Cities in Flight Hardcover – 1 Mar 2000
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One of the grandest, and certainly one of the best written, of wide-screen space operas, Blish's Cities in Flight takes us from the collapse of American civilisation at the moment of its greatest scientific success to its final transfiguration at a moment of cosmic disaster. New York, enclosed in a vast dome, and powered by anti-gravity and hyper- drive, wanders among the stars, a labourer for hire, and yet also the seed of humanity's brief ascendancy in a hostile galaxy. This is the story of people as well as vast historical moments-- of Wagoner, the Senator who gives his life and good name for humanity's future; Chris, the naive youngster to whom New York gives everything, and from whom it will take everything away; and above all John Amalfi, who starts as Mayor of New York and ends up as a sort of god. And along the way, we meet some of the strangest of the shapes human society takes among the stars. Crackling with ideas about the progress of history, and passionate in its evocation of the deep reaches of time and space, Blish's sequence is intelligent and visionary, a true classic of the genre. --Roz Kaveney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
'This is the real heady wine of science fiction -- exciting, intelligent galaxy-spanning stuff that these days would require six brick-thick volumes' -- Terry Pratchett 'An outrageous imaginative coup ... Crammed with high adventure yet illuminated by a searching intelligence, this four-part epic completely reinvented the traditions of space opera' -- Paul J. McAuley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The third novel, 'Earthman come home', is the place to start and, frankly, stop if you don't like it, or even if you do, but find it enough to be going on with - I read it three times, over many years, before I was aware of the others. Don't look for any refinements of style - in fact, it's wincingly awful sometimes. Blish is definitely 50s cold war American comic book in outlook and depth of characterisation, but that has it's attractions for me - simplicity and focus on a story, and an easy read. I read all his books I could find when I was younger, for all that. I think Blish, like many of the early SF pioneers, became a regular contributor of scripts to Star Trek. Anyway, 'Earthman, Come Home' is an amusing flight of fancy. Earthmen had long ago spread throughout the home galaxy. A technology (spindizzy drives) had been developed, which enabled entire cities to lift into space ( Blish obviously had a background in engineering or physics - there's a sprinkling of plausible, if dated, technological language). Earth's cities had long ago been deserted by its cities, which traveled the galaxy looking for work amongst the settled planets, contracting for work as needed.Read more ›
The book appeared in the shops to the best of my knowledge in the sixties, it is over 40 years since I first read it, and was one of the first space opera books that got under my skin. Migrant for hire workers travelling the galaxy to find work, this along with all the prejudices and exploitation and misunderstandings that our earth bound migrant workers suffer from provides plenty of food for thought in the 21st century. I think this book has a place in science fiction history and should be read bearing that in mind.
At the beginning of 21st century humankind discovered the possibilities to control gravity which enabled interstellar travel. Also, due to development of medicine, powerful drugs were invented that prolonged human life to thousands years or even more.
As it could be expected, lot of people went to space looking for promised land, establishing human colonies all across the universe. On the other hand, Earth started slowly decaying, wars and chaos erupted and lasted for several centuries. As solution that will provide better life for Earth citizens, the spindizzies were invented. These machines which are able to control gravity were mounted under the cities enabling whole shielded cities to leave Earth.
First story of Blish collection is "They Shall Have Stars" which is telling the story how the original discoveries happened - it's year 2013 and on Earth war is still raging between West and the East, although there are no real difference between war parties, both trying to impose complete control over their population. American senator Bliss Wagoner is working on the major construction project on Jupiter and due to his research, whole humankind future will be changed...
The second story "A Life for the Stars" is happening several centuries after the first, when humans discovered powerful gravitronpolarity generator, colloquially called "spindizzy", enabling whole cities to abandon Earth in search for better life somewhere else among the stars. The main character called Chris deFord is one man who is also departing Earth when Scranton, one of the last remaining cities on Earth, will take flight...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really great novel (or series of), the scope is really good and the writing, while not great, keeps you interested by sheer epicness. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Mr. Smeaton
One of my favourite books from childhood, purchased to re-read. Having read again reminded me why I like this so much. Definite 5 StarsPublished 4 months ago by Rod
I adore this book and it was a replacement for my original copy which had disintergrated. You feel that there could be a future like this.Published 9 months ago by Wendy Findlay
Brilliant writing, wonderful plotting, and realistic historical overview.Published 12 months ago by prushjobs
An interesting concept but in my opinion a terribly written book. There are too many good sci fi books avaliable nowadays for this to ever be worth reading... Read morePublished 12 months ago by A Nonny
Nice hardback copy from these sellers to be given to sci-fi mad grown up son. Took a long time to arrive but was worth the wait.Published 16 months ago by Mme Sosostris
One of the Biggest SF-stories written with the capital SPACE OPERA on it. truly a masterwork. Especially for the internet-generation: you have to read it slowly to absorb the... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Dieter Mooyer