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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Cities in Flight 4 books. At the Start, I thought this book is so boring. I think it is because there is more happening.

I found this just incredibly annoying, it doesn’t make Amalfi sound heroic or intelligent, just irritatingly childish. Again, it’s reasonably disconnected, but if you read them out of order the third one spoilers it a bit.

It had the same great ideas with a smaller cast of characters to develop better.

Earth isn’t a place, it’s an Idea. Goodness knows that last one would have some serious Unfortunate Implications if that was the case. They Shall Have Stars: Jan 15, Anthony added it. Each of the nine chapters is more or less a self-contained short story, giving the novel the episodic feel of a pulp serial.

Jade44 Well-Known Member Aug 28, InBlish emigrated blisj England, and lived in Oxford until his death in While there are some continuity slips, the series presents a unified story of humanity’s expansion across the galaxy, and the birth of a new universe.

If I run across another of these books Xities will read it. It’s often hard to follow the characters’ reasoning and thought processes. He makes his plans without telling a single person, and then when Hazleton tries to makes descisions, Amalfi countermands all his orders without an explanation.

New York eventually ends up in an “Okie Jungle” created by an economic collapse. Overall cute, though, and enjoyable. Overall, the book is good, classic science fiction. Picks up in the second half but not nearly enough to counteract the aggressively boring first half.


This was good advice.

Cities in Flight Vol. 1 by James Blish

Nov 29, David B rated it did not like it. But later chooses to move over to Gort, a planet in the old Hruntan Empire. But in A life for the Stars the anti-aging drugs were just a collection of antibiotics that prevented all disease, which is a complete backtrack of blush original idea, and simply didn’t cut it for me.

This is actually the first in the series–a collection of novellas of the star traversing “Okie” city, New York.

I also found it, initially at least, the least engaging.

Cities in Flight

THe heroes of the 1st book are mentioned as saving the humans and getting them out into space, until their ‘Spindizzy’ Blish’s nearly omnipotent interstellar drive was re-discovered years later. Like travelling repairmen moving from planet to planet, working for a living.

Books by James Blish. And now I seem to own two copies of the Omnibus different covers but can’t raise the enthusiasm to reread them. I will not go into further detail about the content. Other books in the series. In any event, you get a lot of none-too-thrilling exposition up front. The Librarian was that one of the machines comprising the City Fathers which had prime charge of the memory banks, and was additionally charged with teaching; it did not collect information, but only catalogued and dispensed it.

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

Tim rated it did not like fflight Aug 12, The world is less trusting these days. This should be the best of the Cities in Flight novels, with probably the most plot and a rollicking adventure with the infamous baddies Interstellar Master Traders, but it doesn’t quite come off, in part because the attitude to women dates it badly and in part because one of the main characters takes i huge risk, using a planet as an interstellar bowling ball on what seems like a random hunch.


In the end, it is a fun space romp. It is now just over years since humans first discovered the Spindizzy – the antigravity drive that enabled their exodus to the stars. Now, the earth’s cities are able to abandon the worn-out homeworld f Science has come to humanity’s rescue with two crucial discoveries – antigravity devices that enable whole cities to be lifted from the Earth to become giant spaceships, and longevity drugs that allow their inhabitants to live for thousands of years – lead to the establishment of a unique Galactic empire.

The blurb mentioned longevity drugs and anti-gravity devices spindizzies. A sort of immortality is obtained by preventing all viral disease and eliminating cholesterol and one other thing, I forget what. Banks’ Culture ships and Minds were a sort of one-upmanship on Blish here. I found it difficult to follow what was actually going on most of the time. But a lot bliish the action falls flat, as the reader is expected to believe that the main characters have anticipated the actions of other people and cultures to an impossible degree.

Anyway… this goes on and on… and on. The only problem is we’re never told why the city deserves continued existence. I’d blame the time period – but I just read some Theodore Sturgeon, written around the same time period, and the guy doesn’t fall victim to that trap in the slightest, so Blish has come up with a whole society of space-faring cities and how they would work. I mean, you could write an entire book just about the social organisation of a city ship filled with suddenly long lived people floating through space and subsisting mostly iin algae?

Books by James Blish.