By James Blish

A quantity of the After Such wisdom trilogy.
A hard-earned Hugo award went to this interesting examine of where of faith in a destiny star-travelling society. many of the motion occurs at the newly-discovered planet Lithia, a paradise, idyllic, so like an unsettled Earth, but so diverse. The protagonist, Father Ruiz-Sanchez, is either a clergyman and a biologist. He grows to believe that Lithia is a capture, a soul-trap, with the intention to bring about the damnation of first the exploring celebration, then the full human race!

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Additional info for A Case of Conscience (After Such Knowledge, Book 1)

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His novel was also one of the first to describe a spaceship crew working together. An important revision of the traditional image of the spaceship was made in Anne McCaffrey’s Helva stories, beginning in 1961 with The Ship Who Sang. This series is set in a future when severely 17 Voyages into space In the last scene, they embrace in a romantic climax which will signal their imminent death. This film first used the countdown to launch, as noted in Thomas Pynchon’s novel about the V-2 rockets Gravity’s Rainbow (1973), and drew on the services of the rocket engineer Hermann Oberst for technical advice.

In Stanley Weinbaum’s A Martian Odyssey (1934), a new possibility for the alien emerges, where ‘he’ is simultaneously different and similar. On a first expedition to Mars, travellers meet anthropoids and a ‘freak ostrich’. This creature is introduced by stressing its otherness, then its appearance is progressively reduced in oddity so that it might conceivably belong in the same species as the humans. Finally, it is not really a bird, just a creature with a small round body and long neck. More importantly, it demonstrates clear signs of intelligence: it can understand maths diagrams and gradually learns English.

The first Selenite that Wells’s travellers see is an ant-person, a ‘complicated insect’ carrying a body case with ‘goggles’ and ‘spikes’ on his head. They cannot agree whether they are seeing a kind of man or not because ‘he’ is a hybrid creature, physically resembling a large ant, but possessing intelligence and technology, as they realize when taken captive. The two escape but only one manages to make his way back to Earth. Wells strikes a careful balance between not over-emphasizing the Selenites’ appearance and evoking their social organization.

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