HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

Way Station (1963)

by Clifford D. Simak

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,141705,691 (3.94)151
Hugo Award Winner: In backwoods Wisconsin, an ageless hermit welcomes alien visitors--and foresees the end of humanity . . . Enoch Wallace is not like other humans. Living a secluded life in the backwoods of Wisconsin, he carries a nineteenth-century rifle and never seems to age--a fact that has recently caught the attention of prying government eyes. The truth is, Enoch is the last surviving veteran of the American Civil War and, for close to a century, he has operated a secret way station for aliens passing through on journeys to other stars. But the gifts of knowledge and immortality that his intergalactic guests have bestowed upon him are proving to be a nightmarish burden, for they have opened Enoch's eyes to humanity's impending destruction. Still, one final hope remains for the human race . . . though the cure could ultimately prove more terrible than the disease.   Winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novel, Way Station is a magnificent example of the fine art of science fiction as practiced by a revered Grand Master. A cautionary tale that is at once ingenious, evocative, and compassionately human, it brilliantly supports the contention of the late, great Robert A. Heinlein that "to read science-fiction is to read Simak."  … (more)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 151 mentions

English (65)  Italian (2)  Finnish (2)  Czech (1)  All languages (70)
Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
I can see why this book won the Hugo in 1963. I don't think that it would do as well if released today, as some parts of the book haven't aged as well (the pacing, or rather, the introspection, for one; the over-focus on the threat of impending atomic holocaust for another). But the book has many parts that could be considered proto-examples of ideas later seen in more modern science fiction - Star Trek -type transporters (including the idea that the body itself is not actually transported, just re-created at the destination), holograms and AI (although called neither one), even The Force!
Older science fiction really intrigues me, but I have to know what time period a story came from so that I can properly understand what the author was living through when they wrote it. This book was fascinating just as an example of what 1963 people enjoyed in the Cold War, pre-Star Trek, pre-Star Wars, pre-modern computing era. Reading it today without that background would, I feel, actually take something away from this story.
( )
  KrakenTamer | Oct 23, 2021 |
I may have a new favorite classic sci-fi author – Clifford D. Simak. It’s a tragedy that I’m just discovering him now – a glitch that quickly needs to be rectified. I loved Way Station and Simak’s writing. I found it to be warm, unpretentious, and distinctly midwestern. Lately, I’ve been rereading Heinlein, Clarke, and Asimov and some of the luster of my youthful idolization has worn away. Simak might be just the one to restore the patina of my love of the golden age of Science Fiction.

Way Station revolves around a man, named Enoch Wallace. Enoch is a survivor of the U.S. Civil War and his birth records say that he’s 124 years old, but he doesn’t appear to be a day over thirty. The government is watching him – something’s not right. Something about his age, his house, and his life.

Unbeknownst to the government, Enoch is a caretaker. For almost a century, he has been singlehanded running a way station inside his secluded and humble home in the backwoods of rural Wisconsin. His house is a rest stop for individuals passing through. These individuals happen to be otherworldly guests from all over the Galaxy. They teleport (sort of) in, rest for a bit, and then teleport on their way. This ingenious plot allows for all kinds of creatures who not only enjoy interacting (as much as they can), but also leaving him intriguing little gifts behind. Many of which Enoch struggles to understand their purpose and function. However, all is not well. A series of events begin to converge that puts Enoch, his Way Station, Earth and even the entire Galaxy at great peril.

There was one plotline that I didn’t love as much as the rest of the story. It involves Enoch's loneliness and to me, it felt added in and disconnected to the rest of the story. It felt to me like an editor recommended adding some flaws to the MC and this was the response. It’s a small complaint and it just might be my biased perception.

However, overall, this is my favorite kind of science fiction. It’s filled with wonder, possibilities, and intriguing ideas. It satisfies without tricky science, or space battles, or excessive violence. Simak uses this wonderous galactic worldbuilding to explore very human themes. His writing is at times is plain, but at just the right moment, he creates emotion and sentimental beauty.

A line from the opening page - “But silence was an alien note that had no right upon this field or day, and it was broken by the whimper and the pain, the cry for water, and the prayer for death – the crying, the calling, and the whimpering that would go on for hours beneath the summer sun.”

I need to stop the review to run out and get “City” and anything else I can find by written by Simak! While embarrassing to admit this hole in my sci-fi past, I’m excited to have a new grand master to enjoy. Five stars for this imaginative and ingenious far out tale that exposes deeply human themes. ( )
1 vote Kevin_A_Kuhn | Aug 23, 2021 |
Absolutely astonishing for a book from this period. It's a little bit of Walden, a little bit of Trek's basic humanity, and a lot of ideas modern Sci-Fi is still working with. ( )
1 vote Enno23 | Aug 15, 2021 |
This is the best regarded book from the third Science Fiction Writers of America Grand Master, and unlike most books from the Golden Age of Science Fiction, it has aged pretty well. The protagonist is a man out of time, a civil war era soldier whose life has been unnaturally extended, and the antagonist (as much as there is one) is the specter of global thermonuclear war.

This story contains passages with a wide variety of tones, but overall the tone is light and hopeful. Maybe because it never got too depressing, I was surprised to feel a frisson of joy as elements of the story came together.

The only thing that held this book back from being really amazing were some silly mystical elements that felt out of place and which would've benefited from more groundwork being laid earlier in the book. ( )
  wishanem | May 27, 2021 |
I like this quiet story a lot. It's in the "pastoral science fiction" corner, with philosophical musings and a lonely hermit who maintains a way station in the woods for extraterrestrials. ( )
  KatyBee | May 14, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Clifford D. Simakprimary authorall editionscalculated
Baumann, JillCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Faragasso, JackCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Summerer, Eric MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van Dongen, H. R.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
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.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Hugo Award Winner: In backwoods Wisconsin, an ageless hermit welcomes alien visitors--and foresees the end of humanity . . . Enoch Wallace is not like other humans. Living a secluded life in the backwoods of Wisconsin, he carries a nineteenth-century rifle and never seems to age--a fact that has recently caught the attention of prying government eyes. The truth is, Enoch is the last surviving veteran of the American Civil War and, for close to a century, he has operated a secret way station for aliens passing through on journeys to other stars. But the gifts of knowledge and immortality that his intergalactic guests have bestowed upon him are proving to be a nightmarish burden, for they have opened Enoch's eyes to humanity's impending destruction. Still, one final hope remains for the human race . . . though the cure could ultimately prove more terrible than the disease.   Winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novel, Way Station is a magnificent example of the fine art of science fiction as practiced by a revered Grand Master. A cautionary tale that is at once ingenious, evocative, and compassionately human, it brilliantly supports the contention of the late, great Robert A. Heinlein that "to read science-fiction is to read Simak."  

No library descriptions found.

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.
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.94)
0.5
1 5
1.5 1
2 20
2.5 8
3 98
3.5 45
4 192
4.5 35
5 139

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 163,483,692 books! | Top bar: Always visible