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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He also projects a future post-Cold-War Earth that still suffers from the neuroses established during the standoff, and shows how those neuroses could create a population ready to accept demagoguery. I came to think that it was at several moments in the book: Admittedly, Blish seems to make them intentionally unlikable.

Egtverchi’s Satanic non serviam when he declares himself a citizen of no country, she compares with Stephen Dedalus’s act of renunciation. I have said enough, I think, to indicate that the biblical allusions in A Case of Conscience serve the overall effect of ambiguity, which Blish himself saw as responsible for the book’s success.

He thinks that the Lithians are a trap laid by Satan I might see what he saw; a planet of temptation by the Adversary, an anti-Christ sort of figure, and the fulfillment of God’s will as detailed by my faith and my church.

The original novella won a Retrospective Hugo Award in I almost expected something like a conversation novel between heavily logical Spock-like lizards and a man of the cloth from Earth. And it is, of course, not without religious significance that the Lithians are a race of potters who become fishes in the first stage of their maturation cycle.

One Roman Catholic reader vonscience to A Case of Conscience by sending Blish a copy of the the Vatican’s teachings on extraterrestrials. All the great ideas that this sparks were not really followed up. He explains that for his own reasons he wanted each couple consicence think the worst about what was happening to the other casr at the hands of the X.

I charge speculative fiction with exploring the question of ” What if? In all, a very interesting and enjoyable read. Never fill in another form.


David Ketterer: “Covering A Case of Conscience”

So basically he is Damien the Antichrist. Following this is a chapter about how Agronsky is depressed. Apparently people are crazy on Earth and Egtverchi is the fuse that’ll light them up like consciejce stick of dynamite.

To what degree, the suspicion might insert itself, is the case of conscience not an inner manifestation of the voice of God but a societal overlay, metaphorically speaking a protective outer garment? Things come to a head, as Pete has been sent to Lithia to do some experimentation and is about to undertake an experiment that he has been told contains an error in the calculations it is based on, which, if carried out, will be cause devastation.

A Case of Conscience

Heinlein Fahrenheit by Ray Bradbury Meanwhile, the religious doctrines no longer promulgated in the classroom were now permeating the sci-fi books favored by high school and college students. Not to mention the naughty Egtverchi. Egtverchi secretly boards a spaceship to Lithia. Or at least, he seems deluded. The only explanation we are given has something to do with the climactic moment in his maturation which is one of alienation, of expulsion from Eden, as he makes the switch from “animal to automaton.

Then there’s the second half, where everyone is back on earth, including a hatchling freely give to the priest by one of the Lithians.

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’s rarer still when the end result jmes so craftily conscjence that I feel the urge to leap into the pages and debate with the characters!

He has found enough pegmatite a source of lithium which is rare on Earth that a factory could be set up to supply Earth with aa deuteride for nuclear weapons.

Earth, of course, is a category b world and one from which the rest of the sentient universe needs to be protected, according to the unfallen inhabitants of Malacandra Mars and Perelandra Venus in C.

We learn in Book Two that the count, “a lapsed Catholic” Ruiz-Sanchez and Paul Cleaver, a physicist, are based in Xoredeshch Sfath, capital of the large southern continent, while D. Part 2 Part 2 must be the most incoherent and poorly-written second act ever in SF. He then becomes a celebrity with his own ‘3-V’ show, foments a riotous rebellion, and tries to escape by stowing away on a spaceship to his native planet. References to the “Shelter economy” 2: One man wants to turn the unique geology of Lithia into a nuclear arms factory, another is convinced the peaceful Lithian society could teach humanity a thing or two, one is unsure where he stands, and the fourth becomes convinced that since the Lithians have an orderly society without religion, that they Premise: Michelis, on the other hand, deplores Cleaver’s ideas and argues that communication with the Lithians would be desirable because Earth could learn something from their well-nigh perfect social system.


As he explained in a letter to Pohl, he believed that any such monastery scene would come across as blatant padding.

God v Satan in deep space

To make matters worse, it appears that the UN have favored Cleaver’s recommendations regarding Lithia and have decided to use it as “a laboratory for ccase study of fusion consciience storage” The quandary for the religious matters little to anyone – including the religious!

Mar 20, Badseedgirl rated it liked it Shelves: Ruiz-Sanchez’s hypothesis simply takes its place with other possibilities. This is another of the the books on the classic sci-fi list that I’ve been meaning to read.

Or, and more importantly, Blood Lake probably foreshadows the destruction and death which science and faith, working together, finally bring to Lithia.

All the material quoted from personal communications to and from James Blish, throughout this essay, is taken from the original documents. It’s clearly what he was meant for. The science discussed has not aged well, and it doesn’t help that it seems to be recapitulating pun intended parts of Burrough’s The People that Time Forgot. At the same time, from connscience reader’s point of view, any attempt to unequivocally resolve matters one way or the other is to be hoist by one’s own petard.