Becca's Reviews > A Canticle for Leibowitz

A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.
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's review
Oct 16, 11

bookshelves: scifi, classics, literature, speculative-fiction, post-apocalyptic
Recommended to Becca by: Jon
Read in October, 2011, read count: 1

This is a book that I would have absolutely loved as a high school student. I wished I were a high school student while I was reading it. Digesting it in huge chunks at a time. Hanging out in the study hall area before school, debating and quoting and dissecting with four or five other nerds who were reading it simultaneously. (That's how I've read most of the science fiction that I've really loved in my life. It's the best way to do it.)

The problem with classic science fiction is that science fiction is a genre that eats it own and constantly regenerates ideas. So was Neal Stephenson's Anathem a complete homage? Yes, in many important ways. And certainly, it was influenced by Canticle, which proceeded it by 30+ years. But I read Anathem first, so Canticle comes off looking the derivative one. I feel bad, because I know it's historically inaccurate, but I'm just kind of over post-apocalyptic-humanity-is-doomed-to-repeat-its-own-mistakes-and-perpetually-destroy-itself.

There were a few tropes I loved - most notably the dilemma of is a species technologically generated by humans to replicate humans less than human? However, that was really only considered for a sentence or two.

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