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A Choice of Gods by Clifford D. Simak
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A Choice of Gods (original 1972; edition 1972)

by Clifford D. Simak (Author)

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486721,119 (3.53)12
Member:nevahre
Title:A Choice of Gods
Authors:Clifford D. Simak (Author)
Info:Putnam Pub Group, 1972
Collections:Your library, Read: Hugo, Nebula & BSFA
Rating:***1/2
Tags:science fiction, religion

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A Choice of Gods by Clifford D. Simak (1972)

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» See also 12 mentions

English (6)  Italian (1)  All (7)
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Got this because it seemed it would be similar to his City, and on a superficial level it is. It's low key to a fault, very static, almost nothing happens and when something finally does it's over in a couple pages. As usual, the descriptions of the rural setting are lovely, but this one left me largely unsatisfied--I think it would have made a better short story. ( )
  unclebob53703 | Jun 6, 2018 |
Wow! The Grand Master was in rare form on this one. Though if you're looking for space battles and intergalactic wars this is not the book for you. It's a very profound, contemplative book on what the few hundred remaining people do - and become - on Earth after some unknown power suddenly removes all the rest of the (then) 8 billion. I actually feel like writing a paper about this book. How weird is that? But this book goes to the core of what the best SF is about: what it really means to be human, is there a cosmic order to things, and where do we fall within it?
My favorite quote is on page 107 of the Ballantine/Del Rey paperback 1982 printing: "And how much had he and the others lost when they turned their backs on magic? Belief, of course, and there might be some value to belief, although there was, as well, delusion, and did a man want to pay for the value of belief in the coinage of delusion?" A lot of thought went into this book, and I'm very sorry Mr. Simak is no longer with us to continue prodding our brains. ( )
1 vote grundlecat | Nov 21, 2014 |
Most of the humans from earth are dead. Of the handful that did not die or disappear, there are two groups - Native Americans that have gone back to their roots and the others that have developed a means of transgalactic travel simply using the power of the mind. And, oh by the way, there are the robots. Some of the robots have decided that their life's work should be the study of religion - while most are content to service the basic needs of the remaining humans and to work on their project. But there are, in fact, more humans in the galaxy - taken from earth and not killed. And now they want to come home. ( )
  helver | Apr 5, 2012 |
Forgettable but fun bit of Simakry, with traditional Simak ingredients. Quaint rural America meets catholic robots meets extraterrestrials meets neo-Redskins meets God, with the interesting twist that, overall, all that really matters is conservative bliss. Not that it prevents urbanity... ( )
  Kuiperdolin | Nov 1, 2009 |
Most of the people of Earth have disappeared leaving only a rich, white family, a tribe of Native Americans, and another small group of people who are not really introduced. And, the robots. Of course, the robots who were only ever made to serve humans. The remaining whites, the Whitneys, have developed parapsychic abilities and now travel among the stars without the aid of any machinery. The Natives have returned to the old way of nomadic communion with the Earth. Of the robots, some serve the Whitneys, some are trying to figure out Christianity, and the rest are engaged in the Project. All of the humans now live about 8,000 years and never get sick.
The book is mostly philosophical discussion of the how and why of the universe. Why are we still here? Where’s everyone else? How come we no longer suffer from illness? Where did our new abilities come from and what’s the next evolutionary step? What are the robots building? Is a robot who worships God a blasphemy? Sometimes this can seem heavy, but it is so steeped in narrative, that it’s mostly digestible (although, I spent a lot of time with the book open in my hands, staring off into space, considering just these questions).
The conflict comes when the People who disappeared are located and are threatening to come back. What does that mean for those still on Earth?
All I know is, I’d like to have 8,000 years to live with an abandoned library at my disposal and a fleet of robots to serve my basic needs. (Though, I’m quite sure, this is not the impression the author meant to leave with the reader…) ( )
5 vote EmScape | Aug 19, 2008 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Clifford D. Simakprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brillhart, RalphCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cuijpers, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
DiFate, VincentCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hinge, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lehr, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mårtensson, BertilTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reß-Bohusch, BirgitTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thole, KarelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Aug. 1, 2185: So we begin again.
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He worshiped God - and that, he thought, might be the greatest blasphemy of all.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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A handful of humans and a multitude of robots create a new society on a mysteriously abandoned Earth in this breathtaking science fiction classic from one of the genre's acknowledged masters. What if you woke up one morning on Earth... and no one else was there? That is the reality that greeted a handful of humans, including Jason Whitney, his wife Martha, and the remnants of a tribe of Native Americans in the year 2135. Their inexplicable abandonment had unexpected benefits: the eventual development of mental telepathy and other extrasensory powers, inner peace, and best of all, near-immortality. Now, five thousand years later, most of the remaining humans live a tranquil, pastoral life, leaving technological and religious exploration to the masses of robot servants who no longer have humans to serve. But the unexpected reappearance of Jason's brother, who had teleported to the stars many years before, threatens to change everything yet again - for John Whitney is the bearer of startling information about where Earth's population went and why - and the most disturbing news of all: They may finally be coming home again. Nominated for the Hugo Award when it first appeared in print more than forty years ago, Clifford D. Simak's brilliant and thought-provoking A Choice of Gods has lost nothing of its power to astonish and intrigue. A masterwork of speculative fiction, intelligent and ingenious, it is classic Simak, standing tall among the very best science fiction that has ever been written.… (more)

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