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Way Station by Clifford D. Simak

Way Station (original 1963; edition 1963)

by Clifford D. Simak

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1,604514,530 (3.96)106
Title:Way Station
Authors:Clifford D. Simak
Info:Old Earth Books (2004), Hardcover, 225 pages
Collections:Your library

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Way Station by Clifford D. Simak (1963)

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English (47)  Italian (2)  Finnish (1)  Czech (1)  All (51)
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
Enoch Wallace is an ageless hermit striding across his untended farmland as he's done for over a century and carrying his Civil War rifle that he carried in that war. What his neighbors must never know is that inside his never-changing house, he hosts unimaginable friends from the farthest stars.
More than 100 years early, an alien named Ulysses recruited Enoch as Earth's only intergalactic transfer station. ( )
  creighley | Feb 16, 2017 |
Way Station has a lot to recommend it: an interesting premise, lots going on, and a mood that is reflective without being slow. The protagonist, a Civil War veteran, is still a middle-aged man in the 1960s, living as a recluse on his long-departed parents' farm, subscribing to scientific journals and newspapers that are delivered by the mailman, one of his few human contacts. Simak doesn't withhold key facts; he sets up several plotlines, ranging from the personal to the national to the galactic, and then lets them unspool and collide.

While the story was a pleasure to read, I found the ending unsatisfactory in nearly all respects. Enoch, the protagonist, is cast as an observer rather than a driver of the plot throughout, even when he is forced to decisive action. An early plotline, wound up by before the halfway point of the book, reappears unexpectedly in the denouement, without adding anything to the story. And some of the most interesting conflicts and solutions still lie ahead as the story ends. That said, it is a fast read, and worth it for the warm tone and the nuanced depiction of human-human and human-alien friendships. ( )
  bezoar44 | Feb 4, 2017 |
This is a Hugo award winning work of science fiction, written by one of the early writers of the genre, Clifford Simak. The premise is that a backwoods hermit operates a “way station” of sorts for the transportation of intergalactic travelers. Because of his remote location and lifestyle, he is able to operate for over a hundred years, without aging, and without attracting undue attention. Finally, the wrong person takes notice, setting off the chain of events that form the basis of the story.

Despite being quite old, the story has aged well and contains numerous very thought provoking issues and plot elements. With only one exception, the alien constructs mentioned in the story all appear to be bi-pedal humanoid beings, which would seem to be quite unlikely, however other aspects of the story display more imagination. All in all, a very pleasant, entertaining story. ( )
  santhony | Dec 28, 2016 |

I've been reading this book on and off for several years (first time I read it in Portuguese...). Once in a while I get the urge to pick it up again. It happened again... lol

Storytelling, movie making, painting are all art forms. There is no right or wrong way to make art. There's no inherently proper or improper, no right or wrong, no appropriate or inappropriate way to craft artistic expression. Simak had his way. Heinlein had his way. Bach had his way. Eça de Queiroz had his way. Nick Ray had his way (Johnny Guitar...).

One of the things that still makes me uncomfortable is its naked appeal to raw emotion. As a culture we've become very postmodern and ironically self-aware.

This novels proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that great writing isn't just about writing tastefully and avoiding bloopers in current literary fashion. It's about striking a responsive chord in the reader and in that respect this book works perfectly.

Clifford D. Simak was a great writer, and had the awareness of nature and environment that lent a depth and reality to his settings and characters." ( )
  antao | Dec 10, 2016 |
Great little read. More about ethical issues with scifi/aliens as background than true sci-fi read by my reckoning, but nevertheless a good read. ( )
  KarenHerndon | Nov 20, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Clifford D. Simakprimary authorall editionscalculated
Baumann, JillCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Summerer, Eric MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van Dongen, H. R.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The noise was ended now. The smoke drifted like thin, gray wisps of fog above the tortured earth and the shattered fences and the peach trees that had been whittled into toothpicks by the cannon fire. For a moment silence, if not peace, fell upon those few square miles of ground where just a while before men had screamed and torn at one another in the frenzy of old hate and had contended in an ancient striving and then had fallen apart, exhausted.
Here lies one from a distant star, but the soil is not alien to him, for in death he belongs to the universe.
Somewhere, he thought, on the long backtrack of history, the human race had accepted an insanity for a principle and had persisted in it until today that insanity-turned-principle stood ready to wipe out, if not the race itself, at least all of those things, both material and immaterial, that had been fashioned as symbols of humanity through many hard-won centuries.
Could it be, he wondered, that the goldenness was the Hazers' life force and that they wore it like a cloak, as a sort of over-all disguise? Did they wear that life force on the outside of them while all other creatures wore it on the inside?
...the Earth was now on galactic charts, a way station for many different peoples traveling star to star. An inn...a stopping place, a galactic crossroads.
...on the other side of the room stood the intricate mass of machinery, reaching well up into the open second storey, that wafted passengers through the space from star to star.
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Book description
„Градът“ на Саймък е преди всичко епос за самоотричащия се и самоунищожаващия се човек, за неговата невъзможност да постигне вътрешна хармония и външно разбирателство, да преодолее примитивизма на собствената си природа, което е задължително условие за движение към утрешния ден.

„Градът“ на Саймък е в същност светът на Саймък — един изненадващ в измеренията художествен анализ и синтез на възгледите на буржоазния хуманист, който отчаяно търси отговор на поставените от него самия въпроси.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345284208, Mass Market Paperback)

Enoch Wallace survived the carnage of Gettysburg and lived through the rest of the Civil War to make it home to his parents' farm in south-west Wisconsin. But his mother was already dead and his father soon joined her in the tiny family cemetery. It was then that Enoch met the being he called Ulysses and the farm became a way station for space travellers. Now, nearly a hundred years later, the US government is taking an interest in the seemingly immortal Enoch, and the Galactic Council, which set up the way station is threatening to tear itself apart.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:43 -0400)

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