Walter M Miller, Jr. (1923 – 1996) was an American science fiction author. primarily known for A Canticle for Leibowitz, the only novel he published in his lifetime. Prior to its publication he was a prolific writer of short stories.
Between 1951 and 1957, Miller published over three dozen science fiction short stories, winning a Hugo Award in 1955 for the story "The Darfsteller". Late in the 1950s, Miller assembled a novel from three closely related novellas he had published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1955, 1956 and 1957. The novel, entitled A Canticle for Leibowitz, was published in 1959.
A Canticle for Leibowitz is a post-apocalyptic (post-holocaust) novel revolving around the canonization of Saint Leibowitz and is considered a masterpiece of the genre. It won the 1961 Hugo Award for Best Novel. The novel is also a powerful meditation on the cycles of world history and Roman Catholicism as a force of stability during history's dark times.
After the success of A Canticle For Leibowitz, Miller never published another new novel or story in his lifetime, although several compilations of Miller's earlier stories were issued in the 1960s and 70s. As well, a radio adaptation of A Canticle for Leibowitz was produced by WHA Radio and NPR in 1981 and is available below.
1. A Canticle for Leibowitz is a post-apocalyptic science fiction novel , first published in 1960. Based on three short stories Miller contributed to The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, it is the only novel published by the author during his lifetime. Considered one of the classics of science fiction, it has never been out of print and has seen over 25 reprints and editions. Appealing to mainstream and genre critics and readers alike, it won the 1961 Hugo Award for best science fiction novel.
Set in a Roman Catholic monastery in the desert of the southwestern United States after a devastating nuclear war, the story spans thousands of years as civilization rebuilds itself. The monks of the Albertian Order of Leibowitz take up the mission of preserving the surviving remnants of man's scientific knowledge until the day the outside world is again ready for it.
Inspired by the author's participation in the Allied bombing of the monastery at Monte Casino during World War II, the novel is considered a masterpiece by literary critics. Its themes of religion, recurrence, and church versus state have generated a significant body of scholarly research. Miller's follow-up work, Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman, was published posthumously in 1997.
Canticle is a Chant, Song or Hymn used in Church Services.
2. Death of a Spaceman by Walter M. Miller, Jr. (2nd story in Science Fiction Collection # 26)
3. The Hoofer by Walter M. Miller, Jr. (3rd story in Science Fiction Collection # 25)
4. Way of a Rebel by Walter M. Miller Jr. (14th story in Science Fiction Collection # 40)
5. Dark Benediction by Walter M. Miller (2nd story from NPR Sci Fi Radio From 1989)