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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Black Easter by James Blish. Black Easter is a Nebula Award-nominated fantasy novel by James Blish in which an arms dealer hires a black magician to unleash all the Demons of Hell on earth for a single day.
It was first published in The sequel is The Day After Judgment. Together, those two very short novels form the third part of the thematic "After Such Knowledge" trilogy title from T. Eliot Black Easter is a Nebula Award-nominated fantasy novel by James Blish in which an arms dealer hires a black magician to unleash all the Demons of Hell on earth for a single day.
Eliot's "Gerontion," "After such knowledge, what forgiveness? Black Easter was serialised as Faust aleph-null in If magazine. Get A Copy. Mass Market Paperback , pages. Published June by Avon Books first published More Details Original Title. Nebula Award Nominee for Best Novel Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Black Easter , please sign up. Lists with This Book.
Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Feb 12, Martin rated it it was amazing Shelves: war , recently-reviewed , fantasy , best-all-time-favourites , science-fiction. Real Black Magic. Father F. Domenico Bruno Garell - a monk and White Magician is the only opposition. I have crushed the dragons of the pit beneath my heel. I have commanded angels and devils.
I undertake and command that all shall be accomplished as I bid, and that from beginning to end, alpha to omega, world without end, none shall harm us who abide here in this temple of the Art of Arts. Western capitals, already in an uproar because of the napalm murder of the U. Until that happens we will keep you informed of whatever important events come through. We pause for station identification.
I think I know why now. I think the human mind goes through a sort of cycle of fear. It can only take so much accumulated knowledge, and then it panics, and starts inventing reasons to throw everything over and go back to a Dark Age He was still also trying to listen to the radio. But it happens. It happens about every thousand years. Then, increasingly, the world becomes secularized, and the gods seem less and less relevant.
The temples are deserted. People feel guilty about that, but not much. That was the heart, the center, the whole reason of the Dark Ages. It was the laughter of Something incapable of joy, laughing only because It was compelled by Its nature to terrify. As the laughter grew, that Something formed.
It was not standing in the Lesser Circle or appearing from the Gateway, but instead was sitting on the altar, swinging Its cloven feet negligently. Its haunches, too, were caprine. On one shaggy forearm was tattooed Solve; on the other, Coagula. Ware fell slowly to one knee. Ware bowed his head lower. This cannot be the Time!
You break the Law! Behold the Pentacle of Solomon which I have brought into thy presence! His face red, Father Domenico reached into his robes and brought out a crucifix, which he thrust toward the altar like a sword.
In the name of Christ our Lord! He looked down at his horribly empty hands. Is this the end of the world? Find out in "The Day after Judgment" review.
Nov 27, Manny rated it really liked it Shelves: too-sexy-for-maiden-aunts , science-fiction. I don't usually go for novels about black magic, which I tend to find boring and kind of stupid, but this one is pretty good. Blish isn't being campy, or playing it for laughs. The assumption made here is that black magic exists and really works, allowing you to summon demons from Hell and make them do your bidding.
The author must have done a lot of background reading, and the atmosphere feels authentic. I particularly liked the descriptions of the demons, who are both chillingly evil and bizar I don't usually go for novels about black magic, which I tend to find boring and kind of stupid, but this one is pretty good.
I particularly liked the descriptions of the demons, who are both chillingly evil and bizarrely other-worldly. The plot is a variant on the Faust myth the book's subtitle is in fact "Faust Aleph-Null". Theron Ware is an accomplished black magician. He's several hundred years old, having sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for more or less eternal life, and his passion is scientific knowledge. A nice touch is the way he's still stuck in the medieval mind-set he acquired during his formative years; there's a fun scene where he's copying out the latest discoveries on quasars into his huge illuminated manuscript, using a goose-quill pen.
But he's impatient with the slow rate of progress, and thinks that, if he could only get some serious money, he'd be able to speed things up. Ware is contacted by a billionaire arms dealer, Baines, and they start cooking up a deal. Baines is plausibly skeptical at first, and wants to carry out a couple of tests, to satisfy himself that Ware is on the level.
The test runs are cleverly thought out, and convey both the fundamental seriousness of the enterprise and the utter immorality of both parties.
Baines then gets down to business, and makes his proposal. He will give Ware a large part of his enormous fortune, if the magician can summon most of the demons from Hell, and let them loose on Earth for one night. The action is being followed by Father Garelli, a white magician working for the Church. According to the complicated rules governing dealings between Heaven and Hell, Garelli is invited to participate in the demonic summonings as an observer, but may not intervene to stop them.
Blish succeeds well in describing Garelli's feelings of helpless rage as the plan comes together, and Armageddon draws ever nearer; one readily thinks of real-world parallels. I won't give away the ending, but suffice to say that it's both logically and emotionally consistent, and that you don't feel cheated by the elaborate build-up. This is a genuinely scary book. View all 8 comments.
I don't usually dig skulls on my vintage horror covers especially photo versions , as they're so overdone, but this is one of the few exceptions to that rule.
This will be my first Blish read, other than a couple sf shorts back in the day. Apr 01, Brad rated it really liked it Shelves: sci-fantasy , speculative , sci-fi , armageddon. God is dead. And James Blish is his killer.
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Black Easter – James Blish
President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on 14 Apr , which was Good Friday; he died the following day on Saturday. People of that generation in the North referred to that Easter as Black Easter. It was probably the first use of that term. Black Easter is a fantasy novel by American writer James Blish , in which an arms dealer hires a black magician to unleash all the demons of Hell on Earth for a single day. It was first published in The sequel is The Day After Judgment. Together, those two novellas form the third part of the thematic After Such Knowledge trilogy the title is from a line of T.
L. W. Currey, Inc.
Mr Baines is the boss of Consolidated Warfare Services. Business has been brisk but uninspiring in recent years. The risk of nuclear warfare and its threat of Mutually Assured Destruction deters the large scale conflicts. Barnes is looking for something rather radically destructive, partly for the benefit of Consolidated Warfare Services but mostly just because he wants to. Dr Theron Ware is the most powerful black magician in the world. His speciality is murder, any sort of murder. He's got time on his hands and he may be interested in a something a little more stimulating.