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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It’s a flitht cautionary on making sure you don’t kill freedom while trying to save it, and as dour a future as I’ve read in a while Spans ages, includes gigantic spaceships, intrigue, explosions in space, features at least one very long lived individual, preferably something about human beings struggling to cope with biological immortality, etc.

They could just as easily all be the same guy. To ask other readers questions about Cities in Flightplease sign up. The volumes were written roughly in the order III, I, IV, II over a period of 15 years during which I was also writing other booksand inconsistencies crept in despite my best intentions to keep them out.

Of course, fierce competition arises, etcetera, etcetera.

Still, this one is a lot of fun to read. When Chris goes to watch the imminent departure of Scranton, Pennsylvaniahe is unaware that the law requires that anybody found nearby must be taken along. No trivia or quizzes yet. They Shall Have Stars also published under the citiees Year !


In the compilation Cities In Flight, this is placed third in the series and is by far the longest. Writing style, social interactions, and politics are dated. So this was the first on the 4 books written, and, to be honest, if I’d read it first I probably wouldn’t have read the others.

One of the most important aspects of the City Fathers is that the plural is used because the system consists of a group of computers. Nevertheless, I am glad Blish took the trouble because it gave us an fligth to see Chris’s growth in his new city and how he flighy a place there which he could never find on his former city.

Just about everything important that happened seemed to happen somewhere else and we only learned about via conversations between characters. Paperbackpages. In this type of world, only the elites have access to their salvation, only they are smart enough to understand.

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

Nov 11, Kevin Rubin rated it liked it. Easy to read and very enjoyable. I re-read it ever year or so for a while until I no longer owned the book. Interesting FE, I would pretty much agree with your assesment of the books. An armada of ja,es cities attempts to destroy Earth, their ancient birthplace. Since the first novel, the jamees of the anti-gravity drive Spindizzy invented in the first book has meant that Earth cities are now, once adapted, physically lifting off the ground to travel free, beyond Earth.

They were all over the galaxy and I found it incredibly hard to keep track of time and distance. Where the other two installments are high philoposphy with some engaging sci-fi mixed in, this is very vanilla.


A Life for the Stars

In some ways Blish is trying to convey a time course of centuries through actions of the moments. Be the first to ask a question about Cities in Flight Vol. I got the same sort of “I expected more” that I had when finishing Asimov’s Foundation.

Other readers have done a very good job at that, so I’ll just link to e. After all this time, Citids have finally read it. Eventually, he proves himself to be invaluable to the survival of his adopted home. On their chosen planet, New York encounters a city of renegades, which calls itself IMT Interstellar Master Traderswhose sacking of the planet Thor 5 damaged the reputation of the cities in general, and who have enslaved the local human population.

Fo This is one of the benchmark books in the world of “hard” science fiction and Blish did a superb job of creating one of the most unusual, but believable, cultures in the genre. The tone of the novel was however a little childish at times, I think this is because Blish is writing from the point of view of the teenage Chris, and yet Chris seemed to have some very mature ideas blisn his age.