A Canticle for Leibowitz is a post-apocalyptic social science fiction novel by American writer Walter M. Miller Jr., first published in 1959. 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 fix-up of three short stories Miller published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction that were inspired by the author’s participation in the bombing of the monastery at the Battle of Monte Cassino during World War II. The book is considered one of the classics of science fiction and 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.