"IMPRISONED IN A TESSERACT": BLACK EASTER AND THE DAY AFTER JUDGEMENT BY JAMES BLISH / Asked to name a contemporary author of science fiction, the average person would probably mention one or more of the following: Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke and Robert A. Heinlein. He or she would almost certainly not mention an American named James Blish. Nevertheless, Blish does belong in any list of the twenty or so most significant writers of science fiction. His 1958 Hugo-award- winning novel A Case of Conscience, which successfully fuses complex religious issues with the theme of alien contact (i.e., contact with the apparently Unfällen inhabitants of the planet Lithia), is one of the genuine classics of the genre, far superior to most of the titles loosely touted as such. It is, of course, much too early to know which works published in the years since 1926, when (with the appearance of Hugo Gernsback's Amazing Stories) science fiction became a publishing category, will best withstand the test of time. But I would hazard the guess that the work of the four writers who are today best known will wear less well than A Case of Conscience and some
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: Oct 5, 1984
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