After Man: A Zoology of the FutureDouglas Dixon
“After Man” is one of the most engaging, creative books I have ever had the pleasure of reading. While one might think from its outlandish illustrations that it is a book for children, this is simply not the case. That’s not to say a ten or eleven year old wouldn’t enjoy this book, but there’s plenty an adult can take away from it as well.
Beginning with a basic review of the principles of biology and evolution, Dixon proceeds to apply them across a range of environments on an Earth 50 million years removed from mankind. The result is a menagerie of remarkable creatures. Remarkable in that they are frequently unique, even bizarre, but even more remarkable because they represent the result of a familiar creature’s evolution. Dixon’s world isn’t a fantasyland, every creature in it holds true to the principles he so effectively explains in the first chapter. Moreover, they all fill an important ecological niche; he hasn’t created 150 pages of carnivores. Rather, he presents a balanced, albeit limited, ecosystem that sheds light on the state of our own environment today.
Beautifully illustrated and highly engaging, “After Man” is a must read for anyone interested in evolution and anthropology. Furthermore, this book is educational without being heavy handed. One by no means needs to be an expert to learn from and enjoy this very unique work.