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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Ruiz-Sanchez makes a major declaration: Guy ConsolmagnoS. InFather Ramon Ruiz-Sanchez of PeruClerk Regular of the Society of Jesusis a member of a four-man team of scientists sent to the planet Lithia to determine if it can be opened to human contact.

The Lithia triplet never appeared but in the meantime the magazine version of Blish’s story had received praise not only within the SF community but from the respected literary critic Gilbert Highet in a letter to Blish dated 2 June But on his journey back home, he also carries a sealed urn, a gift from a Lithian, which contains a hatched egg of one of his sons, who will serve as a kind of a stranger in a strange land when the travelers return to earth.

Part 2, while good, is not as exceptional and brings the overall rating for the book down to 4. Amidst other matters of detail, he directed that Ruiz-Sanchez’s fainting spell before Agronski following his discovery of the Lithian reproductive cycle be reconsidered.

The physicist Pete argues the planted should not be admitted but rather be kept a “state secret” and used as a place to develop nuclear weapons.

After Cleaver’s “last crate” is aboard the starship, Book One ends with the line, “The air lock door slammed” 9: Earth’s society, having been only marginally hinted at in the first half, turns out to be a complete dystopia that would make Brave New World look like a high tea ceremony.

In his poison-induced delirium, Cleaver dreams of a series of plans including a culminating and somewhat perplexing one “for detonating Lithia in one single mighty fusion of all its lightweight atoms into one single atom of cleaverium, the element of which the monobloc had been made, whose cardinal number was Aleph-Null If so, are they fallen into sin like humans, or still in a state of grace like Adam and Eve?


Book cover art by David Stevenson. A Case of Conscience also contains mythic symbolism that further deepens the narrative tone.

No big deal, Father, just exorcise the planet! In a letter dated 11 Junehe refers to writing three drafts of Chapter XI conscisnce to complaining, “I am writing this book on Jack Daniels instead of beer, and the damage to my pocketbook is phenomenal. Chapters X to XIII deal with Eglg]tverchi’s coming out, his hatching from the egg, and his introduction to human society. But the most telling bit of information is given when the count is first introduced as “the current off of Earthly affine theory” 2: I am a big fan of James Fase.

The cynical atheist, the impotent humanist, the diffident follower and the single-minded catholic priest are not realistic characters.

The word “case” is also used in a legal sense to mean “argument” mames “evidence,” the sense in which I am making a case in this article. In fact, “A Case of Conscience” was originally commisssioned for this common-setting collection by Fletcher Pratt—which, according to Brian Stableford, was why Blish wrote so uncommercial a story. The barking mad Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein, which will form an interesting return to SF once the excitement over the Best of the Booker has died down 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 time.

This review contains spoilers for several of James Blish’s novels I conscence James Blish when I was about 10 I believe the first one I read was The Star Dwellers cse, and I have returned to him many times throughout my life. Senator for Alaska this was well before Sarah Palin was born, in case you’re wondering.

A Case of Conscience by James Blish

Chaos ensues, blah blah blah. The mission parameters of our four original human characters does not make sense. Upon his return to Earth, a Lithian whom he has befriended gives Ruiz-Sanchez an urn cqse the embryo of its own offspring. At a late stage of the party, the countess identifies Egtverchi as a “lousy snake-scaled demon” Bradham comments as follows: Wow, this book was really coscience.

Awards and prizes Hugo awards blogposts. 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.

A Case of Conscience

The appropriateness of the word to a novel full cwse containers and closed doors, and culminating with an explosion, is readily apparent. Have one of these concsience lizards grow up knowing nothing but the monstrosity that humanity has become, and because of the peculiar brilliance of his race and his deeply frustrated sense of being as much an outsider as practically everyone else living on Earth, he speaks and breaks all the rules and becomes a pundit much, much worse than anything Trump has to offer, sparking chaos on a truly amazing scale.


Ruiz-Sanchez, D’Ammassa claims, fell into the sin of heresy because he gave way to the temptation of knowledge in Chapter II. However, to the consternation of Father Ramon Ruiz-Sanchez, they have no religion of any kind. How each of these men feels love or not and defines Good versus Evil depends on his world view. It’s not often I come across a religious official portrayed with common sense and understanding in literature.

God v Satan in deep space

The new houses assumed thousands of fantastic, quasi-biological shapes, not quite amorphous but not quite resembling any form in experience, either; they looked a little like the dream constructions once made by an Earth painter named Dali out of such materials as boiled beans. He assumes that his Church is the one true faith to express the will of God, to the exclusion of other peoples and their way of being.

Heinlein Fahrenheit by Ray Bradbury At the same time Pohl stresses the need to carry over the “sense of wonder,” brilliantly evoked by such images as the Message Tree into the second part of the story; the terrestrial setting should not delimit vonscience invention of exotic detail.

The “small vase, sealed at the top” 9: Containers or coverings in the novel, and all the symbolic ambiguities that go along with them, take such forms as jugs, vases, eggs, boxes, crates, shelters, and suits.

Blish was married to the bpish agent Virginia Kidd from to Thank you, Blish, for an obviously timeless story. This is a cautionary tale about mans second expulsion from the “Garden of Eden.