Miller's participation in the bombing of Casino, Italy, during World War II apparently had a lasting impact on the writer, for his only novel, A Canticle for Leibowitz (1960), is rife with images of massive destruction caused by war. Miller began writing short stories in 1950 while recovering from an automobile accident, and most of his writing was done between 1950 and 1960. Often regarded as one of the best science fiction novels ever written, A Canticle for Leibowitz is a complex, beautifully written book that traces human history from a twentieth-century nuclear war forward to another war in a.d. 3781. It stands as one of the best examples of the fear that millions of people have of the power of nuclear weapons and the aftermath of nuclear holocaust. Richly symbolic and multilayered, the novel lends itself to critical commentary more than do most popular works of literature. Critic John B. Ower remarks that, perhaps because of his conversion to Catholicism, "Miller's religious belief is complex and comprehensive enough to contain within itself the dark misgivings, the ironies, and the ambiguities of our deeply disturbed century."