William Olaf Stapledon was a British philosopher and author of science fiction. His 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.
Stapledon’s writings directly influenced Arthur C. Clarke, Brian Aldiss, C. S. Lewis, among others, and indirectly influenced many others, contributing many ideas to the world of science fiction.
In 2014, he was inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame.