A Choice of Gods – Clifford D. Simak

After almost all humans suddenly disappeared, the remaining humans develop long lives and psychic powers. All the robots remain, and seek their own new purpose in life. The humans form three groups – the few that work with robots, the Native Americans that disdain robots, and a nomadic group that fears robots. A Choice of Gods should really have been an essay, and much shorter. As a novel, it wastes space on a skeletal storyline…

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Highway of Eternity – Clifford D. Simak

Jay Corcoran finds a time machine, and through it discovers a family of human refugees fleeing future aliens. I ran across Clifford Simak years ago, and thought of him as the decent, but not compelling author of books such as Project Pope. Then, this year, I read his excellent All Flesh is Grass, and immediately went looking for more Simak to read. Unfortunately, this book is a bit uneven. Some is excellent, but then there’s…

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Our Children’s Children – Clifford D. Simak

Humans escape to the present from our future, on the way to the deep past. Our Children’s Children isn’t so much a novel as an exploration. The idea is one echoed later by Julian May in her Saga of Pliocene Exile – humans come to our time, escaping from 500 years in the future, only our time is a pit-stop on the way to the Miocene. The story is a careful and thoughtful examination of…

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All Flesh is Grass – Clifford D. Simak

An invisible alien barrier suddenly encloses a small town. In re-reading this, I discovered what I’d forgotten – what a consummate literary writer Simak could be. This story, while it’s about an invisible barrier and the aliens that create it, is a classic exploration of small-town America. Extremely readable, with likeable characters that consider problems the way you and I might. The language and story aren’t zippy action sequences, but flowing prose about real people.…

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