Miller’s A Canticle for Leibowitz

A Canticle for Leibowitz

Walter M. Miller

Top five novel of the small-group-keeps-knowledge-alive-in-post-apocalyptic world sub genre of science fiction. You either love this kind of novel or you don’t. I love them, and have read scores, A Canticle for Leibowitz is among the best. It spans hundreds of years, and includes scores of characters all involved one way or another in the preservation of dimly understood science from before a nuclear war wiped out much of civilization. It is very much a book of its time (1960), a warning against nuclear holocaust, and heavy handed in a way much of the writing from the silver age of science fiction was.

In general, science fiction doesn’t age well. Yesterday’s future hold little interest. Only the best books, the ones that touch on more than a proposed future, but also on questions of character, or the larger forces which inspire humanity survive. A Canticle for Leibowitz is that kind of book and if you can get past the sometimes purple-ish prose, its worth the time.

Recommended for the enthusiast.

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