In Odd John
, a quarter-century before the debut of Stan Lee's X-Men, Olaf Stapledon invented the designation Homo superior
. Goblinish, huge-headed John Wainwright, having "finished" mathematics by age five as beneath his interest (a slight that must make mathematicians roll their eyes in frustration) concentrates on becoming as near as possible a normal English boy. He is, except for his genius, his forays outside law and custom, his secret scientific experiments, and his fascinated exploration of the foibles of Homo sapiens, the well-meaning but pitiable race from which he sprung. Odd John
is the story, told by his faithful biographer Fido (modeled perhaps on Stapledon himself) of John's struggle to establish himself as a being worthy of survival, and of his hunt for his own kind among a half-comprehending humanity.
Odd John is currently available in a double edition with Sirius, ISBN 0486211339.
Original title: Odd John: A Story Between Jest and Earnest
Genre: Fiction→ Science Fiction→ Species Evolution→ The Superman
- Bad John :: all women were his playthings, all men his pawns!