Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

August Books 6) Way Station

6) Way Station, by Clifford Simak

I think I'd read about this book in Stephen King's novel/collection Hearts in Atlantis, and then found it on various lists of important sf books. A really charming story. Reflects very much the Cold War environment when it was written, but also pulls in themes recognizable from a lot of other sf before and since - the galactic civilization judging Earth, also from The Day the Earth Stood Still and Have Space Suit, Will Travel; immortality crops up again in Simak's "Grotto of the Dancing Deer"; the disabled child who turns out to be the key to everything, of course a much older theme but one I can remember from More Than Human and Martian Time-Slip; and the posse from the village that comes to destroy Enoch's house is obviously from Frankenstein. I wonder if Neal Stephenson's immortal Enoch Root owes his first name to Simak's hero? I was fooled by a couple of points - Enoch gives his visiting alien friend the name Ulysses, after "a great man of our race", and of course I thought this referred to the much-travelled Greek hero, but it turns out to be Ulysses S Grant. Also I guessed wrong about how the mysterious Talisman would appear on the scene. Anyway it all adds up to a pleasing and mercifully short package.
Tags: bookblog 2004, sf: hugos, writer: clifford d simak
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.