By Walter M. Miller Jr.
Walter M. Miller's acclaimed SF vintage A Canticle for Leibowitz opens with the unintended excavation of a holy artifact: a creased, brittle memo scrawled via the hand of the blessed Saint Leibowitz, that reads: "Pound pastrami, can kraut, six bagels--bring domestic for Emma." To the Brothers of Saint Leibowitz, this sacred purchasing checklist penned by means of an vague, 20th-century engineer is an emblem of desire from the far-off previous, from prior to the Simplification, the fiery atomic holocaust that plunged the earth into darkness and lack of awareness. As 1984 counseled opposed to Stalinism, so 1959's A Canticle for Leibowitz warns of the danger and implications of nuclear annihilation. Following a cloister of priests of their Utah abbey over a few six or seven-hundred years, the humorous yet bleak Canticle tackles the sociological and spiritual implications of the cyclical upward thrust and fall of civilization, wondering no matter if humanity can desire for greater than repeating its personal background. Divided into 3 sections--Fiat Homo (Let There Be Man), Fiat Lux (Let There Be Light), and Fiat Voluntas Tua (Thy should be Done)--Canticle is steeped in Catholicism and Latin, exploring the interesting, doubtless capricious technique of how and why somebody is canonized. --Paul Hughes
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Additional resources for A Canticle for Leibowitz
But Liberty’s devotion is somewhat . . conditional. After what’s happened recently, I wanted to take a few moments and speak to those who are more—let us say, in sync with my ideals. I wanted to thank you. Both of you. Things lie ahead and—well, no one knows the hour of his passing. It’s more important than ever that we stay united. ” He smiled, the neatly trimmed black-and-white beard parting to reveal white teeth. ” Jim had thought he was a jaded cynic. But at Mengsk’s words, he actually blushed.
And what I don’t believe in . . ” He stabbed a finger down, and the image disappeared. A light began to flash almost immediately, indicating that Arcturus wanted to have the last word, but Valerian was done. Behind him, the White Star, having shaken itself mostly free of the zerg, moved slowly around to fire on one of the ships trailing the Bucephalus. It landed a perfect hit on the Patroclus, and more red-orange death sprang up. Two battlecruisers, then. Two of the twenty-five that had accompanied Valerian would be able to make the jump with him.
The Bucephalus and a single other vessel of the “fleet” were all that accompanied the Hyperion as it fled to its next brief respite. Anger burned, cold and seething, in Valerian’s gut. He punched a button. ” “I did, and I’m right sorry about it,” came Raynor’s voice. It was laced with genuine sympathy. ” “I agree, but I know that Swann and his team are working as fast as they possibly can. Judging by the last time, we’ve got about fifteen minutes or less before your dad finds us again, assuming that Swann hasn’t gotten all the bugs yet.