Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction and Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel and post Colonial Asian Fiction are some of my Literary Interests





Thursday, April 6, 2017

Way Station by Clifford Simak (1963, Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Novel, 1964)



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In the long ago I used to enjoy reading a lot of science fiction.   My favorite science fiction novel was Dune by Frank Herbert.

I decided to read Way Station by Clifford Simak (1904 to 1988, Wisconsin, USA) for three reasons, it was a Hugo Award Winning novel, the description intrigued me and the Kindle edition was on sale for $0.99.

The central character in Way Station is Enoch, he is over 100 years old but looks thirty.  Ever since the civil war (the story seems set in the 1920s, in rural America.  Enoch was always a loner, made more so by his war experiences.  One day a stranger wandered up to his house.  He turned out to be an alien and he set up on Enoch's property a Way Station for intergalactic travelers.  Beyond earth there exists a huge universe of much more advanced beings who have a way of traveling through space involving transmission to Way stations throughout the universe.  Enoch becomes fascinated with the aliens who visit him.  He begins to attract attention from neighbors and the government.  Simak does a great job making this all very believable and super interesting.

There are very suspenseful events involving a deaf mute girl and her brutal father, the CIA and a sinister alien.

Way Station was a lot of fun, easy quick reading that will make you think.

11 comments:

Mudpuddle said...

the last sentence in your post could be cited as a hallmark of Simak's writing... i read this many years ago and still remember it, sort of... i don't think he ever received the credit he deserved; he's at least the equal of Asimov, imo...

Fred said...

Mel u,

Way Station is one of my favorite novels by Simak. As Mudpuddle said, he gets too little credit.

Mel u said...

Fred, I am considering reading another science fiction writer new to me, Octavia Butler, much awarded, do you know her work?

Mel u said...


Mudpuddle, how do you feel about Frank Herbert?


,

Mudpuddle said...

Mel: i've read "Dune" a couple of times and thought it was pretty good and quite inventive... although i remember at the time feeling that i was a bit out of my league, reading it... i haven't read all the sequels, but Ms. M has and she thought they were not as good as the first book...

Fred said...

Mel u,

I read several of her works long ago, so I can't say anything specific except that I thought she was a good writer.

Fred said...

Mel u,

I have read all of the Dune sequels written by Herbert himself, but none of those by his son and another writer. Dune was the best, by far, while the others were OK. I read each sequel as it was published, hoping that he might come close to the standard he set in Dune, but it never happened, or so I thought anyway.

Buried In Print said...

I like reading and rereading sci-fi from this time period; I'll have a look out for this one. And the Hugo list has never disappointed me (although I'm not very well-read in the genre, more of a dabbler, plus a single course at school which introduced me to some of the basics).

Octavia Butler is on my list of MustReadEverything authors. Her Xenogenesis trilogy really hit me hard and more recently I read Kindred, which was also quite good. I haven't yet read her Parable books but have heard consistently good things about them too (like Xenogenesis, which includes Dawn, Adulthood Rites and Imago, sometimes published as a 3-in-1 called Lilith's Brood). I also really liked Fledgling and her short stories, but I'm not sure that would be the best place to begin with her work.

Mel u said...

Mudpuddle. I agree the sequels to Dune are not near as good. Thanks as always for your very appreciated comments

Mel u said...

Fred. I tried one or two of the sequels but they never came close to Dune. Thanks for your very appreciated comments

Mel u said...

Buried in Print. I just finished Kindred by Octavia Butler. I have also now added her my reading everything by her I can list.