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The Thing in the Attic

Amazon.com Price: $19.00 (as of 24/09/2020 08:17 PST- Details)

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Description

The Thing in the Attic is a pretentious sci-fi story that, in the hand of any other author, may have ended up a much more poorly written story. James Blish, however, is not only successful in bringing to life a world that is far removed from anything fiction writers were able to conjure up before that point in time, but also does a great job of presenting his points and concepts as part of a fun, interesting short story that has all the makings of great entertainment.

The book is part of Blish’s Pantropy stories, dealing with the solutions humankind might devise in our drive toward populating the stars sometime in the distant future. This story features a group of modified human intellectuals who live in a society that has evolved to survive on treetops. The group is soon banished for heresy, and need to learn to survive on their planet’s harsh surface, battling monsters and dealing with the difficult task of having to adapt to a whole new life.

Although ideas such as these have not been completely new in the world of science fiction, James Blish added an original spin to them that spawned a new type of sci-fi story. Even though The Thin in the Attic is somewhat underrated, and literary experts consider that it was written before Blish’s most successful period, during which his works displayed the highest level of quality and ingenuity that the author was capable of, it is still quite a fun, entertaining and thought-provoking story that has inspired the past two generations of science fiction writers.

First published in IF Magazine in 1954, the story raised quite a few eyebrows, as the genre was not yet used to the idea of the human race terraforming other planets. Although the space program was getting considerable attention at the time, it was up to bold authors like Blish to kindle the imagination of readers and science fiction idealists in seeing the true potential of our future as a civilization.

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