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Way Station by Clifford D. Simak
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Way Station (original 1963; edition 2015)

by Clifford D. Simak (Author)

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2,043655,744 (3.94)147
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)
Member:TBWeber
Title:Way Station
Authors:Clifford D. Simak (Author)
Info:Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy (2015), Edition: Reprint, 236 pages
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Way Station by Clifford D. Simak (1963)

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English (60)  Italian (2)  Finnish (2)  Czech (1)  All languages (65)
Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
Enoch Wallace, a Civil War veteran living on in rural Wisconsin into the twentieth century has a unique job. He is the station keeper for an interstellar transit system. Earth is not a destination for the extraterrestrial aliens that arrive and then depart from this way station on their way to another planet. Its status as a primitive world has so far kept it from being considered for membership by the Galactic Central government which has its own factions and political considerations to balance to maintain peace, therefore Wallace is the only human who knows from firsthand experience of the existence of other non-human civilizations, and his job is to remain inconspicuous. Unfortunately, a federal agent is curious about how a veteran of the battle of Gettysburg could possibly appear to be only about thirty years old and starts to investigate Wallace.

Reading this 1963 novel reminded me why I admire Simak’s vision whose short stories first thrilled me back in junior high school as a novice science fiction fan. His stories were equally at home with the farthest reaches of space and in rural America. In this Hugo winning tale there are conflicts arising from poverty and fear of witchcraft, international tensions which are paralleled by galactic ones, and the denouement is achieved by an individual with the rare gifts of a person able to connect with a spiritual force known only as “the force.” Fans of “Star Wars” may recognize a foreshadowing of the Jedi. ( )
  MaowangVater | Jan 31, 2021 |
Good idea, but poor storytelling. Even tho book isn't long, several times i felt like putting it down, as there was nothing to keep me reading. ( )
  Karolis.Mikutis | May 12, 2020 |
It's not often you get to read a SciFi set in your own state--when that state is Wisconsin. He put in a good description of the coulees of the Driftless region but made the residents a bit too much of backwoods hillbillies. Or maybe not; compare to Kenny Salwey's "The Last River Rat."
Enoch, the protagonist, is a bit of a gentle, thoughtful soul, his response to the horrors of the Civil War. Now, about eighty years later, he can see earth heading toward another slaughter and wishes he could find some way to stop it. Most of the book is his exploration of what is a human, how can we progress, how can he use his position to help humanity.
Not all of the story makes sense. I'm not sure why Simak added in the character of Mary--perhaps he needed to show the Enoch had some normal human yearnings. And for a station required to keep its presence unknown to other humans, there are an awful lot of aliens running around on the last night. ( )
  juniperSun | Apr 20, 2020 |
I can’t do much better than the back-cover blurb:

Enoch Wallace Looked Like Any Other Man On Earth!

Except That:
-Time (about 100 years) had passed, and he showed no signs of aging.
-His house was invulnerable against destruction from any weapon known to man.
-In his family cemetery a tombstone inscribed in an unknown language guarded the grave of an alien horror.


The book really isn’t as pulpy as this blurb makes it sound—or, frankly, as the cover makes it look, what with the yelling lady running way from what look like butt-headed aliens. It’s a thoughtful story of one man’s first contact with alien species and the implications of intergalactic communication with Earth, as well as questions of identity and knowing what one wants out of life. There are some gadgets and tech, but they’re not the focus of the story, so I would recommend this for people who aren’t necessarily interested in sci-fi but who want to dip a toe in the water. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Nov 25, 2019 |
This is not a space opera. There are no space ships or laser guns or daring space flights. This is a simple, quiet sci-fi novel, with a deep well of thought and meaning. The end question is - do humans deserve the chance to find our own way or are we too dangerous to be left to our own ways? Enoch, with his gentle manner and striking intelligence, seeks to find a way to convince his employers (not humans) that Earth deserves the change to live.
Woven into this is Enoch’s own journey – to let go of the past, to embrace the future, and to accept what may come. In the end, it is the way being a Station Master has changed his own perceptions that allow him to find the answer. There is a deep philosophical bent to this story.
That isn’t to say there isn’t action. The plot is brisk, with constant changes. Simak prose is heavy with imagery, the kind that makes the story alive in your mind.
It is easy to see why this book won the Hugo. A well-deserved award for a fantastic science fiction story. ( )
1 vote empress8411 | Jul 8, 2019 |
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» 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
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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.
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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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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."  

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„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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