James Blish: A Select Bibliographic Guide

compiled by Ralph Dumain

Note: This project originated in researching noted science fiction author James Blish’s involvement with James Joyce’s work, particularly Finnegans Wake, including the incorporation of Joyce into Blish’s science fiction. This bibliography includes all those references plus other secondary literature that contextualizes snd interprets Blish’s work. The section on science fiction in my Joyce bibliography also contains items not pertaining to Blish.

Blish’s “After Such Knowledge” sequence of novels consists of: A Case of Conscience (1958), Doctor Mirabilis (1964), Black Easter or Faust Aleph-Null (1968), The Day After Judgement (1970).

References mentioning James Joyce

Science fiction @ The James Joyce Scholars’ Collection

Search Science Fiction Studies for 'James Joyce' (about 328 results)

James Blish as Joyce scholar

Blish, James. A Case of Conscience (1958). New York: Del Ray Impact, 2000.

Blish, James. “Common Time” (1953), with foreword by Damon Knight, in Mirror of Infinity: A Critics' Anthology of Science Fiction, compiled by Robert Silverberg (New York: Harper & Row, 1970), pp.167-194.

Blish, James. “The Long Night of a Virginia Author” (1972), in The Tale That Wags the God, edited by Cy Chauvin, introduction by John Foyster, bibliography by Judith L. Blish (Chicago: Advent Publishers, 1987), pp. 105-120.

Comparison & analysis of James Branch Cabell’s trilogy The Nightmare Has Triplets with Finnegans Wake.

Blish, James (as ed.; pseudonym: William Atheling, Jr.). More Issues at Hand: Critical Studies in Contemporary Science Fiction. Chicago, Advent Publishers, 1970.

See "Death and the Beloved: Algis Budrys and the Great Theme" [1961] (pp. 65-66); Caviar and Kisses: The Many Loves of Theodore Sturgeon [1961] (pp. 71-72); Making Waves: The Good, the Bad, the Indifferent [1970] (pp. 122, 129, 133, 135, 139-145).

Blish, James. “A Prayer for James Joyce,” James Joyce Quarterly, Vol. 7, No. 4 (Summer, 1970), p. 379.

Blish, James. Spock Must Die! New York: Bantam, 1970.

Blish, James. “"Writing of the Rat” (1956), in Anywhen (New York: Doubleday, 1970).

Bradham, Jo Allen. “The Case in James Blish’s A Case of Conscience,” Extrapolation, vol. 16, no. 1, December 1974, pp. 67-80.

Eckley, Grace. “Finnegans Wake in the Work of James Blish,” Extrapolation, vol. 20, no. 4, 1979, pp. 330-42.

Hemmingson, Michael. Star Trek: A Post-Structural Critique of the Original Series. San Bernardino, CA: Borgo Press, 2009.

Kaufman, Mark David. “Examination of “a warping process”: Science Fiction and Dystopia in the Wake of Joyce,” paper presented to Omniscientific Joyce: The 27th International James Joyce Symposium (14-18 June 2021), 15 June 2021. (Kaufman is the source of many of the references in this section.)

Ketterer, David. “Covering A Case of Conscience,” Science Fiction Studies, vol. 9, part 2 (#27 ), July 1982.

Ketterer, David. Imprisoned in a Tesseract: The Life and Work of James Blish. Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 1987.

Several references to Finnegans Wake, Ulysses, and James Joyce, and the use of and allusions to Joyce's work in Blish's fiction. References to Finnegans Wake not already obvious in this bibliography include pp. 96-98, 219, 270, 279, 283-284, 322n21, 335n4, 336n22, 350n3, 360n69/70, 379n37/39.

McCarthy, Patrick A. “The Joyce of Blish: Finnegans Wake in A Case of Conscience,” Science Fiction Studies, vol. 15, no. 1, 1988, pp. 112-18.

Reilly, Robert. “The Discerning Conscience,” Extrapolation, vol. 18, no. 2, May 1977, pp. 176-180.

Franz Rottensteiner, James Blish, Ursula K. Le Guin, H. Bruce Franklin, and Chandler Davis: Change, SF, and Marxism: Open or Closed Universes, Science Fiction Studies, #2 (Volume 1, Part 2), Fall 1973.

Shippey, Tom. “James Blish and science fiction” [Introduction to Flights of Eagles: Selected Fiction of James Blish, ed. James A. Mann (Framingham, MA; NESFA, 2009)].

Other references concerning Blish (some mentioning Joyce)

Aldiss, Brian W. “James Blish: The Mathematics of Behavior,” Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction, 13, 1978, pp. 43-50. \

Hall, Jenna. “James Blish and Alexander Pope: A Study in Cases,” Extrapolation, vol. 39, no. 3, 1998, pp. 258-263.

Lobdell, Jared. “The Spenglerian City in James Blish's After Such Knowledge,” Extrapolation, vol. 32, no. 4, Winter 1991, pp. 309-18.

Reilly, Robert, ed. The Transcendent Adventure: Studies of Religion in Science Fiction/Fantasy. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1985. Focused discussion of A Case of Conscience can be found mostly in:

Burgess, Andrew J. “The Concept of Eden,” pp. 73-81.

Parkin-Speer, Diane. “Alien Ethics and Religion versus Fallen Mankind,” pp. 93-104.

Blish is also addressed elsewhere in the book, particularly here:

Quinn, William A. “Science Fiction’s Harrowing of the Heavens,” pp. 37-54.

Rickard, Bob. “After Such Knowledge: James Blish’s Tetralogy,” in A Multitude of Visions, edited by Cy Chauvin (Baltimore: T-K Graphics, 1975), pp. 24-34.

Shackley, Paul. “James Blish’s After Such Knowledge Trilogy: Reactions after Reading David Ketterer,” New York Review of Science Fiction, 21.10 (June 2009): 13-17.

Stableford, Brian M. A Clash of Symbols: The Triumph of James Blish. San Bernardino, CA: Borgo Press, 1979.

Stableford, Brian M. “The Science Fiction of James Blish,” Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction, 13, 1978, pp. 12-43[?].

Thiess, Derek J. “Religion, Monstrosity and the Sovereign Decision in Blish’s A Case of Conscience,Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, vol. 19, no. 3 (74), 2008, pp. 331-348.

Williams, Raymond. “Science Fiction” (1956), Science Fiction Studies, vol. 15, no. 3 (46), November 1988, pp. 356-360.

Wymer, Rowland. “Science, Religion, and Magic in James Blish’s "After Such Knowledge" Sequence,” Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, Vol, 24, No. 1, 2013, pp. 25-40.


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A Prayer for James Joyce by James Blish

James Joyce: Special Topics: Bibliography, Links, Quotes

From Eden to Cain: Unorthodox Interpretations & Literary Transformations: Selected Bibliography

Science Fiction & Utopia Research Resources: A Selective Work in Progress

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