Read Dark Benediction by Walter M. Miller Jr. Online


Distinguished short story collection produced by one of the best writers in the science fiction world, previously published as The Best of Walter M. Miller Jr in 1980. This essential collection contains fourteen short stories from the 1950's: 'You Triflin' Skunk!', 'The Will', 'Anybody Else Like Me?', 'Crucifixus Ethiam', 'I, Dreamer', 'Dumb Waiter', 'Blood Bank', 'Big JoeDistinguished short story collection produced by one of the best writers in the science fiction world, previously published as The Best of Walter M. Miller Jr in 1980. This essential collection contains fourteen short stories from the 1950's: 'You Triflin' Skunk!', 'The Will', 'Anybody Else Like Me?', 'Crucifixus Ethiam', 'I, Dreamer', 'Dumb Waiter', 'Blood Bank', 'Big Joe and the Nth Generation', 'The Big Hunger', 'Conditionally Human', 'The Darfsteller', 'Dark Benediction', 'The Lineman' and 'Vengeance For Nikolai'....

Title : Dark Benediction
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780575079779
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 480 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Dark Benediction Reviews

  • Erik Erickson
    2019-04-11 15:23

    Dark BenedictionThis is a wonderful collection. While the titular tale bears some notable similarity to I Am Legend, Walter M. Miller, Jr. is a much better writer than Richard Matheson. Matheson's stories are juvenile by comparison and come off conspicuously dated, with thin characters and consistently foreseen endings. Yes, I know this is short fiction but Miller knows people well and as a result his short stories are usually populated with strong multi-dimensional personages. Matheson had some great ideas but was not a particularly strong writer, Miller was the whole package.There are of course a lot of themes common to the genre present but the execution is always thorough and competent, and execution is what ultimately matters. It's a pleasure to feel Miller flex the muscles that develop into what becomes his ultimate exercise, the little-known but well-awarded "A Canticle for Leibowitz." And that's important because these stories are really the only other things he ever published. If you're familiar with the basic facts of Miller's life - he took part in the bombing of the world's oldest monastery during WWII which affected him profoundly, became Catholic and eventually lived as a complete recluse until his wife passed, after which he committed suicide - then the story entitled "Blood Bank" carries a deeper meaning. Its central character and plot mirror the author's profound guilt and foreshadow his own death forty years later. Unlike his life, this story has a fairly upbeat ending.Probably my favorite of these narratives is "Anybody Else Like Me?" which chronicles a psychic housewife's first encounter with another of her kind. An impressively rich story at only 15 pages. Another particularly strong tale is "Crucifixes Etiam" which concerns the disillusionment of a young miner adjusting to work on Mars.Some miscellaneous notes on a few others:The Darfstellar, one of his least science-fiction-y tales regarding an old stage actor fighting the mechanization of his craft, was one of my least favorites, although it did win a Hugo in 1955.The Will seems like a Spielberg picture combining elements of Flight of the Navigator and Cocoon. Finally, "Conditionally Human" peers into the life of a man whose job is to exterminate animals that have been illegally granted sentience and a lower level of human-like intelligence. It is very intriguing and very sad - in fact I nearly sobbed afterwards. If you've never read A Canticle for Leibowitz, do so. If you have, then stop wasting your time reading this and find a copy of Dark Benediction.

  • Ketan Shah
    2019-04-16 23:33

    It's pretty amazing reading this collection when you realise most of the stories were written between 1951 and 1954. Walter M Miller Jr is best known for his novel,A Canticle for Leibowitz,but the Millienium SF masterworks editors have done all SF fans a favour by repriniting this collection. Standout stories include Dark Benediction,Anyone Else Like Me,The Lineman and The Will. My personal favourite was Conditionally Human.The stories show their age when it comes to the sometimes poorly written female characters,but this is still a great collection to pick up,for a snapshot of some of the better SF shorts of the early 50s.If you enjoyed this,you might like the short stories of Robert A Heinlein,Damon Knight and Robert Silverberg. Michael Swanwyck and Clifford Simak might also appeal to you. If you especially enjoyed the short story Dark Benediction,you'd probably like Jim Starlin's Among Madmen,Spider Robinson's Telempath and Richard Matheson's I Am Legend.

  • Ben Loory
    2019-04-11 19:10

    there's a story in this about a sentient rocketship called "I, Dreamer" which is just beautiful, i loved it so much. the rest of the stories don't quite reach that height, but there are many that come close. "Dark Benediction" and "Blood Bank" spring to mind. miller is very smart, about people and technology and the ways they interact, and is a fine writer of prose who not only always follows the emotional conflict, but always follows it through to the end, every single time. that is a rarity not only in science fiction but in fiction in general.

  • Aaron
    2019-04-13 17:09

    I believe each of these stories were written in the 50’s, and because of that there is a dated aspect to the technology. Luckily, true human drama and the exploration of fears and motivations will not become dated until we are all perfect and exist with no existential angst. Even the lesser tales were hip deep in quality prose and an exploration of the daily quandaries experienced by humanity. Nothing particularly sexy or thrilling, but definitely a rock solid collection.

  • Danilo Stern-Sapad
    2019-04-05 20:35

    Is it just me or does it look like there's a bunch of sperm on the book cover?A Canticle for Liebowitz is a very clever book with some really powerful dialogue, descriptions, and an awesome setting. This collection of short stories is more entertaining though and still has a similar depth to it. I think it's harder to write in the short form and still provoke strong emotions.

  • Poo1987 Roykaew
    2019-03-26 19:09

    A masterwork. Full of emotional and humanistic characteristics that bring his stories life and charming. Without humourous sense, Miller produces short fictions excited, frightened and unforgetable as more indispensable as for human to think of its own future. He is not a futurist, whose interest is to look forward into the future and predict what the world would become; instead, a person who looks back in the past and apprehend the inner of human race, actually as the same thing that Arthur C. Clark has done in the first part of his classic 2001 : A Space Odyssey. It must be considered one of the major works assigned for readers who want to penetrate into the miracle of the world of science fictions.In my personal choices, I like the stories 'The Will', 'The Big Hunger' and 'Dark Benediction'. If anyone asking me which novella is interesting for the beginners, I would mention these. Though it is better tasting all without missing a word than choosing only two or three stories to read.After finishing this one, I'm looking forward to tasting his classic 'A Canticle for Leibowitz'. I would love to start reading it sooner.

  • Googoogjoob
    2019-04-03 22:18

    This is the "best of" Walter Miller Jr's short fiction, barring the original versions of the stories later incorporated into "A Canticle for Leibowitz." Of course, since Miller wrote all of these stories for pulp magazines in the 50s, it's a very mixed bag. So, there's the brilliant stuff, which is nearly the equal of "Canticle" ("Crucifixus Etiam," "The Darfsteller," "Anybody Else Like Me?"); the bog-standard pulp sci-fi that could've been written by any one of two dozen authors active at the time ("Big Joe and the Nth Generation," "Dumb Waiter," "I, Dreamer"); and the simply baffling ("You Triflin' Skunk!", "Vengeance for Nikolai").On the whole, though, it's worth reading for the really great stories, and even in the poorer ones, you can discern Miller's preoccupations that'd later come to the fore in "Canticle" (the fall of technological culture ("Dumb Waiter," "Big Joe"), cyclical history ("The Big Hunger"), the role of religion (especially Roman Catholicism) in a technological society ("Conditionally Human," "Dark Benediction," "Crucifixus Etiam").

  • Manuel Alfonseca
    2019-04-06 15:17

    A collection of 14 short sci-fi stories by the acclaimed author of A canticle for Leibowitz. I specially liked four of them:1. The story providing the name of the book, an apocalyptic tale on how our so-praised civilization could fall down upon the menace of a leprosy-like illness. A chant to love and hope.2. Conditionally human. A story with many sides: you can consider it as an attack against abortion, or as a defense of legitimate fight, or as a rehashing of possible futures of artificial intelligence and genetic manipulation.3. The darfsteller. An old actor refuses to accept that theatre is dead, replaced by scientific advances.4. I, dreamer. A horrifying story about the use of a child's brain to control a military ship.

  • Andrew
    2019-04-17 23:26

    What I liked about this collection of short tales is the fact that each one had a different feel and occupied a different time or universe, This at times led to maybe a more disjointed or slightly heavier read than in collections that occupy the same area of narrative but each was worth a read.Some of the tales where short..some borderline novellas..some felt oddly contemporary in theme despite them being written in the fifties and most of them had a lingering slightly sinister quality which hinted at a darker future.To go into length about any of the tales would be risky as it may ruin the element of surprise in regard subject matter but from space opera tales..time travel dissertations or even zombie like plague tales and beyond this book covers a lot of areas.

  • Sean Brennan
    2019-04-04 17:34

    All the stories contained in this collection are of a consistently high standard. Miller put across a decidedly humanistic approach to his work that dwelt upon the individual not conforming to the 'herd' mentality, that all of us by are actions can have an effect upon the whole.Miller's stories are never overtly technical, so you could basically sit down and enjoy a good read. I especially enjoyed the two tales of the sentinent spacecraft, but basically there are no weak stories contained in this collection. Recommended.

  • Caer
    2019-04-02 22:19

    An excellent collection of stories by Miller, very many of which I thought were worthy of A Canticle for Leibowitz. I particularly liked his more philosophical works, such as I, Dreamer, The Will, and The Big Hunger. A few of the stories are your more basic sci-fi fair, but overall they are typical of his moralizing and thoughtfulness.

  • Edward Davies
    2019-03-22 19:09

    This collection of short stories by Walter M Miller Jr is a fascinating read and a great exploration of sci-fi writing in the 1950s. The majority of the stories age well, read well, and are great fun to read. Fans of short fiction will definitely get a kick out of this, and should also check out A Canticle For Leibowitz for a book length tale that is every bit as entertaining.

  • Danika Potts
    2019-04-09 18:18

    Just what I needed. Lovely dose of old skool sci-fi...

  • Michelle
    2019-03-30 22:26

    Miller is not an author that has a happy medium for me. When he is on, he is brilliant. The stories are classic and eternal, beautiful and true. But when he's off, the story just falls flat on its face, made decrepit by time and stereotypes. With that said, most of the stories in here are good ones.

  • Adam Marischuk
    2019-03-26 15:14

    After reading (and loving) A Canticle for Leibowitz I found this in a used bookstore and, though I had been warned about Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman, decided to pick it up. Normally, I am not a Sci-Fi fan, but there was plenty to enjoy with these short stories.Though many of the stories are dated and predict techonological advances in a way much different from how technology (especially computers, cellphones and the internet: think processors and computer chips) did advance, each short story has a metaphysical or metaethical aspect where it evaluates some aspect of human nature. Much like the Fr. Brown short stories of G.K. Chesterton, each story ends with a statement, an insight into the human condition which is the hallmark of meaningful writing. Despite the mytaphysical aspect, the stories are never didactic but rather seem an open dialogue. Miller even plays with the audience in one short story (The Darksteller) which includes this gem, "A crowd that wants it overplayed so that it doesn't have to think about what is going on. A crowd that doesn't want to reach out for a feeling or a meaning. It wants to be clubbed on the head with the meaning, so it doesn't have to reach."Additionally, it is fun reading (though very verbose) because many of the story aspects/themes would later be adopted, updated and produced in movies or other Sci-Fi literature.

  • Γιώργος
    2019-03-24 20:32

    I am very glad that I have finally read a sample o Walter Miller's work. You will find your typical sci-fi themes which dominated the 50s (mostly about robots in dystopian or post apocalyptic sceneries). All stories flow very nicely, even the ones I didn’t like. Miller is definitely a master story teller. What I would like to point out though, is that he manages to portray every character's psychological state and feelings just by talking about them. The use of many adjectives and adverbs is bad practice in writing and Miller, more often than not, avoids using them in every chance he gets. For instance:In his story "The Will" he writes:"She waited a few seconds for me to say something. When I couldn't say anything, she dropped the basket of clothes, scattering underwear and linens across the kitchen floor."Now that is some piece of good writing. Nothing fancy there, surely not some great passage worthy of literary appraisal, but here is the thing: Obviously the woman is angry. The writer doesn't say that the woman is angry but implies it. We can almost here the thud of the basket when it hits the floor. We can feel the tension. The result is more vivid.Imagine the above passage to be like this:"She waited a few seconds for me to say something. However, I couldn't say anything, so being very angry at me, she forcefully dropped the basket of clothes on the kitchen floor."In this case, we don’t imagine the woman being angry, we don’t see her in the kitchen throwing the basket on the floor. We don’t have to because the writer tells us that she is angry and we have to take his word for it. The result is more blunt.Great stuff, if you haven’t read Miller before, you should definitely give it a shot.

  • Ray
    2019-04-20 15:06

    A long time ago, more than thirty years in fact, most of my reading was science fiction. A lot of this was not very good but every now and then a book would stand out from the crowd. One of these standouts was A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller.So when I saw a collection of Millers short stories and novellas at the bookshop the teenage me shouted grab it from across the years.This is an adequate collection of stories with some interesting themes but not a great book. It is very dated - casual sexism and one dimensional female characters abound. Intriguing, and I am glad that I read it, but I had not missed much

  • Matthew
    2019-04-12 19:23

    I'm a huge admirer of A Canticle for Leibowitz and, perhaps more unusually, of its sequel too. I suppose I was looking for more of the same, but the heights are only sporadically hit and the wonderful melancholy, resigned tone isn't that often in evidence. Most of the first half of the volume is perfectly decent but not particularly wonderful 50s SF (with, it must be said, some questionable gender politics). The better stuff is in the second half. Highlights were "The Lineman", "Vengeance for Nikolai" and particularly "The Big Hunger", which could be the proto-Leibowitz.

  • Camump45
    2019-03-26 21:13

    It needs a lot more fish if you ask me.

  • Richard Anderson
    2019-03-26 21:35

    About 50-50 in terms of originality.

  • Montgomery Webster
    2019-03-22 19:06

    I read 3 of the 14 short stories: 1. You Triflin' Skunk! 2. The Will 3. Dark BenedictionDark Benediction was the only one I liked. I'm generally not a fan of short stories.

  • adrianoates
    2019-03-30 23:26

    I just can't get on with short stories, its like they aren't quite good enough to grow up to become novels.

  • bluetyson
    2019-04-03 17:21

    Best of Walter M.Miller Jnr., The by Walter M. Miller (2000)

  • Brian Smith
    2019-03-26 20:23

    Generally good set of character-driver scifi short stories from the 1950s, but don't read the final story "The Linesman", which features some shocking misogyny.