Cities in Flight by James Blish
Woodstock, NY : The Overlook Press, 2000. Book club edition. Hardcover. 591 pages ; 22 cm. An excellent copy with firm binding, clean and unmarked pages.
From the Dust Jacket :
CITIES IN FLIGHT
"In a century that brimmed with human short-sightedness,
James Blish was one of the very first genuine visionaries of
a new millennium. If the universe doesn't turn out to be as
bold and vivid and wonderful as he imagined, well ... it
ought to!" —David Brin
Spanning the far-distant future and the infinite reaches of space, Cities in Flight brings together the famed "Okie" novels—named after the migrant workers of America's Dust Bowl—of science fiction master James Blish. Featuring flying cities roaming the galaxy looking for work and a sustainable way of life, the four volumes in Cities in Flight take us from the death of our universe to the birth of the next.
"A wholly new concept of the far future" (The New York Times), Blish's brilliant and bleak classic is built on two crucial discoveries: antigravity devices—"spindizzies"— which allow whole cities to be lifted from Earth to become giant spaceships, and longevity drugs, which enable the cities' inhabitants to live for thousands of years. In the first novel. They Shall Have Stars, man has thoroughly explored the solar system, yet the dream of going even further seems to have died in all but one man. His role in the discovery of spindizzies, faster-than-light travel, and the secret of immortality puts the stars within man's reach at last. Centuries later, in A Life for the Stars, antigravity generators have enabled whole cities to lift off the surface of Earth to become galactic wanderers, hi Earthman, Come Home, the nomadic cities revert to barbarism and begin to pose a threat to all civilized worlds. In the final novel. The Triumph of Time, history repeats itself as the cities once again journey back into space, leading to a terrifying discovery that could destroy the entire universe.
A compelling and haunting vision of our world and its limits, this Overlook publication returns to print an unquestioned science fiction masterpiece.
JAMES BUSH was "one of science fiction's true renaissance men, not only a first rate novelist, but virtually the creator of serious science fiction criticism" (Norman Spinrad). Born in New Jersey in 1921, he wrote twenty books and more than one hundred fifty short stories. He was an intellectually expansive, immensely influential figure in science fiction whose writings reflect his interest in such topics as religion, biology, history, genetic engineering, and metaphysics. Blish was an early member of the Futurians, a group of writers that included Isaac Asimov and Frederick Pohl, and a charter member of the Science Fiction Writers of America. His other novels include Doctor MirabUis, Blade Easter, The Day After Judgment, and the Hugo Award-winning A Case of Conscience; these four were collected in After Such Knowledge. A lifelong smoker, Blish died of lung cancer in England in 1975.
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