A Case of Conscience (Del Rey Impact) [James Blish] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Winner of the Hugo Award • The future of Earth will . A Hugo-winner from near the end of Blish’s most creatively fertile decade, A Case of Conscience does not, in this humble reader’s opinion, stand up to the test of. One distraught reader responded to A Case of Conscience by sending author James Blish a copy of the Vatican’s teachings on extraterrestrials.

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No, it came out in ‘ Vinge Downbelow Station by C. He then goes on to use his TV show to incite the riots everyone was worried about. Mike insists on petitioning the UN to have the Lithian declared a citizen so as to allow him to get out of the lab.

A Case of Conscience (After Such Knowledge, #4) by James Blish

Just it has such a great premise, I wish more was done with it. So I was hooked. But by eliminating any direct allusion to this matter Blish might be said to have skewed the evidence by not presenting all that is the case.

I hope they are now collaborating on a joint project, though Blisb must admit I’m having trouble imagining what it would look like Because the first and last perspective given is that of the priest, there is some temptation to take his view as more correct than the others.

According to him, it is too perfect, it achieves all the Christian ideals, but that is not OK because there is no religion! During this same period, Jamess public life was taking a decidedly secular turn. The decline of his career into Star Trek novelizations and early death at 59 seem doubly sad. In the process, he causes a massive rebellion among the stir-crazy kames of Earth, who are suffering from the psychosis of living underground.

Slowly, slowly, it all melted away: It’s very thoughtful, very smart, and it shifts us with awesome speed between dialectical discourse to the absolute insanity of modern media. Perhaps, oddly enough, it merely reinforces jamds. Personally, I like to analyze it it as an example of humans projecting their socio-religious values onto an alien culture, bringing our baggage and limited understanding with us to the stars, whether it was something Blish considered when he wrote the novel.

Beyond inferring the presence of a triangular window.

It begins with four men on an alien planet populated with life so vastly intelligent they blisg harness the power of piezo-electric stone to communicate with an entire planet without altering the environment.


As other reviewers have commented, there are similarities between this book and The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. Blish, like Ruiz-Sanchez, was a devoted student of Finnegans Wake. Ruiz-Sanchez tells the sick Cleaver, “I don’t doubt that the Lithians have at least a hundred different drugs we’ll be able to use eventually” 1: These questions might not seem all that interesting to a sci fi fan looking for rollicking action, but for those with an intellectual temperament, Blish handles the conflict jamfs.

This is understandable, since the book was written in the 50s, but it calls the applicability of the story for modern readers into question. The equation between the jungle suit and conscience is made explicit by the parallel reflections which conclude Chapter I: Although Blish thus raises an eyebrow at the absurdity of Christian thinking, Ruiz-Sanchez remains a sympathetic character: The 4 men are split, so the verdict is undecided.

After disaster strikes, and the UN has lost control, he contacts Ruiz and then – only then – does our protagonist realize that the officer’s hat is a creatively disguised hearing aid; that the fellow is deaf. They do so, and he Egtverchi by name turns out to be a rabble rouser of the first order, touching off the powder keg that Earth had become It is a gigantic trap prepared for all of us—for every man on Earth and off cinscience.

The writing is excellent, and the author managed to maintain credibility throughout.

From now on I will be a citizen–a citizen of no country but that bounded by the limits of my own mind. I’ll grant you there is much fine writing here, and for its day, the novel deals with the weighty issues of religion, science, and personal responsibility with much sensitivity and intelligence.

What she bears is not a miniature of the marvellously evolved reptile which is the adult Lithian; far from it: They completely screw up the raising of such which is not pointed out enoughand he grows up to be an amoral anarchist. This novel won the Hugo Award in Dick Here Gather the Stars aka: I came to think that it was at several moments in the book: Senator for Alaska this was well before Sarah Palin was born, in case you’re wondering.

None of the biographical pages I have found for Blish on the web has had any info about the man’s own religious convictions, if any.


And, as it happens, the genius philosopher-mathematician Count d’Averoigne, whose name has cropped up repeatedly in the narrative, is at work on a “new circumcontinuum radio” Thank you, Blish, for an obviously timeless story. Both matters depend upon the assumption that God exists and that the universe serves a transcendental purpose. The information Chtexa revealed to him, added to what he already knew, convinces him that Lithia is nothing less than the work of Satana place deliberately constructed to show peace, logic, and understanding in the complete absence of God.

A Case of Conscience

The priest bows his head consciencw shame that he has overlooked an obvious solution to his own case of conscience while czse was absorbed in “a book [ Finnegans Wake ] which to all intents and purposes might have been dictated by the Adversary himself Some books I read too fast because they have to go back to the library.

Presumably he could not understand why Blish had treated the party at such length. However, I think that this book is relevant, precisely because nothing quite like it is being written today.

Also, there are completely obvious science-fictional explanations for the behavior of the Lithians, and the characters are too stupid to see them. I see this book is listed as 4 in the After Such Knowledge series. While the mode of Book One is predominantly visionary, the mode of Book Two is predominantly satiric, and that tone is clearly established in the colorful description of the decadent sex-and-drugs party scene which is choreographed by Aristide, the countess’s enterprising caterer.

David Ketterer: “Covering A Case of Conscience”

He is helped by Chtexa, a Lithian whom he has befriended, who then invites him to his house. The plot then thickens and the way is paved for the book’s bizarre second half when Chtexa hands Ruis-Sanchez his son, Egtverchi, packed in a flask in embryo form and the commission head back to earth conscienve the alien child wreaks havoc.

Heinlein Fahrenheit by Ray Bradbury Ruis-Sanchez is also a biologist who – unlike his more thinly drawn companions – spends his time acquainting himself with the marvellous local flora as well as Lithian language and customs. An oldy but a goody.