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After Man: A Zoology of the Future (1981)

by Dougal Dixon

Other authors: John Butler (Illustrator), Philip Hood (Illustrator), Gary Marsh (Illustrator), Brian McIntyre (Illustrator), Desmond Morris (Introduction)2 more, Diz Wallis (Illustrator), Roy Woodard (Illustrator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
584535,806 (4.08)8
Dougal Dixon's work of speculative anthropology blends science and fantasy in a stunning zoology of the future. Looking 50 million years into the future, this text explores the possible development or extinction of the animal world through the eyes of the time-traveller.

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» See also 8 mentions

Showing 5 of 5
I remember thinking this was stupid ( )
  Baku-X | Jan 10, 2017 |
I remember thinking this was stupid ( )
  BakuDreamer | Sep 7, 2013 |
This book is very, very pretty, and also a fascinating excercise in worldbuilding for the fun of it. It describes a postulated future Earth, 50 million years from now, built on the remains of a world which was devastated by mankind and then regenerated after Man wiped himself out.

It's a wonderful demonstration of evolution in action, with a guide to Earth's evolutionary history in the front, and every new animal described in terms of its evolutionary history and sorted by biome, with gorgeous watercolor illustrations of everything.

I had some difficulties with the book itself, though: firstly, the particular species he chose to wipe out as a results of Mankind, and the species which survived - he thinks rabbits and rats would survive because of their ability to live among human habitats, but not deer, cats, or horses? I'm sure a lot of the individual choices were simply down to what animals he wanted to work with, and what would give cool results, -- and extinctions do often seem utterly arbitrary - but presenting it as the obvious result seems like sloppy thinking.

Much more importantly, though, he focuses entirely on charismatic animals. There is almost no mention of fish or invertebrates, and plant communities - which have if anything been more wholly altered by human action - are left unmentioned and completely unchanged, so that his fantastical rabbucks and giant predatory rats wander through a forest ecosystem of still entirely recognizable modern plants.
4 vote melannen | Dec 7, 2010 |
I first discovered this book when I was about eight years old in the local library. But then it was stolen so I could no longer drool over the beautifully drawn images. I found it again in later years, thanks to the internet, and it is one of my all-time favourite books. I can't rave about this book enough! ( )
1 vote desertroamer | Jan 14, 2007 |
This fascinating book looks at how life might evolve after humans are gone. It takes us 50 million years into the future, where the only remaining primate is a kind of swimming monkey. ( )
  monado | Jul 23, 2006 |
Showing 5 of 5
After Man: A Zoology of the Future, Dougal Dixon’s 1981 book that takes readers to the late Cenozoic epoch known as the Posthomic, the era “After Man.” In his introduction to After Man, biologist, author, and TV presenter Desmond Morris would enthuse, “as soon as I saw this book, I wished I had written it.” Nominated for the Hugo Award, and something of a cult classic, After Man would go on to spawn a series of books, a television show, and the discipline of speculative evolution, which combines art, literature, and science to imagine not just how creatures might appear in the future, but how they might have developed in alternate timelines or on other planets.
added by elenchus | editNautilus.com, Ed Simon (Apr 27, 2022)

» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dougal Dixonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Butler, JohnIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hood, PhilipIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Marsh, GaryIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McIntyre, BrianIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Morris, DesmondIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wallis, DizIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Woodard, RoyIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mörling, MikaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Segnestam, MatsForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The form and position of living things on earth can be attributed to two things -- evolution and environment.
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Dougal Dixon's work of speculative anthropology blends science and fantasy in a stunning zoology of the future. Looking 50 million years into the future, this text explores the possible development or extinction of the animal world through the eyes of the time-traveller.

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Average: (4.08)
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2 4
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3.5 1
4 27
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