This is superior science-fiction which carries well its burden of moral and philosophical thought, but still, to the non-fancier, labors under an unnecessary weight of futuristic trappings. There has been an all but obliterating atomic war in the 1960's, after which Liebowitz, a physicist, turns to the church, founds an order to preserve whatever can be saved of the past, and is martyred for his pains. In the 26th century he is canonized; in the 32nd, science makes a fast comeback; in the 38th, mankind once again is heading toward self-extermination. Each of the three sections is brought to life through the monks of the Albertian Order of St. Liebowitz who are handsomely realized by the author. The first section is the best, as the men of God wrestle with the fascinating problem of morality vis-a-vis knowledge, and here, as in its sympathetic character portrayals, lies the book's strength; its weakness is in the closing chapters when actual contraptions take up too much time. An original, which should have a strong appeal among Catholics.