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James Blish


Cities in Flight

Cities in Flight

James Blish

Long out of print, the science fiction masterpiece by Hugo Award winning writer James Blish

Originally published as four volumes nearly fifty years ago, Cities in Flight brings together the famed "Okie novels" of science fiction master James Blish. Named after the migrant workers of America's Dust 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 life.

In the first novel, They Shall Have Stars, man has thoroughly explored the Solar System, yet the dream of going even further seems to have died in all but one man. His battle to realize his dream results in two momentous discoveries -- anti-gravity and the secret of immortality. In A Life for the Stars, it is centuries later and antigravity generations have enabled whole cities to lift off the surface of the earth to become galactic wanderers. In Earthman, Come Home, the nomadic cities revert to barbarism and marauding rogue cities begin to pose a threat to all civilized worlds. An armada of renegade cities attempts to destroy Earth, their ancient birthplace. In the final novel, A Clash of Cymbols (The Triumph of Time), history repeats itself as the cities once again journey back in to space making a terrifying discovery which could destroy the entire Universe. A serious and haunting vision of our world and its limits, Cities in Flight marks the return to print of one of science fiction's masterpieces.

Earthman, Come Home

Cities in Flight

James Blish

Earthman, Come Home is a science fiction novelette by James Blish, first published in 1953. It was subsequently incorporated into a novel of the same name in 1955. The story deals with flying "Oakie" cities.

In 2004, it won the 1954 Retro Hugo Award for novelettes. It originally appeared in Astounding Science Fiction, November 1953. It can also be found in the anthology The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume Two B (1973), edited by Ben Bova.

They Shall Have Stars

Cities in Flight: Book 1

James Blish

Also published as Year 2018!

2018 AD. The time of the Cold Peace, worse even than the Cold War. The bureaucratic regimes that rule from Washington and Moscow are indistinguishable in their passion for total repression. But in the West, a few dedicated individuals still struggle to find a way out of the trap of human history. Behind the screen of official research their desperate project is nearing completion...

A Life for the Stars

Cities in Flight: Book 2

James Blish

A CITY LAUNCHES ITSELF INTO THE GALAXY!

The noise was horrifying. He had never heard anything even a fraction as loud, but there could be no doubt about what it was: the city's spindizzies were sounding the alert.

Then the whole city seemed to be rocking heavily, like a ship in a storm. At one instant, the street ended in nothing but sky; at the next, he was staring at a wall of sheared earth, its rim looming cliff-like, fifty feet or more above the new margin of the city; then the blank sky was back again...

Earthman, Come Home

Cities in Flight: Book 3

James Blish

The novel incorporates a novelette of the same name, first published in 1953.

Historia Galactica, Vol. MXLIII

Centuries ago, after the fall of Western civilization, when Earth's resources were consumed, entire cities cut loose from the home planer to roam the Universe.

Earth, the sleepy capital of teh Universe, was deserted - a garden planet. It was known only as a legend in many corners of space - a green myth floating untold millions of light years away.

Then, as foretold by cyclic theories of sociahistorians, colonies fo flying cities reverted to the lasw of the jungle - to barbarity, cruelty - naked force! These outlaw cities banded together to march on Earth - and obliterate the birthplace and last stronghold of universal culture!

The only hope for the universe lay in two men - one young and vigorous, the other over one thousand years old!

A Clash of Cymbals

Cities in Flight: Book 4

James Blish

APOCALYPSE!

When the scientists of the wandering planet, journeying through inter-galactic space, heard the sound of hydrogen atoms coming into existence out of nothing, they realized that they had accidentally discovered the birthplace of continuous creation. They had lifted the curtain and caught an instant's glimpse of the Unknowable. But to have looked it full in the face could have been no more fatal... For later, much later, they were to learn that they had also uncovered mankind's Day of Judgment!

Also published as: The Triumph of Time

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