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A Case of Conscience

A Case of Conscience  - James Blish The history and destiny of a planet Lithia that is 50 light years from Earth and Sol. Lithians are very intellectual creatures. They are pure logical to the bone. It affects their social life to which an untrained Earthman feels repugnance.

Thanks to the overdrive that can span time, men travel there in a matter of weeks. A priest Ruiz-Sanchez flied to Lithia to learn the life of the planet dwellers. He gets a good deal of knowledge. Clevear wants to explore the planet for a possible military use as the planet abounds with cheap hydrogen and lithium, necessary components for nuclear fusion used in H bombs.

Obviously, Ruiz-Sanchez is against it. Lithians understand and respect his attitude. They give him a present, an unborn Lithian child whom Ruiz-Sanchez can take with him to earth. Why unborn? Because the Lithians reproduction system is quite different from that of humans. Their females bear and lay eggs directly in the sea like reptiles.

The adopted by the priest child took a name Egtverchi. His genetically inherited logical views cause big troubles among the UN officers. He doesn’t understand wars, culture and nations. As I said his views are nothing but logical. Good book! Highly advisable to read! It’s 1959 Hugo winner.