Doctor Mirabilis

James Blish


This is the second book in Blish’s quasi-religious quarter After Such Knowledge. The historical novel recounts of the life of the 13th-century English Franciscan Roger Bacon and his struggle to develop a “Universal Science.” Though thoroughly researched, with a host of references, including extensive use of Bacon’s own writings, frequently in the original Latin, the book is written in the style of a novel, and Blish himself referred to it as “fiction” or “a vision.” It is widely considered to be the most ambitious novels of the quartet.
      Blish’s view of Bacon is uncompromisingly that he was the first scientist, and he provides a postscript to the novel in which he sets forth these views. Central to his depiction of Roger Bacon is that “he was not an inventor, an Edison or Luther Burbank, holding up a test tube with a shout of Eureka!” He was instead a theoretical scientist probing fundamental realities, and his visions of modern technology were just by-products of “…the way he normally thought — the theory of theories as tools…”
      Blish indicates where Bacon’s writings, for example, consider Newtonian metrical frameworks for space, then reject these for something which reads remarkably like Einsteinian relativity, and all “…breathtakingly without pause or hiccup, breezily moving without any recourse through over 800 years of physics”.
      This is the second book of the quartet of books called After Such Knowledge. Book three and four of the series, Black Easter and The Day After Judgment, will be available in 2022.
      This new edition of Doctor Mirabilis has new cover artwork by Ben Baldwin, new interior art by Allen Koszowski, and archival artwork by Geoff Taylor and Wayne Douglas Barlowe.
       The specifications for this set are: one book, printed in four colors and one color throughout, bound in European cloth with two hits of foil stamping, top-edge stain, ribbon marker, patterned endpapers, and a handsome dustjacket. This link is just for customers of the first book. Please don’t post or share this link until all existing customers have had a chance to purchase. Thank you!

edition information

  • Limited to 300 copies.
  • Bound in full black cloth, with two color foil stamping.
  • New dustjacket art by Ben Baldwin.
  • Archival artwork by Wayne Douglas Barlowe and Geoff Taylor.
  • Gorgeous dustjacket.
  • Top-edge stain.
  • Head and tail bands, ribbon marker.
  • Published December 2021.
  • ISBN 978-1-61347-239-2.
  • Book size 5½ × 8¾ inches.
  • Number of pages: 416.