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Way Station by Clifford D. Simak
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Way Station (original 1963; edition 1963)

by Clifford D. Simak

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1,558474,710 (3.98)100
Member:Stbalbach
Title:Way Station
Authors:Clifford D. Simak
Info:Old Earth Books (2004), Hardcover, 225 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:**1/2
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Way Station by Clifford D. Simak (1963)

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English (43)  Italian (2)  Finnish (1)  Czech (1)  All (47)
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
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 |
I read somewhere that not many readers are aware of sci-fi writer Clifford Simak any more. I hope that's not true. His City, featuring intelligent, peace-loving dogs who've inherited an abandoned planet, was a big deal for me when I was a kid, and he had some wonderful short stories. After Roni identified Way Station as her favorite of his, I got off my duff and finally read it. Although I may not be as starry-eyed now as when I read City, I very much enjoyed this tale of a seemingly ageless Civil War veteran in the 1960s, Enoch, living in rural Wisconsin and involved in mysterious doings that may turn out to be alien-related.

He lives in a mysterious farmhouse "so slick and smooth that dust could not cling upon its surface, nor weather stain it". Simak has a tranquil, evocative writing style, and he lovingly describes the woodland area in which Enoch lives and his daily routine, including brewing his coffee in an old metal pot. In that time of Cold War fears, Enoch, in his farmhouse in the Wisconsin woods, may be at the crossroad of humanity destroying itself, or instead joining the Galactic community.

The story, which draws in government agents, local rascals, and intriguing offworlders, features a macguffin called the Talisman, and some supernatural elements via a deaf and mute local girl. The story elements of this Hugo award winner may not be at the level of a Dune or Childhood's End, but it is a reader-friendly and vivid tale that felt like I was reading it out in the woods by a crackling fire. Simak's writing ages much better than that of many other sci-fi writers from that time period, and I hope he continues to get the recognition he deserves. ( )
4 vote jnwelch | Nov 2, 2016 |
Oh ye of little faith, you could never be disappointed with Clifford D. Simak. This is one of the best books I've read this year. You should give it a go. And I'm going to go look for more of Simak's books.. ( )
  avalinah | Sep 11, 2016 |
I really liked this book. It tackles a number of human issues that are as relevant today as when the book was written in 1963. Simak’s writing style is simple, clear and concise, yet also evocative and poetic at just the right moment. My favorite line from the book:

_That was the way with Man; it had always been that way. He had carried terror with him. And the thing he was afraid of had always been himself._

Could that not speak to our political moment, with Trump igniting the fear inside of every man?

The book is not so much about a particular political moment as it is about the human condition and the persistence of violence. The ending theme seems to be that violence is a produce of fear and the illusions we create of our lives, and the solution is to dispose of the means of death and face the reality of who we are head on.

Not a bad theme for such a short book. ( )
  bthooper | Jul 30, 2016 |
A short science fiction story from the early 60's that mixes Cold War tension with Kennedy era optimism. It's a little dated and a few of the characters are stereotypes but that doesn't diminish its overall sense of cosmic wonder. ( )
  wandaly | Jun 30, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
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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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First words
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.
Quotations
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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