24th November 2014
A Canticle For Liebowitz presents a post-apocalyptic dark age in which religious orders assiduously attempt to piece together lost knowledge. First published in 1960 and never out of print, like much Science Fiction of its period, this Hugo Award-winning novel draws on cold war fears to depict a compellingly possible future, here modelled in part on a past-Earth era. Dealing with cycles of history, the co-existence of Church and state, and tribes of nomads, Canticle has been a major influence on many subsequent novels, including Russell Hoban’s Riddley Walker, which makes for excellent companion reading, and may be referred to in discussion here.
See also: Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose (the book or the film)