By James Blish
A quantity of the After Such wisdom trilogy.
A hard-earned Hugo award went to this attention-grabbing examine of where of faith in a destiny star-travelling society. lots of the motion happens at the newly-discovered planet Lithia, a paradise, idyllic, so like an unsettled Earth, but so assorted. The protagonist, Father Ruiz-Sanchez, is either a clergyman and a biologist. He grows to consider that Lithia is a catch, a soul-trap, with a purpose to lead to the damnation of first the exploring get together, then the complete human race!
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Additional info for A Case of Conscience (After Such Knowledge, Book 1)
Less well known than either Pal’s War of the Worlds or Siegel’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers is the ﬁlm adapted from the second of the Nigel Kneale Quatermass serials for BBC television. Val Guest’s Quatermass 2 (1957), with its aliens living in high-pressure domes and its human quislings, has a peculiarly nightmare quality simply because of its sense that this is what alien invasion would be like – the aliens would ﬁnd those who consider serving them a convenient way to prosper and the murder of their fellow humans an acceptable way to proceed.
4. The Decline and Fall of the Alien Invasion One of the crucial differences between SF and fantasy is that it is possible to spot where an SF trope started, to give it a date, and it is possibly true, on the evidence, that it is possible to see where the usefulness of an SF trope ended, for good. Joanna Russ writes about what she calls the wearing out of genre materials and she has a point. There are certain sorts of fantasy story like the deal with the devil, or certain sorts of detective story like the locked-room murder which get over-used for a while, but ﬁnd a way of coming back around again, simply because elegant variations on those themes remain possible.
The fact that much of this material crops up again in Independence Day, only without having any fun poked at it whatever, is a signiﬁcant part of the problem with that ﬁlm – Independence Day’s opening with an alien looming sinisterly over the US ﬂag left on the Moon is unintentionally almost as funny as anything in the Burton ﬁlm. We get the conﬂict of hawks and doves, the populism, aliens dedicated to pop-eyed malice and an unparodic sentimentality at the ﬁlm’s close. The stock material Mars Attacks mocks is here presented utterly without irony.
A Case of Conscience (After Such Knowledge, Book 1) by James Blish