" The flightless yet still half avian race that now possessed the planet settled down to construct a society based on industry and science. After many vicissitudes of fortune and of aim, they produced a new human species, the Eighth Men. These long-headed and substantial folk were designed to be strictly pedestrian, physically and mentally. Apt for manipulation, calculation and invention, they very soon turned Venus into an engineer’s paradise. With power drawn from the planet’s central heat, their huge electric ships bored steadily through the perennial monsoons and hurricanes, which also their aircraft treated with contempt. Islands were joined by tunnels and by millepede bridges. Every inch of land served some industrial or agricultural end. So successfully did the generations amass wealth that their rival races and rival castes were able to indulge, every few centuries, in vast revelries of mutual slaughter and material destruction without, as a rule, impoverishing their descendants. And so insensitive had man become that these orgies shamed him not at all. Indeed, only by the ardours of physical violence could this most philistine species wrench itself for a while out of its complacency. Strife which to nobler beings would have been a grave spiritual disaster, was for these a tonic, almost a religious exercise. These cathartic paroxysms, it should be observed, were but the rare and brief crises which automatically punctuated ages of stolid peace. At no time did they threaten the existence of the species; seldom did they even destroy its civilization." - Olaf Stapledon, Last and First Men (1930)
Great depiction of these post human beings. I always thought that the depiction of human evolution in last and first men was way too conservative. For one thing there wasn't enough speciation and and diversity I thought. Billions of years and two or three planets later there would have been if humans had survived long enough an unrecognizable diversity of non intelligent humans along with various evolutions of sapiens. On a more positive note these guys Societies or interesting particularly the ritual ization of conflict I mean really why can't we settle disputes not by killing each other, we really have to do that?