[ Read Online Way Station Ü jazz PDF ] by Clifford D. Simak ☆ beety.pro

[ Read Online Way Station Ü jazz PDF ] by Clifford D. Simak ☆ Charming Way Station by Clifford Simak is a very good, classic science fiction yarn A bit dated, just a little and not hurtfully so, similar to amodern language than that used by Edgar Rice Burroughs A great mix of hard science fiction and the softer social sciences cousin of the genre like Heinlein, without the sexual aggression and with an almost Bradburyesque idyllic sentimentality Way Station was first published in 1963 and won the Hugo Award for best Novel in 1964 This was certainly a very influential work for later generations of writers, and specifically I wonder if the producers of the Men In Black stories had read Way Station A very good read.
The first science fiction book I have ever read was All Flesh Is Grass by Clifford D Simak I was so astonished and entertained that I immediately looked forsf to read and to this day I still prefer reading sf than any other form of fiction Yes, I should broaden my horizon and readliterary fiction or classics which I do from time to time but I will always favor sf So I owe a debt of gratitude to Mr Simak for helping me find my reading comfort zone Anyway, All Flesh Is Grass is not Simak s best book as I soon found out, Way Station is.
Way Station won Simak a Hugo award in 1964, in a nutshell it is a story of a man who runs a Way Station for intergalactic FTL traveling network, Earth branch For his services, he does not age while within the station, which is his house completely modified by alien techs He also gets a lot of alien freebies and gifts from travelers and as much alien technology, info, and knowhow as he can manage to comprehend, not to mention a virtual alien safari for target practice What s not to like eh The downside is that his neighbors think he is weird and outrageously immortal but they don t inform the media or the authorities because they don t want the press, the military etc disturbing their idyllic rural lives.
This lovely cover nicely depicts a scene from the book.
This is a reread for me, I reread very few books, there are just too many books in the world that I have not read Fortunately or not I have a memory like a sieve so rereads are generallythan worthwhile Coming back to this book I was skeptical about Simak s FTL travel idea Basically, the travelers teleport from one planet to another via stations What then I thought is the point of having Way Stations Why not just teleport directly to your destination Simak dealt with this issue nicely, there are areas of high ionization that distort and disrupt the traveling pattern 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 They don t simply dematerialize and rematerialize So the tech islike cloning than transportation and the travelers are actually committing suicide I would not want to travel like that, to hell with my clone, he can t have my life Unfortunately, Simak did not deal with this issue.
But I digress, the story isconcerned with loyalty to the human race, mankind s tendency to make wars, a brotherhood of man and aliens , and what it means to be human always a good theme Simak was not a sophisticated wordsmith like Jack Vance or Gene Wolfe, he writes fairly simplistic prose, not inarticulate, just without much in the way of verbal flourishes I believe he was well aware of this and used the simplicity of his prose to maximum effect The strength of his prose lies in its clarity and visual quality, so reading his stories you never have to reach for a dictionary and it is easy to picture the scenes he is describing no matter how otherworldly Another constant feature of his works is his compassion, warmth, and optimism His characters are rarely prone to violence and while recognizing how flawed the human race is he was still optimistic that our overall goodness will pull us through.
Art by maronskiWay Station is fast paced without actually being action packed A lot of the technology is outdated, Simak was never a hard sf writer, he was no Arthur C Clarke Also, neologism was not his bag, for example, the alien communication machine is simply called message machine , and his mention of the thaumaturgists from Alphard XXII made me snigger a bit sorry Cliff At the end of the day though you have to indulge Simak a little given that he wrote this in the 60s If you are fans of modern sf by the likes of Iain M Banks, Alastair Reynolds, and Neal Stephenson the simple fares that Simak has to offer may not be for you, but if you are in the mood for a simple, uncomplicated, pastoral science fiction reading Way Station may be just the ticket Also highly recommended for young readers and new sf readers.
Note This Guardian article on Simak is excellent, it explains a little about the late lamented pastoral science fiction sub genre.
Not sure what this illustration has to do with the book, but it s good for a giggle.
Posted at Shelf Inflicted This spare little story is set in a small Wisconsin town Despite the pastoral setting and the narrow minded, clannish inhabitants of the town, Enoch Wallace, keeper of an intergalactic transport system known as the Way Station, is a very likeable and open character.
This wonderful, thought provoking book is a fast and easy read There is no action, no alien battles in the stars, no government agents surrounding the Way Station and bundling Enoch off in an unmarked van Way Station is a very quiet book that explores war and violence, racial tolerance, friendship and loneliness and what the definition of home is.
One of my all time favoritesFor years I ve tried to understand and to conform to the ethics and ideas of all the people who have come through this station I ve pushed my own human instincts and training to one side I ve tried to understand other viewpoints and to evaluate other ways of thinking, many of which did violence to my own I am glad of all of it, for it has given me a chance to go beyond the narrowness of Earth I am going to cheat and give a picture of one of the book covers which summaries the main idea perfectly Rarely do I see such a fitting cover picture on a book it does not show any particular scene, but the plot itself There is a Way Station for intergalactic travelers somewhere deep in the rural USA The following picture shows exactly what I think the inside of the said station looks like And this is outside view The book is interesting in the sense that it packed a lot of interesting ideas into around measly two hundred pages It also managed to be occasionally slow I would be the first one to say it is outright boring at times The musings of the main character about whether he still belongs to human race became really old really fast Please note I am not trying to say there are no interesting parts in here there are and quite a few of them I still gave 4 stars to the novel boring parts and all Let me give you my reasoning I am overfed on grimdark fantasy I keep wishing all people living in yet another grimdark fantasy universe would commit suicide to put themselves as well as their readers out of their non stop misery I am overfed on dystopian future Speaking about dystopian romances in particular I always want to shout out loud to their heroes at the end, This is not going to be Happily Ever After your dystopian world is here to stay and there is no happiness to be had in there This book gives something I can really appreciate hope I really forgot the last time I saw any sign of hope in a modern science fiction story This is particularly curious in light of the fact that it was written during the time of Cuban Missile Crisis Actually some of the things in there strongly point to that particular historical event This raises one important question we were optimistic during the height of the Cold War This is most definitely not the only example of optimistic science fiction written during that time Now the war is over and all we can think of is bleak post apocalyptic future without a single ray of hope in it Why Charming Way Station by Clifford Simak is a very good, classic science fiction yarn A bit dated, just a little and not hurtfully so, similar to amodern language than that used by Edgar Rice Burroughs A great mix of hard science fiction and the softer social sciences cousin of the genre like Heinlein, without the sexual aggression and with an almost Bradburyesque idyllic sentimentality Way Station was first published in 1963 and won the Hugo Award for best Novel in 1964 This was certainly a very influential work for later generations of writers, and specifically I wonder if the producers of the Men In Black stories had read Way Station A very good read.
The first science fiction book I have ever read was All Flesh Is Grass by Clifford D Simak I was so astonished and entertained that I immediately looked forsf to read and to this day I still prefer reading sf than any other form of fiction Yes, I should broaden my horizon and readliterary fiction or classics which I do from time to time but I will always favor sf So I owe a debt of gratitude to Mr Simak for helping me find my reading comfort zone Anyway, All Flesh Is Grass is not Simak s best book as I soon found out, Way Station is.
Way Station won Simak a Hugo award in 1964, in a nutshell it is a story of a man who runs a Way Station for intergalactic FTL traveling network, Earth branch For his services, he does not age while within the station, which is his house completely modified by alien techs He also gets a lot of alien freebies and gifts from travelers and as much alien technology, info, and knowhow as he can manage to comprehend, not to mention a virtual alien safari for target practice What s not to like eh The downside is that his neighbors think he is weird and outrageously immortal but they don t inform the media or the authorities because they don t want the press, the military etc disturbing their idyllic rural lives.
This lovely cover nicely depicts a scene from the book.
This is a reread for me, I reread very few books, there are just too many books in the world that I have not read Fortunately or not I have a memory like a sieve so rereads are generallythan worthwhile Coming back to this book I was skeptical about Simak s FTL travel idea Basically, the travelers teleport from one planet to another via stations What then I thought is the point of having Way Stations Why not just teleport directly to your destination Simak dealt with this issue nicely, there are areas of high ionization that distort and disrupt the traveling pattern 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 They don t simply dematerialize and rematerialize So the tech islike cloning than transportation and the travelers are actually committing suicide I would not want to travel like that, to hell with my clone, he can t have my life Unfortunately, Simak did not deal with this issue.
But I digress, the story isconcerned with loyalty to the human race, mankind s tendency to make wars, a brotherhood of man and aliens , and what it means to be human always a good theme Simak was not a sophisticated wordsmith like Jack Vance or Gene Wolfe, he writes fairly simplistic prose, not inarticulate, just without much in the way of verbal flourishes I believe he was well aware of this and used the simplicity of his prose to maximum effect The strength of his prose lies in its clarity and visual quality, so reading his stories you never have to reach for a dictionary and it is easy to picture the scenes he is describing no matter how otherworldly Another constant feature of his works is his compassion, warmth, and optimism His characters are rarely prone to violence and while recognizing how flawed the human race is he was still optimistic that our overall goodness will pull us through.
Art by maronskiWay Station is fast paced without actually being action packed A lot of the technology is outdated, Simak was never a hard sf writer, he was no Arthur C Clarke Also, neologism was not his bag, for example, the alien communication machine is simply called message machine , and his mention of the thaumaturgists from Alphard XXII made me snigger a bit sorry Cliff At the end of the day though you have to indulge Simak a little given that he wrote this in the 60s If you are fans of modern sf by the likes of Iain M Banks, Alastair Reynolds, and Neal Stephenson the simple fares that Simak has to offer may not be for you, but if you are in the mood for a simple, uncomplicated, pastoral science fiction reading Way Station may be just the ticket Also highly recommended for young readers and new sf readers.
Note This Guardian article on Simak is excellent, it explains a little about the late lamented pastoral science fiction sub genre.
Not sure what this illustration has to do with the book, but it s good for a giggle.
Posted at Shelf Inflicted This spare little story is set in a small Wisconsin town Despite the pastoral setting and the narrow minded, clannish inhabitants of the town, Enoch Wallace, keeper of an intergalactic transport system known as the Way Station, is a very likeable and open character.
This wonderful, thought provoking book is a fast and easy read There is no action, no alien battles in the stars, no government agents surrounding the Way Station and bundling Enoch off in an unmarked van Way Station is a very quiet book that explores war and violence, racial tolerance, friendship and loneliness and what the definition of home is.
One of my all time favoritesFor years I ve tried to understand and to conform to the ethics and ideas of all the people who have come through this station I ve pushed my own human instincts and training to one side I ve tried to understand other viewpoints and to evaluate other ways of thinking, many of which did violence to my own I am glad of all of it, for it has given me a chance to go beyond the narrowness of Earth I am going to cheat and give a picture of one of the book covers which summaries the main idea perfectly Rarely do I see such a fitting cover picture on a book it does not show any particular scene, but the plot itself There is a Way Station for intergalactic travelers somewhere deep in the rural USA The following picture shows exactly what I think the inside of the said station looks like And this is outside view The book is interesting in the sense that it packed a lot of interesting ideas into around measly two hundred pages It also managed to be occasionally slow I would be the first one to say it is outright boring at times The musings of the main character about whether he still belongs to human race became really old really fast Please note I am not trying to say there are no interesting parts in here there are and quite a few of them I still gave 4 stars to the novel boring parts and all Let me give you my reasoning I am overfed on grimdark fantasy I keep wishing all people living in yet another grimdark fantasy universe would commit suicide to put themselves as well as their readers out of their non stop misery I am overfed on dystopian future Speaking about dystopian romances in particular I always want to shout out loud to their heroes at the end, This is not going to be Happily Ever After your dystopian world is here to stay and there is no happiness to be had in there This book gives something I can really appreciate hope I really forgot the last time I saw any sign of hope in a modern science fiction story This is particularly curious in light of the fact that it was written during the time of Cuban Missile Crisis Actually some of the things in there strongly point to that particular historical event This raises one important question we were optimistic during the height of the Cold War This is most definitely not the only example of optimistic science fiction written during that time Now the war is over and all we can think of is bleak post apocalyptic future without a single ray of hope in it Why Q He needed sun and soil and wind to remain a man c Q We realized that among us, among all the races, we had a staggering fund of knowledge and of techniques that working together, by putting together all this knowledge and capability, we could arrive at something that would be far greater andsignificant than any race, alone, could hope of accomplishing c Q A man must belong to something, must have some loyalty and some identity c Q A million years ago there had been no river here and in a million years to come there might be no river but in a million years from now there would be, if not Man, at least a caring thing And that was the secret of the universe a thing that went on caring c Four paragraphs And there she sat, with the wild red and gold of the butterfly poised upon her finger, with the sense of alertness and expectancy and, perhaps, accomplishment shining on her face She was alive, thought Enoch, as no other thing he knew had ever been alive The butterfly spread its wings and floated off her finger and went fluttering, unconcerned, unfrightened, up across the wild grass and the goldenrod of the field They would say he was a madman that he had run them off at gunpoint They might even say that he had kidnapped Lucy and was holding her against her will They would stop at nothing to make him all the trouble that they could He had no illusions about what they might do, for he knew the breed, vindictive in their smallness little vicious insects of the human race He sensed the crashing down of not only his own personal world, but all the hopes of Earth With the station gone, Earth oncewould be left in the backwaters of the galaxy, with no hope of help, no chance of recognition, no realization of what lay waiting in the galaxy Standing alone and naked, the human race would go on in its same old path, fumbling its uncertain way toward a blind, mad future It was something that was past all description a mother s love, a father s pride, the adoration of a sweetheart, the closeness of a comrade, it was all of these andIt made the farthest distance near and turned the complex simple and it swept away all fear and sorrow, for all of there being a certain feeling of deep sorrow in it, as if one might feel that never in his lifetime would he know an instant like this, and that in another instant he would lose it and never would be able to hunt it out again But that was not the way it was, for this ascendant instant kept going on and on Four paragraphs to capture the beauty, the conflict, the despair and the peace contained in only 210 pages.
Set in 1960, published in 1963, Way Station represents its time perfectly Simak was in love with the early ideas of science fiction space travel the miraculous devices the potential of humanity intergalactic language the aliens of unusual being the idea of intergalactic federation He also saw the flip side small minded violence, suspicion, spying, power plays, nuclear war His lead character is a man named Enoch Wallace, born in 1840 on a small Wisconsin farm After fighting in the Civil War under Ulysses Grant, Enoch returns to the farm Before long, he is alone in the house he grew up in, but his solitude does not last A very unusual visitor comes one night with a proposal for him.
The language, while rather clear and simple, fittingly captures the the simple and elemental beauty of the rural Wisconsin landscape, and the ongoing wonder Wallace has for alien peoples and cultures Simak did a marvelous job of developing the feel of a 120 year old man immersed in his head, both memories and his self taught explorations The time span was impressive and the historical snapshots integrated smoothly The narrative uses straightforward language to explore philosophical questions most of us have had, the moments we find hope for humanity, and those moments we despair While that might sound like a slow read, parallel with these musings are Wallace s small scale drama with a neighbor girl and her thoughtless family, and a large scale drama with being spied upon by the CIA They give focus to his musings and structure the conflict.
The first time through, I struggled a little with view spoiler the shadow people I was not sure how they fit in, except to perhaps show fallibility and isolation of Enoch The second read, I m wondering if they represent evenintimately the internal struggles of the philosophical issues Wallace is grappling with, as well as his social isolation hide spoiler Enoch Wallace Is An Ageless Hermit, Striding Across His Untended Farm As He Has Done For Over A Century, Still Carrying The Gun With Which He Had Served In The Civil War But What His Neighbors Must Never Know Is That, Inside His Unchanging House, He Meets With A Host Of Unimaginable Friends From The Farthest StarsMore Than A Hundred Years Before, An Alien Named Ulysses Had Recruited Enoch As The Keeper Of Earth S Only Galactic Transfer Station Now, As Enoch Studies The Progress Of Earth And Tends The Tanks Where The Aliens Appear, The Charts He Made Indicate His World Is Doomed To Destruction His Alien Friends Can Only Offer Help That Seems Worse Than The Dreaded Disaster Then He Discovers The Horror That Lies Across The Galaxy the fool known as Man is too slow to learn, too fast on the draw, too committed to staying still the man known as Enoch Wallace stays to watch and mind the way, to live and so learn, to dream beyond those fools known as Men but he is a man still, and a loyal one, to Men he ll learn and he ll fight for them, his fellows, living beside them but always aside from them, in his lonely Way Station, his alien friends coming and going and seldom returning he ll mind that way and he ll chart the fall of Man, planning all the while to raise them higher the author Clifford D Simak, calm and careful and bursting with ideas, a heart bursting with love, makes a chart as well a chart that tracks the eternal life of Enoch Wallace, its slow rise, its slow sloughing off of all that is brutal, weak, or indulgent the author wonders, and perhaps despairs can such a rise happen for brutal, weak, indulgent Man is evolution even possible the book Way Station is both nihilist and optimist, dire and sweet how shall it all end with a bang, a whimper, or a small step into the space beyond no spoilers allowed, not for the book, nor for the fate of Man we shall all have to wait and see what becomes of us, of our sweet dire lives, what these lives could amount to will there be meaning will an end become a beginning I ve been reading this book on and off for several years first time I read it in Portuguese Once in a while I get the urge to pick it up again It happened again lolStorytelling, movie making, painting are all art forms There is no right or wrong way to make art There s no inherently proper or improper, no right or wrong, no appropriate or inappropriate way to craft artistic expression Simak had his way Heinlein had his way Bach had his way E a de Queiroz had his way Nick Ray had his way Johnny Guitar One of the things that still makes me uncomfortable is its naked appeal to raw emotion As a culture we ve become very postmodern and ironically self aware.
This novels proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that great writing isn t just about writing tastefully and avoiding bloopers in current literary fashion It s about striking a responsive chord in the reader and in that respect this book works perfectly.
Clifford D Simak was a great writer, and had the awareness of nature and environment that lent a depth and reality to his settings and characters.
Way Station A solitary Midwesterner holds the key to the starsoriginally posted at Fantasy LiteratureWay Station is Clifford D Simak s 1964 Hugo Award winning novel By many readers it is considered his best, and it features some his favorite themes a rugged Midwesterner who shuns society, human society flirting with nuclear disaster, aenlightened galactic society that is wary of letting unruly humans join in, an appeal to common sense and condemnation of man s penchant for violence Having recently read Simak s 1952 fixer up novel City, in which dogs and robots take over Earth in the far future, I m getting a pretty good sense of the author s likes and dislikes He was born in a small Wisconsin town just like my father, incidentally , attended the University of Wisconsin Madison also like my father , spend time working as an editor at various newspapers, and finally became a SF writer I grew up in Honolulu, HI, but my dad took me back to my grandmother s house in Delafield, WI every summer and winter, and I developed an affinity for the rhythms of country life in Wisconsin, including the lush greens of trees and blues of lakes in summer, the bitter but beautiful white snow cover of winter, the rolling hills of pastures and various crops, lots of birds and squirrels and possums and deer, andthan anything the hearty but modest folk, most of whom are really warm and welcoming when they get to know you But there is certainly a strong desire for people to respect each other s space and privacy, and with acres between each residence, everyone has plenty of time on their own to mind their own affairs That s how they like it, I suspect.
Simak s novel Way Station is about a man named Enoch Wallace, who is rud to have been a veteran in the Civil War, but lives a solitary life on a small farm and has almost no doings with his neighbors other than during brief encounters during his daily walk on his property From the outside, there is nothing interesting about him or his little house and shed, but in fact this placid fa ade houses a secret Way Station for aliens making pit stops during interstellar travel Since the aliens never go outside, but merely chat and swap stories with Enoch, nothing seems untoward The only problem is that Enoch never ages, and finally the CIA gets wind of this and send someone to investigate When they snoop around and find a strangely engraved gravestone, they unearth it and discover something shocking Unlike City, which was really a series of loosely connected stories that I didn t find added up to a compelling story, Way Station is a well plotted novel that takes it time with lots of intriguing episodes as he meets a myriad of different aliens, including an alien named Ulysses who becomes his friend It s quite endearing that he feelsconnection with the aliens than with the people around him, but sad that he has a strong enough yearning for human contact that he invents an entire group of imaginary friends that he converses with like real people One wonders how much of Simak can be found in Enoch s character, and how much is just storytelling Although the book isn t rushing to forward the plot, it does slowly reveal the scope of the importance of the Way Station in intergalactic politics, and how Enoch himself is the only representative of the human race who will likely decide whether aliens will intercede in humanity s suicidal urge to destroy itself with nuclear weapons The only problem is that the aliens cure is almost as bad as the disease Enoch reaches a crisis point when both ornery locals, the CIA, and hostile aliens all converge on his little place, and the story really delivers a satisfactory conclusion that isn t that predictable Having read a number of recent novels with massive page counts but disappointing finishes, I really appreciate a nicely paced story that delivers the goods in under 250 pages This book really stands the test of time muchthan City, in my opinion and is worth your precious reading time The audiobook is narrated by Eric Michael Summerer and he does a nice job of capturing the steady Midwestern rhythms of the story and narrator.



Four paragraphs And there she sat, with the wild red and gold of the butterfly poised upon her finger, with the sense of alertness and expectancy and, perhaps, accomplishment shining on her face She was alive, thought Enoch, as no other thing he knew had ever been alive The butterfly spread its wings and floated off her finger and went fluttering, unconcerned, unfrightened, up across the wild grass and the goldenrod of the field They would say he was a madman that he had run them off at gunpoint They might even say that he had kidnapped Lucy and was holding her against her will They would stop at nothing to make him all the trouble that they could He had no illusions about what they might do, for he knew the breed, vindictive in their smallness little vicious insects of the human race He sensed the crashing down of not only his own personal world, but all the hopes of Earth With the station gone, Earth oncewould be left in the backwaters of the galaxy, with no hope of help, no chance of recognition, no realization of what lay waiting in the galaxy Standing alone and naked, the human race would go on in its same old path, fumbling its uncertain way toward a blind, mad future It was something that was past all description a mother s love, a father s pride, the adoration of a sweetheart, the closeness of a comrade, it was all of these andIt made the farthest distance near and turned the complex simple and it swept away all fear and sorrow, for all of there being a certain feeling of deep sorrow in it, as if one might feel that never in his lifetime would he know an instant like this, and that in another instant he would lose it and never would be able to hunt it out again But that was not the way it was, for this ascendant instant kept going on and on Four paragraphs to capture the beauty, the conflict, the despair and the peace contained in only 210 pages.
Set in 1960, published in 1963, Way Station represents its time perfectly Simak was in love with the early ideas of science fiction space travel the miraculous devices the potential of humanity intergalactic language the aliens of unusual being the idea of intergalactic federation He also saw the flip side small minded violence, suspicion, spying, power plays, nuclear war His lead character is a man named Enoch Wallace, born in 1840 on a small Wisconsin farm After fighting in the Civil War under Ulysses Grant, Enoch returns to the farm Before long, he is alone in the house he grew up in, but his solitude does not last A very unusual visitor comes one night with a proposal for him.
The language, while rather clear and simple, fittingly captures the the simple and elemental beauty of the rural Wisconsin landscape, and the ongoing wonder Wallace has for alien peoples and cultures Simak did a marvelous job of developing the feel of a 120 year old man immersed in his head, both memories and his self taught explorations The time span was impressive and the historical snapshots integrated smoothly The narrative uses straightforward language to explore philosophical questions most of us have had, the moments we find hope for humanity, and those moments we despair While that might sound like a slow read, parallel with these musings are Wallace s small scale drama with a neighbor girl and her thoughtless family, and a large scale drama with being spied upon by the CIA They give focus to his musings and structure the conflict.
The first time through, I struggled a little with view spoiler the shadow people I was not sure how they fit in, except to perhaps show fallibility and isolation of Enoch The second read, I m wondering if they represent evenintimately the internal struggles of the philosophical issues Wallace is grappling with, as well as his social isolation hide spoiler Q He needed sun and soil and wind to remain a man c Q We realized that among us, among all the races, we had a staggering fund of knowledge and of techniques that working together, by putting together all this knowledge and capability, we could arrive at something that would be far greater andsignificant than any race, alone, could hope of accomplishing c Q A man must belong to something, must have some loyalty and some identity c Q A million years ago there had been no river here and in a million years to come there might be no river but in a million years from now there would be, if not Man, at least a caring thing And that was the secret of the universe a thing that went on caring c the fool known as Man is too slow to learn, too fast on the draw, too committed to staying still the man known as Enoch Wallace stays to watch and mind the way, to live and so learn, to dream beyond those fools known as Men but he is a man still, and a loyal one, to Men he ll learn and he ll fight for them, his fellows, living beside them but always aside from them, in his lonely Way Station, his alien friends coming and going and seldom returning he ll mind that way and he ll chart the fall of Man, planning all the while to raise them higher the author Clifford D Simak, calm and careful and bursting with ideas, a heart bursting with love, makes a chart as well a chart that tracks the eternal life of Enoch Wallace, its slow rise, its slow sloughing off of all that is brutal, weak, or indulgent the author wonders, and perhaps despairs can such a rise happen for brutal, weak, indulgent Man is evolution even possible the book Way Station is both nihilist and optimist, dire and sweet how shall it all end with a bang, a whimper, or a small step into the space beyond no spoilers allowed, not for the book, nor for the fate of Man we shall all have to wait and see what becomes of us, of our sweet dire lives, what these lives could amount to will there be meaning will an end become a beginning I ve been reading this book on and off for several years first time I read it in Portuguese Once in a while I get the urge to pick it up again It happened again lolStorytelling, movie making, painting are all art forms There is no right or wrong way to make art There s no inherently proper or improper, no right or wrong, no appropriate or inappropriate way to craft artistic expression Simak had his way Heinlein had his way Bach had his way E a de Queiroz had his way Nick Ray had his way Johnny Guitar One of the things that still makes me uncomfortable is its naked appeal to raw emotion As a culture we ve become very postmodern and ironically self aware.
This novels proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that great writing isn t just about writing tastefully and avoiding bloopers in current literary fashion It s about striking a responsive chord in the reader and in that respect this book works perfectly.
Clifford D Simak was a great writer, and had the awareness of nature and environment that lent a depth and reality to his settings and characters.
Way Station A solitary Midwesterner holds the key to the starsoriginally posted at Fantasy LiteratureWay Station is Clifford D Simak s 1964 Hugo Award winning novel By many readers it is considered his best, and it features some his favorite themes a rugged Midwesterner who shuns society, human society flirting with nuclear disaster, aenlightened galactic society that is wary of letting unruly humans join in, an appeal to common sense and condemnation of man s penchant for violence Having recently read Simak s 1952 fixer up novel City, in which dogs and robots take over Earth in the far future, I m getting a pretty good sense of the author s likes and dislikes He was born in a small Wisconsin town just like my father, incidentally , attended the University of Wisconsin Madison also like my father , spend time working as an editor at various newspapers, and finally became a SF writer I grew up in Honolulu, HI, but my dad took me back to my grandmother s house in Delafield, WI every summer and winter, and I developed an affinity for the rhythms of country life in Wisconsin, including the lush greens of trees and blues of lakes in summer, the bitter but beautiful white snow cover of winter, the rolling hills of pastures and various crops, lots of birds and squirrels and possums and deer, andthan anything the hearty but modest folk, most of whom are really warm and welcoming when they get to know you But there is certainly a strong desire for people to respect each other s space and privacy, and with acres between each residence, everyone has plenty of time on their own to mind their own affairs That s how they like it, I suspect.
Simak s novel Way Station is about a man named Enoch Wallace, who is rud to have been a veteran in the Civil War, but lives a solitary life on a small farm and has almost no doings with his neighbors other than during brief encounters during his daily walk on his property From the outside, there is nothing interesting about him or his little house and shed, but in fact this placid fa ade houses a secret Way Station for aliens making pit stops during interstellar travel Since the aliens never go outside, but merely chat and swap stories with Enoch, nothing seems untoward The only problem is that Enoch never ages, and finally the CIA gets wind of this and send someone to investigate When they snoop around and find a strangely engraved gravestone, they unearth it and discover something shocking Unlike City, which was really a series of loosely connected stories that I didn t find added up to a compelling story, Way Station is a well plotted novel that takes it time with lots of intriguing episodes as he meets a myriad of different aliens, including an alien named Ulysses who becomes his friend It s quite endearing that he feelsconnection with the aliens than with the people around him, but sad that he has a strong enough yearning for human contact that he invents an entire group of imaginary friends that he converses with like real people One wonders how much of Simak can be found in Enoch s character, and how much is just storytelling Although the book isn t rushing to forward the plot, it does slowly reveal the scope of the importance of the Way Station in intergalactic politics, and how Enoch himself is the only representative of the human race who will likely decide whether aliens will intercede in humanity s suicidal urge to destroy itself with nuclear weapons The only problem is that the aliens cure is almost as bad as the disease Enoch reaches a crisis point when both ornery locals, the CIA, and hostile aliens all converge on his little place, and the story really delivers a satisfactory conclusion that isn t that predictable Having read a number of recent novels with massive page counts but disappointing finishes, I really appreciate a nicely paced story that delivers the goods in under 250 pages This book really stands the test of time muchthan City, in my opinion and is worth your precious reading time The audiobook is narrated by Eric Michael Summerer and he does a nice job of capturing the steady Midwestern rhythms of the story and narrator.