The Day After Judgment
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|Series||After Such Knowledge Trilogy|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover & Paperback)|
|Preceded by||Black Easter (1968)|
In the first book, a wealthy arms manufacturer comes to a black magician, Theron Ware, with a strange request: he wishes to release all the demons from hell for one night to see what might happen. The book includes a lengthy description of the summoning ritual, and a detailed description of the grotesque demons as they appear. Tension between Ware and Catholic white magicians arises over the terms and conditions of a covenant that provides for observers and limitations on interference with demonic workings. Black Easter ends with Baphomet announcing to the participants that the demons can not be compelled to return to hell: the War is over, and God is dead.
The Day After Judgment develops and extends the characters from the first book. It suggests that God may not be dead, or that demons may not be inherently self-destructive, as something appears to be restraining the actions of the demons upon Earth. In a lengthy Miltonian speech at the end of the novel, Satan Mekratrig explains that, compared to humans, demons are good, and that if perhaps God has withdrawn Himself, then Satan beyond all others was qualified to take His place and, if anything, would be a more just god.
The events end in a battle of men against demons in Death Valley, which ends in the supernatural place disappearing and leaving the characters in "the modern town of Badwater", as if Blish had written this part of the story working from a map and had mistaken the map symbol at Badwater Basin for a town symbol.
Grimoires and Assorted Texts Mentioned
Blish claims in his foreword that all of the texts referenced in the novel are authentic magical texts. Here is a complete list of the books as referenced in the book. Obviously some are secular texts, but most are not.[original research?]
- Malleus Maleficarum by Heinrich Institor and Jacob Sprenger
- The American Weekly
- Ardshi Bordschi Khan
- Siddhi Kur
- The Divine Comedy
- Perspectiva by Roger Bacon
- Gospel of Matthew
- Book of Job
- Lemegeton by Rabbi Solomon
- Grimorium Verum
- Grand Grimoire
- Comte de Gabalis
- The Black Pullet
- The White Devil by Webster
- The City of God by St. Augustine
- Confessions by St. Augustine
- Ketterer, p. 298
- Ketterer, David (1987). Imprisoned in a tesseract: The Life and Work of James Blish. Kent State University Press. ISBN 978-0-87338-334-9.
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