This book isn’t easy for readers for who English is a second language (especially the middle part, or the religious ramblings), but 63 years after being published, it still feels like an important and relevant book. Science-fiction nowadays is usually about some rebellious A.I., but here it’s about nuclear warfare and humanity’s inevitable quest for self-destruction.
The book is one big bleak warning, a bit depressing, but at the same time it’s fantastic that our planet has authors like Walter M. Miller Jr., who write these stories and let us examine our humanity. Miller Jr. took more than fifty bombing missions in Italy during the Second World War, including the destruction of the Monte Cassino monetary, and some traces can be found in the book.
Two things stand out. For one, it’s stunning how a topic like nuclear warfare is extrapolated into a whole new world beyond ours. (It also makes for a weird combination of science-fiction in a medieval setting.). And secondly, at many times it’s a joy to read how Miller Jr. describing anything, adding even a huge amount of depth to extremely simple things. There’s an incredible amount of vocabulary aptly used — even though this brings me to my first point. It’s not an easy book, although the effort is a worthy one.