Odd John, by Olaf Stapledon


Orthodox Herbertarian

Superman stories have always been important in speculative literature. They are often tales of human potential - either the potential of mankind as it exists now to deal with contemporary problems, or the potential of our genome to evolve new attributes and abilities to deal with changing environments. What is often most interesting about these stories is not that they are usually predicated on some unforeseen and radical jump or transformation in biology that results in a being that is drastically different in genetics and potential than any of its ancestors, but rather the human trajedy that can result from such a radical and quick change. What comes after that in the literature varies greatly, but the better stories, in my opinion, discuss the racial, social and sociological implications of the change, and try to expand past one individual's impact on the world. Odd John is one of those larger-focus stories, though it does have a decidedly personal touch to it. It's the story of the life and education of John Wainwright, a British mutant who thinks of himself as in the vanguard of a new race of man called homo superior, as told through the recollections of his human friend and man-in-waiting, affectionately nicknamed Fido...Please click here, or on the book cover above, to be taken to the complete review..