Views," Yorkshire Post [Leeds], 9 July 1937
"An Indictment of Our Culture," The London Mercury, 36 No 215 (September 1937), 487-488
"Descent into Hell," The The London Mercury, 37 No 217 (November 1937), 78
"Mr Aldous Huxley’s Conversion," The London Mercury, 37 No 218 (December 1937), 228-229
Untitled Review The Highway 30 (March 1938): 159. (Review of H. Levy’s A Philosophy for a Modern Man)
Untitled Review The Listener, (2 March 1938) 485-486. (Review of W. Macneille Dixon’s The Human Situation)
"Psychic Power," The London Mercury, 38 No 224 (June 1938), 183-184
Untitled Review The Listener, (27 October 1938) 909. (Review of WJ.W. Dunne’s The New Immortality)
"Power: A New Social Analysis," Adult Education, 11 No 2 (December 1938), 162-166
"But To-Day the Struggle." Review of Studies in a Dying Culture, by Christopher Caudwell. London Mercury 39 (Jan. 1939): 348-49.
"The Dialectic of Science." The London Mercury 39 No. 232. (February 1939) 454-455
"Israel’s Part." The London Mercury 39 No. 233. (March 1939) 553-554
"Christian Capitalism." The London Mercury 39 No. 234. (April 1939) 653-654
"The Heart’s Demands", Liverpool Daily Post, 4 September 1940.
"Inside the Atom," The New Statesman 20, No. 508 (16 November 1940) 500
"An Engineer on Life," The New Statesman 20, No. 512 (14 December 1940), 634.
"Our Proper Study," The New Statesman 20, No. 514 (28 December 1940), 685-686
"The Modern Aladdins," The New Statesman 21, No. 516 (1 February 1941), 112.
"The Cosmos," The New Statesman 21, No. 530 (19 April 1941) 416
"Nations as Animals" The New Statesman 21, No. 532 (3 May 1941) 466
"Science and Society," The New Statesman, 21, No. 534 (17 May 1941) 512.
"The Human Ideal", Britain Today, No, 70 (February 1942) 25-26.
"Science and Religion," Britain Today, No. 72 (April 1942) 26
Untitled Review The Listener 23 No. 693 (23 April 1942) 536, 539. (Review of K.E. Barlow’s The Discipline of Peace)
Untitled review, Philosophy 17, No. 67 (July 1942), 283. (Review of Wayne A.R. Leys’s Ethics and Social Policy)
"The Impulse to Dominate," Adelphi 18, No 6 (July-September 1942), 141-142.
"Some Thoughts on H. G. Wells’s ‘You Can’t Be Too Careful.’" Plan 9 (Aug. 1942): 1-2.
"Vision and Superstition," Britain Today, No. 77 (September 1942), 27.
"The New Religion", Tribune, 2 October 1942.
"Natural Selection," Britain Today, No. 79 (November 1942), 24-25.
"New Atlantis To-day", Tribune, 6 November 1942.
Untitled review, Britain Today, No. 81 (January 1943) 27 (Review of Kenneth Walker’s The Circle of Life)
"The Faith of a Pacifist" The New Statesman 25, No. 622 (23 January 1943), 63.
"Mr Joad’s Conversion," Britain Today, No. 84 (April 1943), 25.
Untitled review, Philosophy 18, No. 70 (July 1943) 27 (Review of Ruth Nanda Anshen’s (ed) Freedom: Its Meaning) 180-182
"High Speed Marco Polo," Town and Country. Review (Common Wealth’s Monthly)1, No.4 December 1943), 86-88
"Christianity and Marxism," New Leader 35, No, 11 (16 March 1946), 6.
"Freedom No Panacea," Common Wealth Review 2, No. 7 (June 1946), 8-11
"Political Religion," The New Statesman 32, No. 809 (24 August 1946), 139-140
"Design for Liberty," The New Statesman 32; No. 817 (19 October 1946), 287-288
"God-Man and Insect Man," Britain Today, No. 146 (June 1948), 44-45
Untitled review, World Review, (June1948), 67. Review of Middleton Murry’s (The Free Society)..
"Correspondence: Rhyme, Assonance and Vowel Contrast," Poetry 7, No. 65 (August-September 1924), 194-196.
"The Art of Unit One: Mr Stapledon and the critics." Liverpool Daily Post, 28 May 1934
"Mr. Stapledon’s ‘Mob Oratory,’ Middle Class Motives." Liverpool Post and Mercury, 19 December 1934
"The Right to Travel," Liverpool Daily Post, 8 March 1935
"International. Law-Breaking: A World Air Police" Liverpool Daily Post, 29 October 1935
"Author takes Wirral M.P. to Task," Hoylake and West Kirby Advertiser, 13 March 1936
"The Liverpool Peace Manifesto: A ‘Sketch Map of the Situation" Liverpool Daily Post, 18 March 1936
"The International Crisis: ‘League Controlled’ Zones," Liverpool Daily Post, 23 March 1936
"Abyssinia’s Flight: Four Suggested Policies," Liverpool Daily Post, 18 May 1936
"Honest Pacifism, Unilateral disarmament," Liverpool Daily Post, 25 May 1936
"Dr Stapledon Replies." Birkenhead News and Wirral General Advertiser, 30 May 1936
"The Courage to Disarm," Hoylake and West Kirby Advertiser, 12 June 1936
"War Settles Nothing," Liverpool Daily Post, 24 June1936
"Peace Between Nations: A Suggested Peace Letter," Liverpool Daily Post, 28 September 1936
"Armaments and Peace," Liverpool Daily Post, 12 October 1936
"An International Police Force: Distinguished Advocates," Liverpool Daily Post, 23 October 1936
"International Law and Order: Disarmament Arguments," Liverpool Daily Post, 3 November 1936
"Idealism and Peace," John O’London’s Weekly, 13 November 1936
"The Lake District Problem: A Peace Formula," Liverpool Daily Post, 23 February 1938
"Merseyside Nursery Schools," Liverpool Daily Post, 19 November 1938
"Cabinet Personnel," Liverpool Daily Post, 7 July1939.
"Federal Union: Old Idea, New Vision" Liverpool Daily Post, 11 July 1939
"Federal Union: Russian Co-operation" Liverpool Daily Post, 17 July 1939
"Federal Union: Organisation for Peace" Liverpool Daily Post, 25 July 1939
"Federal Union" Liverpool Daily Post, 1 August 1939
"The Task of Democracy," Liverpool Daily Post, 24 October 1939.
"Peace Aims Now: War Between Two Faiths, Weaning the Germans From Hitler," South Wales Argus Newport, 5 September 1940.
"India and Britain," The Manchester Guardian, 13 March 1941, 10.
"Freer Broadcasting", Liverpool Daily Post, 17 August 1942.
"Broadcasting and Public Taste," Liverpool Daily Post, 24 August 1942.
"Immigration in Palestine," Liverpool Daily Post, 8 September 1944
"Immigration into Palestine," Liverpool Daily Post, 19 September 1944
"Re-educating Nazi Prisoners," Liverpool Daily Post, 24 November 1944.
"Britain and Palestine," Southern Daily Echo [Southampton] 9 August 1945.
Untitled letter on "fantastic fiction" In First One and Twenty by John Gloag (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1946). viii.
"After Wroclaw," The Manchester Guardian, 22 December 1948.
"After Wroclaw," The Manchester Guardian, 6 January 1949.
"After Wroclaw," The Manchester Guardian, 17 January 1949.
"Peace and War in New York," The New Statesman 37, No. 947 (30 April 1949), 432-433
"Fandom," Operation Fantast [GPO, England] 3 (New Series) No. 3 (December 1949), 14
"The Letters of Olaf Stapledon and H G Wells; 1931-1942," edited by Robert Crossley in Science Fiction Dialogues, edited by Gary Wolfe (Chicago: Academy Chicago, 1982). 27-57.
Talking Across the World: The Love Letters of Olaf Stapledon and Agnes Miller 1913-1919. Edited by Robert Crossley (Hanover: Univ Press of New England. 1987).
"Letters to the Future," edited by Robert Crossley. In The Legacy of Olaf Stapledon: Critical Essays and an Unpublished Manuscript, edited by Patrick A McCarthy, Charles Elkins, and Martin Harry Greenberg, (New York: Greenwood. 1989) 99-120.
Two Letters to Naomi Mitchison, Letter to Virginia Woolf,Letter to C.E.M. Joad ,Three Letters to Aage Marcus, Letter to Fay Pomerance, Letter to Gwyneth Alban-Davis, in An Olaf Stapledon Reader. Edited by Robert Crossley Syracuse University Press 1997