Monday, February 19, 2007
Cities in Flight by James Blish
Another hard science-fiction story, Cities in Flight actually compiles four books by Blish. I checked the publication history and Cities in Flight is older than Star Wars yet it remains readable despite its datedness. And unlike some archaic fantasy writing, Blish for me is quite readable, even when he throws scientific terminology, formulae, and other mystery-like ideas at you. The characters are compelling and is probably the heart of the series. What’s admirable about Blish is that Cities in Flight is an epic and the final book tackles the most menacing nemesis mankind can ever face. Much like the writings of Pohl, make no mistake, Cities in Flight is treading on the realm of hard science-fiction and if you’re uncomfortable with the subject, you might be daunted by the book. Still, it’s as an enjoyable read for those can muster their courage to delve into the realm that only Blish can narrate. Just be sure to remember the era that this was written in and you’ll do fine.