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In They Shall Have Stars, humankind's will to explore space is renewed with the advent of two discoveries: anti-gravity (the "spindizzy" machines) and the key to almost eternal life (anti-agathic drugs). By A Life for the Stars, centuries have passed and most of the major cities have built spindizzies into their bedrock and left earth, cruising the galaxy looking for work, much like the hobos of the Depression Era. Earthman, Come Home, told from the perspective of John Amalfi, the major of New York, was the first-written of the novels and--although not as tightly woven as the other segments--is still a masterly work. Blish gives the same weight and authority both to the sweeping cultural change wrought and suffered by the cities, and to the emotional growth of a man who is several hundred years old. We stay with Amalfi for the final episode, The Triumph of Time. New York is now planet-bound in the Greater Magellanic Cloud, but when Amalfi learns of the impending destruction of time itself, he is forced into space one more time, to take a last, desperate chance. The novel ends, literally, with a bang.
Despite the occasional, inevitable anachronism, such as vacuum tubes, Cities in Flight stands up remarkably well to modern reading. The novel's political and literary sophistication was unmatched in its time; there is very little to rival it even today. For most readers of a certain age, this was probably the first SF they encountered that was written from a mature standpoint and adult sensibility. The fact that Blish also manages to tell a fabulous, galaxy-spanning adventure tale makes this essential reading. --Luc Duplessis
I always thought I would like to read these tales again after I lost my collection of
Astounding during a move 20 years ago and now I have
Somewhat dated to me as I read it years ago. It was good enough I bought it and read it again.Published 1 month ago by James R Norton
"Blish writes women like cattle." http://katemacdonald.net/2015/02/25/james-blish-a-feminist-gets-angry/
Yes to the article above!! Read more
Set of 4 novels written over a number of years. 2 of them are superb the other 2 less so but still very enjoyable read. Recommended.Published 2 months ago by James
First chapter is not typical and starts out rather slow and stays quite dark. Second chapter IMHO is the best. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Wayne Paterson
"Earth man come home" is one of my favorite stories,
And this collection includes that, predecessors and successors.
I read these first decades ago when they were new. The stories hold up amazingly well. Moreover, the concept of plucking entire cities (especially NY) off the earth with... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Desert Rat
classic . i didnt want to put it down . in the same general idea as asamov's foundation enormous scope of time settingPublished 5 months ago by Brian