James Blish was a popular science fiction writer and critic who began his literary career while still in his mid-teens. Not yet out of high school. City Fathers by James Blish: A set of computer systems which run every mechanical system in a city. Cities in Flight deals with long-term space travel. Cities in Flight is an omnibus, first published in , that collects together four novels by James Blish. Those novels themselves were.

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Published January 4th by Overlook Press first published January 1st The book should have been four times as long.

Sometimes a bit ruthless and Blish paints with a wide brush so the human element is confined to a few main characters none of whom are particularly empathic. Refresh and try again. But it was enough to carry me through dozens of lunch breaks, so I can’t really complain. Aug 17, Robert rated it really liked it Shelves: But meanwhile the Earth Police had got a navy of big powerful jamse spacecraft called ” monitors “, which appear from invisibility and quickly efficiently vaporize all the attacking Okie cities, except New York, which jumps unnoticed away to safety in some editions it uses a special circuit which works only oncebut the police think that they destroyed New York.

Blish lived in Milford, Pennsylvania at Arrowhead until the mids. Don’t look for answers to the meaning of life in this book, it isn’t there.

The Librarian was that one of the machines comprising the City Kn which had prime charge of the memory banks, and was additionally charged with teaching; it did not collect information, but only catalogued and dispensed it. The problem with science fiction is that you can create new technology, customs, food, fashions, transportation, slang, games, and more — but it is really hard to have your characters act like they are in the future and not from your own time.

It isn’t a text book and the oft mentioned Blackett-Dirac equation that describes how the ‘spindizzy’ space drive works is simply wrong. It is a story of the human condition, as told by one of the grand masters of science fiction. I started reading some Haruki Murakami short stories and can’t bring myself to pick this back up.


In total, Blish wrote 11 volumes of short stories adapted from episodes of the s TV series, as well as an original novel, Spock Must Die! I found this made them somewhat disjointed and also that, and the odd order of writing, resulted in a lot of inconsistencies.

His flighf published story appeared inand his writing career progressed until he gave up his job to become a professional writer.

This page was last edited on 6 Septemberat In the period in between the first and second parts, the Cold War ended with the peaceful merging of the East and West flighf into flighf single, planet-wide Soviet-ruled dictatorship, which hardly made any perceptible change, as the West’s political system had already become virtually identical with the Soviet one.

Which explains why it never seems as well thought or out, or as well written as the others. Goodness knows that last one would have some serious Unfortunate Implications if that was jamds case. Too much scientific ‘baflegab”.

A Life for the Stars (Cities in Flight, #2) by James Blish

Named after the migrant workers of America’s Flgiht Bowl, these novels convey Blish’s “history of the future,” a brilliant and bleak look at a world where cities roam the Galaxy looking for work and a sustainable way of Originally published in four volumes nearly fifty years ago, Cities in Fight brings together the famed “Okie novels” of science fiction master James Blish.

The first part felt like an extended prologue. It’s getting harder and harder to tell the difference between the two, however, as the Western governments seek to impose more and more control on their populace.

I found this just incredibly annoying, it doesn’t make Amalfi sound heroic or intelligent, just irritatingly childish. A teenage boy is pressed into service by Scranton, PA as the city decides to jjames itself from the earth and travel galaxy performing small odd-jobs like a space hobo.

This series was one of the ones he ‘rented’. I guess it is a classic but it hasn’t dated well and doesn’t bliah as much to offer the modern reader as other classics.

James Blish’s Cities in Flight; is it a classic? | SFF Chronicles forums

I have to admit to not remembering that part–it may not’ve been very detailed. Published May 6th by Arrow Books first published January 1st The whole series has been published in a nice omnibus format a number of times most recently IIRC as part of the “Sci-fi Masterworks” collection, although I have a much older editionit should be clties found in any bookstore with a good sci-fi section, so I’d personally recommend seeking that out and reading them in order, although – as I indicated above – the first two, while part of the story, are disconnected enough that they can be skipped or read later fliggt prequels if mames wish.


Mar 19, Bill Wellham rated it it was ok. She may have been an intelligent love interest, but she was just a love interest all the same.

Cities in Flight

A future of nuts and bolts engineering. Lawrencecompleted the book, and later completed the adaptations in the volume Mudd’s Angels. There’s also supervision of the city and internal political decisions with the B,ish Fathers, which I think are large computers server-like? Writing style, social interactions, and politics are dated. However, these particular adventures were uninteresting. Blish has mapped out years of future history. It wraps up super quick, though, and comes across like a “young adult” novel which maybe jamfs supposed to be, I don’t know.

Aug 03, Alyce rated it liked it. He is some what cliche of other sci-fi and fantasy adventurous kids, getting into scrapes but ultimately being forgiven, but it makes him an easy character to get along with. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie PolicyPrivacy Policyand our Terms of Service.

A Life for the Stars

This book, the second in the Cities in Flight series, was written six years after the first book. His first published story appeared inand his writing career progressed until he gave citie his job to become a professional writer.

Retrospectively looking back, this was my favourite part of the four part series even though the meat of the matter, if you will, doesn’t begin until the next p Second book of the series and it is really taking off forgive the pun.

In the end it depends if you can put up with endless amounts of information and how much the concept grabs you.