Original Release: 1991 (UK)
Written by: Walter M. Miller, Jr.
Produced by: BBC 4 Scotland Radio
A Canticle for Leibowitz is a post-apocalyptic science fiction novel by American writer Walter M. Miller Jr., first published in 1960. Set in a Catholic monastery in the desert of the southwestern United States after a devastating nuclear war, the book spans thousands of years as civilization rebuilds itself. The monks of the Albertian Order of Leibowitz preserve the surviving remnants of man's scientific knowledge until the world is again ready for it.
The novel is a fixup of three short stories Miller published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, inspired by the author's participation in the bombing of the monastery at the Battle of Monte Cassino during World War II. Considered one of the classics of science fiction, the book has never been out of print.
Appealing to mainstream and genre critics and readers alike, it won the 1961 Hugo Award for best science fiction novel, and its themes of religion, recurrence, and church versus state have generated a significant body of scholarly research. A sequel, "Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman", was published posthumously in 1997.
The book is read by Nigel Lindsay and Robert Carlyle stars as the character Brother Claret.