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All the Traps of Earth by Clifford D. Simak

All the Traps of Earth (edition 1979)

by Clifford D. Simak (Author)

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285367,064 (3.73)4
Title:All the Traps of Earth
Authors:Clifford D. Simak (Author)
Info:Avon Books (1979)
Collections:Your library

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All the Traps of Earth and Other Stories (9 story collection) by Clifford D. Simak

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Clever stories, each contained a dash of horror and a leavening of humor, but the main ingredient was that which makes classic SF - the big old 'What If..? I advise reading them and then pausing after each one to really think about it, rather than just working through at bedtime as I did. They'll be more memorable and make more of an impact on you if you do.

I am disturbed by how human the robots are. They gamble, make jokes, have ambitions... after growing up on androids that more resembled Data from Star Trek, I can't wrap my head around these.

ETA - my edition had only 6 stories, not Crying Jag or No Life of Their Own." ( )
2 vote Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
All nine of these stories are quite readable and entgertaining, but several of them go places my mind would never go unless lead by such an imagination as Simak's. I especially liked "Drop Dead,' which features a cow-shaped animal with several kinds of meat, severa kinds of fruit and veggies, and even milk and eggs and bees' honey in its body. but that is only the beginning of this planet's stran gness. Simak is good at the light sci-fi, such as "Project Mastadon" (which he later expanded into a book called MASTADONIA), and "Crying Jag." I wish the latter was fact, not fiction, and we would be a lot less neurotic on this earth. All in all, one of Simak's best collections. ( )
2 vote andyray | Apr 2, 2011 |
This book contains six stories, written between 1951 and 1960. I liked four of them, and didn't care as much for the other two. The title story, "All the Traps of Earth," was actually my least favorite. The main character is a robot, and the part I didn't like about the story is that this robot is a very emotional character. His actions are driven by fear, guilt, happiness, whatever. I disapprove in general of robot stories where the robots have emotions, unless there is some compelling explanation for how and why the emotions are present; this is missing from this story (both the how and the why). The other story I didn't like as much has similar robot problems, although the robots are not as central to the story.

The other stories are very solid. In "Good night, Mr. James" we have a simple story of a man hunting a dangerous alien critter -- but the story is about much more than that. "Drop Dead" is an excellent story about exploring an alien planet. "The Sitters" examines aliens who are living in a quiet little town on Earth. The aliens in that story were brought there by a former resident of the town, who may have had ulterior motives for bringing them there. Now that the aliens have been in the town for many years, someone realizes that they may not be as benign as were thought. I haven't read much of Simak's short stories before, and perhaps he is more well-known for his novels. Most of these stories are solid stories, and aren't predictable (my descriptions don't give away much, actually). This book makes me curious to read other stories of his, but I suspect I would have the same problems with any other robot stories Simak has written.

...Good news, after writing this review I found that by accident I had at some other time purchased another copy of this book, but the new copy has three extra stories! This new copy was published by Avon Books in 1979. Two of the stories are similar to "The Sitters," in that they involve interactions between aliens and humans in rural/small town settings. (This sort of setting was also used in Simak's story "The Big Front Yard", anthologized in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, volume 2B.) The third new story is a solid time travel story. No emotional robots in these three stories, I thought they were all good.

Book Review #6, by Eric Weeks
June 14, 1998
2 vote | pc_bob | Nov 19, 2006 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Clifford D. Simakprimary authorall editionscalculated
Esteves, JanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Powers, Richard M.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ratzkin, LawrenceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Westermayr, TonyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Collections with the title All the Traps of Earth have been published containing nine, six and four stories.
The full set is All the Traps of Earth;Good Night, Mr. James (aka The Night of the Puudly); Drop Dead; No Life of Their Own; The Sitters; Crying Jag; Installment Plan; Condition of Employment; Project Mastodon.
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