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A Case of Conscience (1958)

de James Blish

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

Sèrie: After Such Knowledge: Publication order (1), After Such Knowledge (3)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
1,563408,351 (3.34)61
Father Ramon Ruiz-Sanchez S.J., is a part of a four man scientific commission to the planet Lithia, there to study a harmonious society of aliens living on a planets which is a biologist's paradise. He soon finds himself troubled: how can these perfect beings, living in an apparent Eden, have no conception of sin or God? If such a sinless Eden has been created apart from God, then who is responsible? Winner of the Hugo Award for best novel, 1959.… (més)
  1. 61
    The Sparrow de Mary Doria Russell (kevinashley)
    kevinashley: Both of these books deal with the combined issues of first contact with aliens and religion, through the involvement of priests. Both leave open questions, and both are well-written.
  2. 10
    River of Gods de Ian McDonald (paradoxosalpha)
    paradoxosalpha: Contact with an alien intelligence throws theological issues into relief; multiple human protagonists reflect scientific, authoritarian, and mystical/contemplative types; all in the context of credible extrapolation to a near-future society.
  3. 01
    That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made [Novelette] de Eric James Stone (bertilak)
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» Mira també 61 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 39 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Ramon Ruiz-Sanchez is a Jesuit biologist working on the planet Lithia as part of a commission to determine whether and how contact with the planet's indigenous intelligent life forms should be maintained. He comes to some disturbing conclusions.

I'm not sure I really followed all of the arguments but the basic concept was interesting. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Dec 31, 2020 |
1959 Hugo winner.

Honestly, I expected to read something quite a bit different than the novel I did get. I almost expected something like a conversation novel between heavily logical Spock-like lizards and a man of the cloth from Earth.

What do I get, instead? A novel with startlingly awesome biology standards, very deep world-building, and a wonderfully surprising argument of Manichaeism. For those not in the know, it's the idea that there are two creators in the world, one is good and one is evil. Father Ruiz Sanchez is convinced that these perfectly rational and nearly Christ-like lizards who are living a perfect life without religion are, in fact, the most perfect trap to throw humanity into perfect chaos and perdition. After all, this is a case of perfection without God, and if the rest of humanity ever "got" it, then it would be the time of Satan's rule over the earth for real. The whole planet was, after all, a Creation of Evil.

How gorgeous is this? Sure, modern readers may or may not care for the religious argument bent, but it is concise and beautiful as hell and it's ONLY THE SETUP.

Move ahead, take the freely offered gift of one of the lizard young back to a future earth gone schizophrenic, living underground in perpetual fear of nuclear holocaust and ready to tear itself apart. Have one of these christ-like lizards grow up knowing nothing but the monstrosity that humanity has become, and because of the peculiar brilliance of his race and his deeply frustrated sense of being as much an outsider as practically everyone else living on Earth, he speaks and breaks all the rules and becomes a pundit much, much worse than anything Trump has to offer, sparking chaos on a truly amazing scale.

Is he the hand of the antichrist, indeed? Or is he only the corrupted reflection of ourselves? Brilliant. And of course, the end... but I won't refer to the end. It's also brilliant, but of a different kind of light.

I have a few issues with the writing, but far, far less than I might have guessed before picking up the text. It's very thoughtful, very smart, and it shifts us with awesome speed between dialectical discourse to the absolute insanity of modern media. Is this modern SF? No, it came out in '58. And yet, I was laughing along with the crazy inventions later on as if I were watching that classic movie The Network, back in the 70's. No, no one was yelling from the rooftops, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more!" But the sentiment was there and the chaos of the novel was perfect.

How come wonderful idea novels like this aren't hailed as beautiful representations of classic literature? Is it just because it is SF? So beautiful. :)

( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
Winner of the Hugo Award in 1958, this book presents a moral dilemma confronting the four main characters. ( )
  gypsysmom | Aug 15, 2017 |
I saw this on a sci-fi "must read" list, and thinking, "I liked Blish when I was a teen...", gave it a shot.

Well....I can overlook a lot as it was published in 1958, but I had a few problems with an early main character slurring the primary species of the other planet...dates the vision to a racist U.S. ...; the story was uneven (and a very weird segment in part two was just...weird); the end sections all over the map; a character who should have known better using "light-year" as a unit of time (not sure that Blish did that deliberately, but if so, it didn't fit with the character); and the religious element just seemed silly, to put a finger on a few. And the ending far too contrived for the intelligent writer I thought I remembered.

I've wanted to re-read The Seedling Stars for some time, but I'm afraid a 40 year old memory fragment might disappoint me. I can't recommend this book, even taking its age into consideration. ( )
  Razinha | May 23, 2017 |
I didn't know that this was part of a series. I never even heard of the other novels, and probably won't read them.
I read this a long time ago, and still remember the solution to the literary question that obsesses the priest. ( )
  CarolJMO | Dec 12, 2016 |
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» Afegeix-hi altres autors (7 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Blish, Jamesautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Bear, GregIntroduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Foss, ChrisAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Powers, Richard M.Autor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Sweet, Darrell K.Autor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Wyrs, JacquesAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Zitzewitz, Hoot vonAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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Si et cal més ajuda, mira la pàgina d'ajuda del coneixement compartit.
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I schal declare the disposcioun of rome fro hys first making; ... and the seconde part schal declare ye holynesse of ye same place fro hys first crystendom; I schal not write but that I fynde in auctores or ellis that I sey with eye. John Capgrave : The Solace of Pilgrims.
Man only thinks when you prevent him from acting. — Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Man only creates when fulfilment of action increases his enigma. — Gerald Heard
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to Larry Shaw
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The stone door slammed.
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(Clica-hi per mostrar-ho. Compte: pot anticipar-te quin és el desenllaç de l'obra.)
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The novella "A Case of Conscience" is book one in the novel with the same name
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Wikipedia en anglès (1)

Father Ramon Ruiz-Sanchez S.J., is a part of a four man scientific commission to the planet Lithia, there to study a harmonious society of aliens living on a planets which is a biologist's paradise. He soon finds himself troubled: how can these perfect beings, living in an apparent Eden, have no conception of sin or God? If such a sinless Eden has been created apart from God, then who is responsible? Winner of the Hugo Award for best novel, 1959.

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Mitjana: (3.34)
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3 77
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