More 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.
BONUS AUDIO: Way Station includes an exclusive introduction by Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author Mike Resnick.
©1963 Clifford D. Simak; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.
A very good read. Great ideas and very well written. A thinking persons book. One of the very few I will listen to again.
The story had a great premise and a likable and well drawn out protagonist but was ruined by the spirituality the author injected into the story.
A great story, dated in a technological sense but very original in its concept. I enjoyed it from beggining to end. The story is never dull, always something happening to draw you further along the path to the end of the book.
Yes because I like science fiction and time/light speed travel tales and this one fits the bill.
Hopscotch by Neal Stephenson perhaps. Because of the material, not the detail or imagination.
As with any good narrator, he has a greater repertoire of voices than I could conjour up in my own mind.
It was a good listen but it didn't move me to tears or laughter.
I'd give this 3.5 stars, rounding up to 4. I used to love golden age sci-fi, but for me, most of it just doesn't hold up today. This was my first Simak novel. I enjoyed the writing and the story, and I can understand why it was a Hugo winner -- in 1964. I wonder how much this novel influenced the writers of Star Trek. Today, of course, four decades later, the interstellar federation which Earth is just on the verge of being ready to join has been done and done and done in every possible variation, so Simak's vision seems a little quaint. Apparently he was known as one of the more optimistic sci-fi writers, and that's apparent here; most of the conflicts are intellectual rather than violent, and the ETs are more alien in form than in manner. It all takes place in a homey backwoods setting and the resolution involves all the species of the galaxy recognizing their spiritual oneness so... yes, a pleasant story, but not a particularly challenging or mindbending one.
I didn't particularly like the narration; Summerer keeps adding a laugh or a chuckle or a baffled/astonished pause to the characters' voices, which I think substantially changed the tone of some of the dialog from the way it reads in print.
Social Scientist and Researcher; mostly retired but conducting longitudinal research into social issues especially the media and social networking. Avid SF and alternative history fan; enjoy a good crime yarn and have become something of an addict for audiobooks.
I grew up with the science fiction authors Robert Heinlein, Eric Frank Russell and Cliff Simak. Way Station won a Hugo award and arguably, it is amongst Simak's greatest works. Without revealing too much of the plot, a US Civil War veteran is orphaned on a farm and starts to receive strange visitors. As the years pass, he doesn't grow any older and this arouses a certain amount of hostility in the local community. The way station of the title is the farmhouse of Enoch Wallace, the keeper, who is a very human character and whose interaction with citizens of the galaxy, is more comfortable than that which is the price he pays for being human but seemingly immortal. When the crisis comes, Cliff Simak's belief in the good in people comes to the fore and we are richer for the telling of the tale.
I have very fond memories of Way Station. It was one of the first "hard" science fiction stories I read as a teenager and it opened up the possibilities of the genre for me. I was captivated by the ideas in the book and it sent me on a journey through the world of science fiction that I have never abandoned. Nevertheless, I was disappointed listening to this, much as I was eight years ago when I checked it out of a local library. The story presents some fascinating ideas and conflicts as you would expect in a winner of a Hugo Award. But Simak really does not do a very credible job of developing the ideas and resolving the conflicts. In particular, his handling of the conflict with the government is unbelievable, even for someone who was writing during a time when the government was viewed much less critically. Unlike some others, I liked the narrator and it is worth a listen. But, if I am honest with myself, and rating it as if I was approaching it for the first time, it is not a five star story.
It is an older book (I read it decades ago), and it does not hold up as well as many others (such as, for example, The Forever War). Simak ultimately is an optimist, and perhaps such optimism seems particularly naive today. But the coincidences needed to resolve the central story are just too far-fetched.
I enjoyed this audiobook so much that I've listened to it twice (a rare thing for me to do). I loved the main character who has a sort of haunted quality, if it's possible for one to be haunted by one's own past. Has to be one of the best Sci-Fi books I've listened to. A timeless classic.
A book first published in the 1963 that won the 1964 Hugo Award that has lessons for all of us here in the 21st century. Not a technically flashy story, instead, it focuses on the human and alien personalities and what we can learn by coming in contact with "others" who are quiet dissimilar. Enjoyed this story tremendously!
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