3 Mar The Wisconsin-born writer’s now largely forgotten Way Station Few indeed, will even have heard of Clifford D Simak; I certainly hadn’t before. 6 Feb Before you think too much about it, have a read of Clifford Simak’s novel Way Station. Simple in presentation and simple in aim. 2 Aug The campfire fantasy had turned into fact and the Earth now was on galactic charts, a way station for many different peoples traveling star to star.
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This is most definitely not the only example of optimistic science fiction dimak during that time. I’ve pushed my own human instincts and training to one side.
The tenderly described rural wsy provides a pleasing contrast to the mandatory enthusing over space travel and mad alien science, and there are evocative descriptions of Enoch’s s lifestyle, his quiet woodland retreat and careful brewing of coffee in an old metal pot on the stove when surrounded by technologically advanced gifts from alien visitors. After the war, an alien recruited him to man a way station on Earth for a galactic federation’s transit network.
Tis not your typical SF from any period. Intellectually, he makes great play of all the communication issues that Enoch must overcome to look after his way station; for instance, there’s some tough philosophy about the human drive to violence and plenty of fun conceits like the threat that mankind will be “dumbed down” by the Galactic Council. Why does life resume, as before?
This book seemed too naive, too I’ve been reading this book on and off for several years first time I read it in Portuguese It’s about striking a responsive chord in the reader and in that respect this book works perfectly.
I’ve tried to understand other viewpoints and to evaluate other ways of thinking, many of which did violence to my own. Wallace at peace with his rural life as way station attendee, what the CIA agent does with the knowledge he gains at his house upsets matters.
And Call Me Conrad aka: There is very little sci-fi flim-flammery. Enoch, as a character, has quite a bit of depth – he has many regrets, and he has lived a life that makes him a man outside of time, and outside of his native land race.
This story, which takes place in the Wisconsin countryside during the ‘s, is told from the viewpoint of Enoch Wallace, a Civil War veteran who looks as if he’s still in his 30’s, and hasn’t aged a day since coming back from the war, however impossible that must seem.
Really a lovely book. Cross posted at http: A lot of the technology is outdated, Simak was never a hard sf writer, he was no Arthur C.
She heals wartsbirds ssimak butterflies and is the total antithesis of her clan. I also loved his writing style, which is so fluent and with a warm I did not encounter in many other works. Simak sets up quite a stage around this core idea, with a good range of characters and some world-building. Both worlds collide in a way that is organic and believable. There is still a flaw in the idea, though, travelers are duplicated from the point of departure to the point of arrival leaving a corpse behind.
Refresh and try again. This Guardian article on Simak is excellent, it explains a little about the late lamented pastoral science fiction sub-genre.
It isn’t sexy according to modern tastes of action, multi-perspective narrative or violence. The raccoon torture scene described sealed my dislike. View all 25 comments.
For years Enoch isn’t bothered by anyone–he lives in the backwoods and the local people leave him alone–but eventually the government becomes suspicious of Enoch’s agelessness Teenage Tadiana: Enoch is lonely, with his only friends being a completely deaf and mute young woman and his kindly mailman.
But that was not the way it was, for this ascendant instant kept going on and on.
Clifford Way Station
Things trail off, after a smart opening full of intrigue about government agents, intergalactic diplomatic machinations and enjoyable encounters with unpleasant, moonshine-drinking humans alongside sophisticated friendly aliens. Rural science fiction is a thing. But like you, his humanism sees me through. Yes, there’s a science fiction frame and it’s realized in some detail, with a plot point turning on alien math and multiple alien biologies to consider.
But that is exactly why I recommend it: Nick Ray had I’ve been reading this book on and off for several years first time I read it in Portuguese Way Station by Clifford D. Enoch is a lonely, solitary man, because of and despite his job as station master.
Hugo Award for Best Novel. Interesting, but unfocused, I’d say. Clifford Simak deserves to be remembered along side the giants of Science Fiction writers.
I haven’t been able to say that about Philip K. Too old to know not to grab the pussy. Once in a while I get the urge to pick it up again. This page was last edited on 1 Septemberat Posted by Jesse at 5: Some hundred years ago, Wallace was recruited by Ulysses, a friendly alien Galactican Commissioner, to operate Earth’s first galactic way station, welcoming alien visitors and managing the transport.
Also thrown into the mix are side stories about some of the aliens Enoch encounters namely his visits with Ulysses, who likes coffee and of a deaf-mute girl who has a mysterious, almost magical, connection to nature.
Simak is a strange work of sci-fi, and at the same time an intensely imaginative one. He appreciates her youth and attractiveness, but honestly I think he views her as a child.