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Way Station by Clifford D. Simak

Way Station (original 1963; edition 1963)

by Clifford D. Simak

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1,331345,832 (3.99)66
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 (30)  Italian (2)  Finnish (1)  Czech (1)  All languages (34)
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Enoch Wallace was sitting on his porch one day when a traveller approached and offered him a very singular opportunity: Become a caretaker for a new way station for travellers to take their ease as they take respite from their journey's. But these travellers are not your ordinary everyday type of people, indeed many of them are not everyone's idea of people at all. They come from all over the galaxy and Earth is a convenient place for a stop along the route for this part of it. Implicit in his acceptance is that he will not divulge his activities to his fellow man and will care faithfully for those who come and go. In return, he will not age while he is inside of the station only when he sets foot outside will his body clock resume. Almost a hundred years have past since he took up his duties, meeting all sorts of weird and wonderful beings who would often bring gifts for the station-keeper, which he has performed admirably but out on his own world someone has taken notice of a story that seems more like a folk-tale. There is a man living on an isolated farm that doesn't seem to age. Has he discovered the secret of immortality or is there something else afoot? CIA agent Claude Lewis has been tasked to investigate and he might just stir up a hornet's nest by doing so.

A simple but intriguing and beguiling tale with few but interesting characters that really suck the reader in. The central character is a masterful creation, at once the loneliest man on Earth but also the only one to feel kinship with many visitors to whom his fellow man remain totally unaware. It's a very moving tale where you feel Enoch's loneliness as well as his anguish over a decision for his and Earth's future which is weighing on his mind. If this is a book about aliens then why does it contain so much humanity? ( )
1 vote AHS-Wolfy | Feb 28, 2015 |
Rating: Quite Good
Originally published in 1963. Hugo Award winner and deservedly so.

Enoch is a quiet man. He keeps to himself and gives his neighbors no reason to be upset with him. He has little to do with anyone other than getting his mail and buying supplies now and again.

The neighbors do notice, however, that he has lived far longer than is normal, but well, he’s no trouble and nice enough so no one wants to make waves about weird goings on.

No one guesses that this quiet man is keeper of an intergalactic way station where aliens arrive most days, say awhile to rest, then continue on their light year journeys. Until, that is, a deaf mute girl local girl seeks his help from her abusive family.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Told in a very quiet, simple way, with an intriguing premise and interesting characters. ( )
1 vote majkia | Feb 26, 2015 |
good classic science fiction. This relies on character as well as situation. It was also very refreshing to have a well written female character in a classic age novel ( )
  jessicariddoch | Jun 17, 2014 |
Way Station by Clifford D. Simak won the 1964 Hugo for best novel. I chose to read it based on the award. I should mention that I'm not a Simak fan. I read some of his novels as in college and wasn't impressed. I even threw one of them across the room, The Goblin Reservation. Knowing this one was so well received, I decided I should give it a chance. I should note that I've also repeatedly tossed Huck Finn across the room even though I love most of Mark Twain's books.

Way Station has a contemporary setting — the mid 1960s. The U.S. government has been monitoring a hermit — Enoch Wallace — for decades. As anyone can guess, he's been there since the Civil War.

The government investigation has a Twin Peaks feel to it and had it stayed focused on it, I would have loved it. But the focus changes to Enoch's point of view. Rather than discovering his secret we're told out right that, yes, he's really more than a hundred years old and here's the reason why.

Through Enoch we're in turn introduced to a character named Ulysses who loves to reminisce. Those memories end up being the bulk of the book as well as lengthy discussions on humankind's fate and it's inability to adapt to alien technology. Thus, the drama and mystery of the first few pages is replaced with a rather humdrum dialog between an altered human and his alien guest. ( )
  pussreboots | Sep 14, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Clifford D. Simakprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:37:04 -0400)

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