OWL Magazine Korea

“Le Papillon des Étoiles” by Bernard Werber


Bernard Werber is a French novelist and journalist known for his work “Les Fourmis” (“The Ants”). His stories, based on imaginative scenarios that anyone might have pondered at least once, gained popularity for their reliance on creativity.

“Le Papillon des Étoiles” by Bernard Werber is another work rooted in this unique imagination.

While his previous work “Les Thanatonautes” featured a collection of short stories, “Le Papillon des Étoiles” is a relatively lengthy novel.

This novel falls into the genres of fantasy or science fiction, depicting humanity’s escape from a deteriorating Earth by relying on spaceships, akin to works like “Battlestar Galactica.”

Considering the current aspirations of private companies like SpaceX, led by Elon Musk, to launch spacecraft for space exploration, the settings presented in “Le Papillon des Étoiles” may not be entirely unrealistic.

“History repeats itself?”

In a world where relentless human development has made survival on Earth increasingly difficult, a scholar named Eve Clamer plans for humanity to continue its existence on another planet.

Most people consider him insane until a chance encounter with Elizabeth Mallory, a former yacht champion, changes everything.

Joined by another man, Mac Namara, who is wealthy but faces a terminal illness, they embark on Eve Clamer’s seemingly futile spaceship project, which ultimately succeeds.

However, it takes 1,000 years for the spaceship to reach a new habitable planet, where they establish a society that mirrors Earth’s history, from communal living to dictatorships, democracies, and more.

Despite their efforts to preserve humanity, only six people survive after centuries, and the story ends with a new Genesis-like event.

“Reminiscent of Battlestar Galactica”

Reading this story, one cannot help but draw parallels to “Battlestar Galactica,” which also depicts humanity’s struggle for survival aboard a spaceship.

Both narratives explore themes of society, politics, and survival in confined environments, making them a fitting comparison.

“Similar to Noah’s Ark tales”

Both “Battlestar Galactica” and “Le Papillon des Étoiles” share similarities with tales like Noah’s Ark, where characters prepare for impending disasters by creating vessels for survival.

Werber’s novels often bring to life the imaginative and speculative thoughts we entertain, blurring the lines between fiction and reality.

“Le Papillon des Étoiles” by Bernard Werber