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Two authors have, I think, treated this topic in a radical way. It is of Arthur C. Clarke and Robert Silverberg.

In 2001 the Odyssey of Space, Arthur C. Clarke lets to us foresee a possible future for the mankind on a scale of several billion years. So in film of Kubrick, the passage of the Door of Stars by the astronaut David Bowman is rather visual and spectacular, in the book, the reader shares the impression by the astronaut to be observed, scanned by benevolent entities surpuissantes but.

Arthur C. Clarke evokes the way in which David Bowman is initially evaluated, then transformed into Child of the Stars by the extraterrestrial ones which were freed from the limits of the matter, while becoming pure spirits, able to traverse instantaneously the Universe in the search of succeptibles primitive forms of life to interest them. The extraterrestrial ones of Clarke implement a process of transformation accelerated on David Bowman, process which normally took billion years for them. The subjacent idea is that humanity, during its natural evolution, has to follow a destiny similar to that of Bowman, but on an amount of time much more important.

In the Pavane news with the wire of time, Robert Silverberg presents the peregrination of a Traveller to us, left giant and gifted millipede of intelligence. This Traveller traverses a Ground transformed by billion years of evolution, populated strange creatures including one certain number are intelligent: eaters (of the carnivores resembling tyrannosaures), Wait and see advocator (of the hidden cones of flesh which lives out of time), the Scummers… Pourtant, these creatures so different are human beings, the species having evolved/moved in a diversified ecosystem.

One could also quote the novels of the Dune series, of Frank Herbert, where a category of characters, the Navigators of the Guild, underwent a deep change. The Guild, one of the secret organizations of Imperium, profits from the monopoly on the space voyages to long distance.

Indeed, its Navigators acquired, in four thousand years of exercises of meditation and massive absorption of gas of Spice (the most invaluable drug in the Universe, known as an amplifier of the extrasensory perceptions), faculty to fold up the space and of thus being able to make slip instantaneously their Longs-Courriers vessels of a point of the Galaxy with another, moved away from several thousands of light-years. The development of these capacities was obviously not without consequences, and at the time where the action of Dune takes place, the Navigators resemble man-fish, with the members transformed into fins, floating literally in tanks filled with Spice gas.

Romain Dabek
Novels about this theme
La Planète des Singes
2001 : a Space Odyssey
2010 : Odyssey Two
Chapterhouse : Dune
Children of Dune
Dune Messiah
Dune volume 1
Dune volume 2
God Emperor of Dune
Heretics of Dune
Hyperion volume 1
Hyperion volume 2
The City And the Stars
The Dosadi Experiment
The Fall of Hyperion volume 1
The Fall of Hyperion volume 2

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Drawer of the famous "bellaminettes" pinups, author of the "Sylfeline", comics, published by Dargaud

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