James Blish:

Cities in Flight:


Perhaps Blish's most famous works were the "Okies" stories, known collectively as Cities in Flight, published in the science-fiction digest magazine Astounding Science Fiction. The framework for these was set in the first of four novels, They Shall Have Stars (first UK publication under the alternative title of Year 2018!), A Life For The Stars,  Earthman, Come Home and the final installment, The Triumph of Time (UK title: A Clash of Cymbals). These are the Faber second prints.

A Case of Conscience:


First published in 1958. It is the story of a Jesuit who investigates an alien race that has no religion yet has a perfect, innate sense of morality, a situation which conflicts with Catholic teaching. The story was originally published as a novella in 1953, and later extended to novel-length, of which the first part is the original novella. The novel is the first part of Blish's thematic "After Such Knowledge" series (title from T.S. Eliot's "Gerontion," "After such knowledge, what forgiveness?") , followed by Doctor Mirabilis, Black Easter, and The Day After Judgment.


The story is unusual in several respects. Few science fiction stories of the time attempted religious themes, and still fewer did this with Catholicism.

Father Ruiz-Sanchez was a dedicated man — a priest who was also a scientist, and a scientist who was also a human being. He found no insoluble conflicts in his beliefs or in his ethics until he was sent to Lithia.

There he came upon a race of aliens — reptilian in form — who were admirable in every way except for their total reliance on cold reason; they were incapable of faith and belief. On Lithia, Father Ruiz-Sanchez also found a scientific riddle, and he was presented with an ethical problem that reached across two worlds.

Father Ruiz-Sanchez was then torn in a struggle between the teachings of his faith, the teachings of his science, and the inner promptings of his humanity. There was only one solution. He had to accept an ancient and unforgivable heresy — and, in accepting that heresy, he risked the futures of both worlds.


Below is the new edition of 'A Case of Conscience’ from Centipede Press with an introduction by Greg Bear, new cover artwork by Pascal Casolari, new interior art by Allen Koszowski, and archival artwork by Darrell K. Sweet. The signed edition is limited to 300 copies. Each book is signed by Greg Bear and Allen Koszowski, with an Estate-approved facsimile signature by James Blish.

Two NESFA Choice editions featuring James Blish’s short works:


Table of Contents includes


- A Work of Art

- Surface Tension

- The Bridge

- Tomb Tapper

- The Box

- Earthman, Come Home

- How Beautiful with Banners

- This Earth of Hours

- Testament of Andros

- A Style in Treason

- A Case of Conscience

- Welcome to Mars

- Jack of Eagles

- Get Out of My Sky

- The Thing in the Attic

- The Writing of the Rat

- Genius Hea  

First edition hardcover

2nd edition hardcover

Easton Press

First edition hardcover

First edition hardcover

Black Easter:


This is the third book in Blish’s quasi-religious quartet 'After Such Knowledge'.


Black Easter is more of a horror novel, in which an arms dealer hires a black magician to unleash all the Demons of Hell on earth for a single day


This new edition of Black Easter has a new introduction by J.A. Lawrence, new cover and interior artwork by Samuel Araya, new interior art by Allen Koszowski, and archival artwork by Chris Moore and Wayne Douglas Barlowe.

       

Doctor Mirabilis:


This is the second book in Blish’s quasi-religious quartet 'After Such Knowledge'.

The historical novel recounts of the life of the 13th-century English Franciscan Roger Bacon and his struggle to develop a “Universal Science.” Though thoroughly researched, with a host of references, including extensive use of Bacon’s own writings, frequently in the original Latin, the book is written in the style of a novel, and Blish himself referred to it as “fiction” or “a vision.” It is widely considered to be the most ambitious novels of the quartet.


Blish’s view of Bacon is uncompromisingly that he was the first scientist, and he provides a postscript to the novel in which he sets forth these views. Central to his depiction of Roger Bacon is that “he was not an inventor, an Edison or Luther Burbank, holding up a test tube with a shout of Eureka!” He was instead a theoretical scientist probing fundamental realities, and his visions of modern technology were just by-products of “…the way he normally thought — the theory of theories as tools…”


Blish indicates where Bacon’s writings, for example, consider Newtonian metrical frameworks for space, then reject these for something which reads remarkably like Einsteinian relativity, and all “…breathtakingly without pause or hiccup, breezily moving without any recourse through over 800 years of physics”.


This new edition of Doctor Mirabilis has new cover artwork by Ben Baldwin, new interior art by Allen Koszowski, and archival artwork by Geoff Taylor and Wayne Douglas Barlowe.

The 'After Such Knowledge' series