A while back a co-worker of mine gave me A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller. It sat on a shelf for a few years until I recently got around to reading it. I didn’t really know much about the book when it was given to me, but since then I’ve seen it on a few “Best of SF” book lists. It also won the Hugo Award for best science fiction novel. There are three parts to the book, each taking place a few hundred years apart.
The setting of the first part takes begins in the 26th century. At some unspecified time in the past, the world all but destroyed in a global nuclear war. Almost all the secrets of modern technology were lost in what would later be described as a purge. The mob of humans left alive banded together to destroy all knowledge that could lead to another nuclear war. There were book burnings and hangings of scientists. The story follows group of monks that have built an abbey in the desert to house the Memorabilia as they refer to books, technical manuals, and other bits of information that are uncovered over time. Their patron is a man by the name of Leibowitz, who was hung during the purge just after the first nuclear war. Continue reading »