Tensions rise and terror runs rampant when the residents of a small town are trapped within the confines of their village by an invasive force from an alternate dimension Nothing much ever happens in Millville, a small, secluded Middle-American community--until the day Brad Carter discovers he is unable to leave. It's not just the nearly bankrupt real estate agent who's being held prisoner; every other resident is also being confined within the town's boundaries by an invisible force field that cannot be breached. As local tensions rapidly reach breaking point, a set of bizarre circumstances leads Brad to the source of their captivity, making him humanity's reluctant ambassador to an alien race of sentient flora, and privy to these jailers' ultimate intentions. But some of Millville's most powerful citizens don't take kindly to Carter's "collaboration with the enemy," even under the sudden threat of global apocalypse. Decades before Stephen King trapped an entire town in Under the Dome, science fiction Grand Master Clifford D. Simak explored the shocking effects of communal captivity on an unsuspecting population. Nominated for the Nebula Award, All Flesh Is Grass is a riveting masterwork that brilliantly reinvents the alien invasion story.
The strange but beautiful purple blossoms now grew wild in his backyard. One day Brad Carter tripped and fell into an alternate world, a world peopled by these very flowers.
Robots, strange planets with creatures that aren't quite vegetables or mammals, aliens that steal childhood laughter... these are the subjects of the yarns Clifford D. Simak spins in this book containing a selection of his short stories.
Tales of the unknown in which a fix-it man crosses into another dimension--and more Hiram Taine is a handyman who can fix anything. When he isn't fiddling with his tools, he is roaming through the woods with his dog, Towser, as he has done for as long as he can remember. He likes things that he can understand. But when a new ceiling appears in his basement--a ceiling that appears to have the ability to repair television sets so they're better than before--he knows he has come up against a mystery that no man can solve. Winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novelette, "The Big Front Yard" is a powerful story about what happens when an ordinary man finds reality coming apart around him. Along with the other stories in this collection, it is some of the most lyrical science fiction ever published. Each story includes an introduction by David W. Wixon, literary executor of the Clifford D. Simak estate and editor of this ebook.
A handful of humans and a multitude of robots create a new society on a mysteriously abandoned Earth in this breathtaking science fiction classic from one of the genre's acknowledged mastersWhat if you woke up one morning on Earth . . . and no one else was there? That is the reality that greeted a handful of humans, including Jason Whitney, his wife Martha, and the remnants of a tribe of Native Americans in the year 2135. Their inexplicable abandonment had unexpected benefits: the eventual development of mental telepathy and other extrasensory powers, inner peace, and best of all, near-immortality. Now, five thousand years later, most of the remaining humans live a tranquil, pastoral life, leaving technological and religious exploration to the masses of robot servants who no longer have humans to serve. But the unexpected reappearance of Jason's brother, who had teleported to the stars many years before, threatens to change everything yet again--for John Whitney is the bearer of startling information about where Earth's population went and why--and the most disturbing news of all: They may finally be coming home again. Nominated for the Hugo Award when it first appeared in print more than forty years ago, Clifford D. Simak's brilliant and thought-provoking A Choice of Gods has lost nothing of its power to astonish and intrigue. A masterwork of speculative fiction, intelligent and ingenious, it is classic Simak, standing tall among the very best science fiction that has ever been written.
One day they were there, the next they were gone--all but a small tribe of American Indians, a family and friends gathered for a party, and the ubiquitous robots. Whatever mysterious power it was that had snatched up eight billion human souls and spirited them away had overlooked very few. Deprived of a labor force, technology disintegrated. The Indians went back to nature, the others ... something very strange happened to them. In exchange for the overpowering presence of the vanished hordes, they acquired mental powers beyond imagining which whisked them through the stars, extraordinary longevity, and a painfully garnered wisdom. As for the robots, some went to live with the remnants of humanity, though the Indians forthrightly rejected their services; others gathered into a robot community and commenced work on the Project, a work baffling to human understanding, but in all its fantastic electronic complexity an apotheosis of robotry; still others, a very few, stubbornly maintained the old religion and lived as monks, worshiping they knew not what by who knows what right. Then one day a traveler returned from the stars. The people had been found and were planning to return. More important and more dreadful, a Principle had been discovered in the center of the Galaxy, a disembodied intelligence of awesome capacity and godlike indifference. The idyllic existence of the last of Earth's humans was threatened. The carefully composed elegy to mankind was under siege.
The years had moved too fast. Years that had brought the family plane and helicopter, leaving the auto to rust in some forgotten place, the unused roads to fall into disrepair. Years that had virtually wiped out the tilling of the soil with the rise of hydroponics. Years that had brought cheap land with the disappearance of the farm as an economic unit, had sent city people scurrying out into the country where each man, for less than the price of a city lot, might own broad acres. Years that had revolutionized the construction of homes to a point where families simply walked away from their old homes to the new ones that could be bought, custom-made, for less than half the price of a prewar structure and could be changed, at small cost, to accommodate need of additional space or just a passing whim .... *** Earth was very different without its cities. There were no more wars, because the population centers which had formerly been prime targets no longer existed. Among the people who left the cities and their descendants, some took to the stars and met beings from other worlds; some took to the woods, and let their primitive lifestyle carry them further and further from the basic design of society. And some simply remained on the land their families originally bought, growing ever more deeply ensconced in those pockets of tradition. *** It was Bruce Webster, from the pocket known as Webster House, who first changed the dogs. Recognizing that the differences between humans and canines might be an advantage--dogs, with their own brand of intelligence, would be able to comprehend things people could not--he reasoned that two thinking races would have to be better than one. So he surgically altered a few dogs' throats and tongues, enabling them to mimic the words he taught them. Special contact lenses were invented, changing canine eyesight enough to allow them to learn to read. As time went on, the traits Bruce initiated were passed on to each successive generation of dogs. And as the Dogs developed and advanced--aided by robots that humans had built ages ago--Man ceased to be the dominant species on Earth and became a creature of legend. A legend the Dogs still tell on winter nights, when the wind is from the north and the fires burn high ....
Intelligent canines in a far-future city preserve the legends and lore of their absent human masters Thousands of years have passed since humankind abandoned the city--first for the countryside, then for the stars, and ultimately for oblivion--leaving their most loyal animal companions alone on Earth. Granted the power of speech centuries earlier by the revered Bruce Webster, the intelligent, pacifist dogs are the last keepers of human history, raising their pups with bedtime stories, passed down through generations, of the lost "websters" who gave them so much but will never return. With the aid of Jenkins, an ageless service robot, the dogs live in a world of harmony and peace. But they now face serious threats from their own and other dimensions, perhaps the most dangerous of all being the reawakened remnants of a warlike race called "Man." In the Golden Age of Asimov and Heinlein, Clifford D. Simak's writing blazed as brightly as anyone's in the science fiction firmament. Winner of the International Fantasy Award, City is a magnificent literary metropolis filled with an astonishing array of interlinked stories and structures--at once dystopian, transcendent, compassionate, and visionary.
From the vaults of The SF Gateway, the most comprehensive digital library of classic SFF titles ever assembled, comes an ideal introduction to the work of one of the giants of the Golden Age, Clifford D. Simak. A regular contributor to ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION throughout the influential John W. Campbell era, Simak produced a body of highly regarded work, winning the NEBULA and multiple HUGO AWARDs, and is best known for his story suite of future histories, City. This omnibus collects three novels that explore his favoured theme of a depopulated future: TIME IS THE SIMPLEST THING, A CHOICE OF GODS and the HUGO AWARD-winning WAY STATION.
The planet beckoned them from space, and then closed around them like a Venus fly trap.
A scholar, a goblin, and a gnome, among others, pursue the secrets of a vanished ancient race through a wasteland of dark magic in this enthralling fantasy quest adventure On an Earth that is different from ours, the young scholar Mark Cornwall becomes a target of the Inquisition, and specifically its most evil and obsessed agent, Beckett. Damned for asking questions, Mark is forced to escape over the border into the Wastelands, a magical realm that is home to all manner of flesh-devouring monsters. Luckily he will not have to make his journey alone. He is accompanied by a cadre of stalwart companions, including the rafter goblin Oliver, Snively the gnome, and secretive Mary from one of three parallel planes. Somewhere beyond the vengeful, blood-hungry Hellhounds, somewhere past the horrific legacy of the now-destroyed Chaos Beast, the mysteries of the Old Ones are waiting to be revealed--and only those with the courage to seek them will be able to alter the destiny of their worlds. In Enchanted Pilgrimage, Clifford D. Simak ingeniously blends elements of science fiction into a savory fantasy stew. The award-winning Grand Master of science fiction spreads his wings and takes glorious flight into a bold new realm of magic and adventure, demonstrating why he remains one of the most acclaimed storytellers in the literature of the remarkable.
Mark Cornwall is a young man who asks questions, in a society where all answers come from above. His questing spirit leads him into deadly exile.
A strange assortment of humans and otherworldly beings joins a young soldier of God on his perilous quest through an alternate, technology-free reality ruled by an all-powerful Evil In an alternate world where the Dark Ages never ended, "the Evil" that arises every five hundred years has prevented all manner of technological advancement, even well into the twentieth century. The son of a powerful English noble, young Duncan Standish has always longed to be a soldier of the Lord, and now he's been offered a rare opportunity to fulfill his dream. Entrusted with the delivery of an ancient manuscript--purported to be irrefutable evidence of the existence of Jesus Christ--to a noted Oxenford scholar, Duncan must journey many perilous miles in the company of a motley group of fellow travelers, including a goblin, a ghost, and other magical and non-magical companions. But the road they traverse together is fraught with terrible trials that would test even the most devout, for the Evil is strong in this place of dark wonders. Multiple Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Award-winner and SFWA Grand Master Clifford D. Simak moves easily from science fiction to quest fantasy in this enthralling tale of magic, peril, and discovery on an Earth that never was. Rich in color, thrills, and wild invention, and populated by a highly original and unforgettable cast of characters, Fellowship of the Talisman showcases the author's peerless storytelling skills, demonstrating once again that the great Simak had few equals in the realm of twentieth-century speculative fiction.
Through a wilderness blighted by horror rode Duncan, son of the noble House of Standish. Astride his mighty war horse, he was pursuing a quest vital to the future of civilization. With him went a strange fellowship: a brawny man-at-arms, a banshee, a hermit, a ghost, a turncoat demon, a goblin and a witch. Opposing them came forces of supernatural malignancy. And aiding Dunan: a girl with the blood of enchanters in her veins who was mounted on an ancient griffin.
Tales of nostalgia and loss in a world overrun by technology Hank is walking home from the bar when the Model T pulls alongside him. It's been decades since he saw a car this old, and the sound of it takes him right back to his twenties. The door is open, and when he climbs in, the car takes off--without a driver. Before he knows what's happened, Hank is right back at Big Spring Pavilion, where he spent his youth drinking bootleg whiskey and chasing pretty girls. He will find the past is not quite as he remembered it, but still a lovely place to go for a drive. This collection includes some of the finest short fiction Clifford Simak ever wrote, including "City," the story that became the basis for his beloved novel of the same name. In the history of science fiction, no author has ever better understood that the Great Plains and the cosmos are closer together than we think. Each story includes an introduction by David W. Wixon, literary executor of the Clifford D. Simak estate and editor of this ebook.
The hunt for his killer leads a dead professor of supernatural phenomena into the perilous intrigues of aliens, fairy folk, and time-travelers in this classic of science fiction Until the day he was murdered, Professor Peter Maxwell was a respected faculty member of the College of Supernatural Phenomena. Imagine his chagrin when he turns up at a Wisconsin matter transmission station several weeks later and discovers he's not only dead but unemployed. During an interstellar mission to investigate rumors of dragon activity, this alternate Maxwell was intercepted by a strange alien race that wanted him to carry knowledge of a remarkable technology back to Earth, and it seems someone does not want the information shared. Suddenly, it's essential for Maxwell to find his own killer. He enlists the aid of Carol Hampton of the Time College, along with her pet saber-tooth tiger, a ghost with memory issues, and the intelligent Neanderthal Man recently rescued from a prehistoric cooking pot. But the search is pointing them toward the goblins, fairies, and assorted Little Folk living in reservations on campus, and into the dangerous heart of an interspecies blood feud that has been raging for millions of years. An enthrallingly brilliant amalgam of science fiction adventure, fairy tale fantasy, and murder mystery, The Goblin Reservation has long been a favorite of Clifford D. Simak fans and serious science fiction aficionados in general. Ingeniously inventive and unabashedly tongue-in-cheek--combining teleportation, time travel, and alien contact with dinosaurs, trolls, and William Shakespeare--this magnificent literary mélange is a bravura demonstration of a multi-award-winning fantasy and science fiction master operating at the imaginative peak of his considerable powers.
Professor Peter Maxwell is in desperate straits. En route to an interplanetary research mission, he was snatched by a strange, shadowy race to a previously uncharted planet. Ancient beyond comprehension, this planet is a storehouse of information that would be invaluable to the people of Earth-even an Earth so far advanced that perfected time travel allows goblins, dinosaurs, ghosts, even Shakespeare to coexist. His attempts to interest the rulers of Earth are thwarted, however, by a startling discovery- Maxwell was ingeniously duplicated. The "other" him came back before he did, and soon after was "accidentally" killed. Now no one will believe the original Maxwell really exists...
Thousands of years into the future man has completely destroyed a technology-based society and lives a tribal existence, worshipping the 'brain'-cases of long-rusted robots. Here and there pockets of knowledge remain, and young Tom Cushing lives in one such university. His imagination fired by reading of the fabled 'Place of Going to the Stars' in an ancient manuscript, Tom sets out on a long odyssey to find out if the legend is true. His journey encompasses excitement, danger and some strange and colourful companions who commune with plants, can sense life and include the very last robot. But nothing he meets along the way compares with what he and his motley group find at Thunderhead Butte, the Place of Going to the Stars, their journey's end. Here wonder abounds almost as at the edge of the universe. A new challenge, for man to rediscover his destiny, to fulfil his heritage and recover his lost knowledge.
A knowledge-hungry young man sets out on a quest to locate a legendary spaceport in a far-future society that has reverted to primitive tribalism More than a thousand years have passed since humankind intentionally destroyed its treacherous technology, choosing to revert back to a primitive tribal state. In this society the rusting brain cases of long-inert robots are considered trophies, and the scant knowledge that has survived is doled out to an inquisitive few in monastery-like "universities." It is at one such center of learning that young Tom Cushing first reads of the legendary "Place of Going to the Stars," rumored to exist on a high butte somewhere in the western part of the land. Driven by enthusiasm and an insatiable need to track the myth to its source, Tom sets out on an amazing trek across what was once called "America," teaming up with a witch, the world's last remaining robot, and other odd companions. But all the astonishing discoveries and dangers they encounter along the way will pale before the revelations that await them at journey's end. Clifford D. Simak, award-winning science fiction Grand Master, offers a breathtaking vision of the future that is both dystopian and hopeful in equal measure. In A Heritage of Stars, he boldly displays the heart, intelligence, and awesome imaginative powers that have established him as one of the all-time greatest authors of speculative fiction.
An adventure of the Far Future by Grand Master of Science Fiction Clifford D. Simak While Earth sleeps her thousand years, the City looks starward . . . It was a city on a high rock in a vast plain--on a planet whose glory was long forgotten. The gaunt "wardens" which roamed the prairie called it Thunder, and feared it well. But Cushing, who had read of it in the Story, who had crossed an empty continent to find it, knew it by another name: the Place of Going to the Stars.
Two present-day investigators race across time to escape malevolent aliens from the future and their terrible "gift" of immortality in this science fiction classic What is the price of eternal life? Secret agent Jay Corcoran is about to learn the answer when his investigation into an inexplicable disappearance carries him and journalist friend Tom Boone hundreds of years into the past. Corcoran and Boone's powerful extrasensory abilities lead them to an advanced transportation system through time, and back to the bucolic eighteenth-century English countryside. There, they discover a family from the distant future that is hiding from the Immortals--an alien race that, many centuries on, is seducing human subjects with the promise of immortality. But the cost of life eternal is the corporeal self, and there is no place in the aliens' future for anyone unwilling to exist as mind alone. Now that the Evans family's sanctuary has been breached, escape is the only answer--for Tom Boone and Jay Corcoran as well--and the only way out is forward . . . far forward. But racing through space and time can be a hazardous occupation, especially with monstrous beasts, killer robots, and Immortal body-destroyers waiting at every juncture. The last novel from acclaimed science fiction Grand Master Clifford D. Simak, winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and numerous other awards, Highway of Eternity combines breathtaking action with provocative ideas and unparalleled ingenuity, the hallmarks of Simak's exceptional art. It is a fitting finale for the man who stands alongside Heinlein, Asimov, Bradbury, and Clarke as one of the true giants of speculative fiction's Golden Age.
Private investigator Jay Corcoran searches across time and space for a client who has mysteriously disappeared and discovers more questions than answers. Who are the Infinites, and what do they know?
Ten stories of mystery and imagination in a world that cannot be--including the never-before-published "I Had No Head and My Eyes Were Floating Way Up in the Air," originally written for Harlan Ellison's The Last Dangerous Visions (tm) People work. Folk play. That is the way it has been in this country as long as Sam can remember. He is happy, and he understands that this is the way it should be. People are bigger than folk. They are stronger. They do not need food or water. They do not need the warmth of a fire. All they need is a job to do and a blacksmith to fix them when they break. The people work so the folk can drink their moonshine, fish a little, throw a horseshoe. But when Sam starts to wonder about why the world is this way, his life will never be the same. Along with the other stories in this collection, "I Am Crying All Inside" is a compact marvel: a picture of an impossible reality that is not so different from our own. Each story includes an introduction by David W. Wixon, literary executor of the Clifford D. Simak estate and editor of this ebook.
This book is a sampling of Clifford D. Simak's short stories. They range from the satirical to the sad. The main concern is what it means to be a human being in the universe and what it means to become an adult.
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