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Way Station | [Clifford D. Simak]

Way Station

In this Hugo Award-winning classic, Enoch Wallace is an ageless hermit, striding across his untended farm as he had 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 stars.
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Publisher's Summary

In this Hugo Award-winning classic, 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 stars.

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.

What the Critics Say

  • Hugo Award, Best Novel, 1964
  • All-Time Best Science Fiction Novels (Locus Magazine)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1079 )
5 star
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4.1 (686 )
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4.2 (675 )
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Linda Elfrida, az, United States 04-13-12
    Linda Elfrida, az, United States 04-13-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "If only people wrote like this today"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    A very good read. Great ideas and very well written. A thinking persons book. One of the very few I will listen to again.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine Carmichael, CA, United States 06-17-12
    Katherine Carmichael, CA, United States 06-17-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Spiritual nonsense"
    What disappointed you about Way Station?

    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.


    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Black Rock, AR, United States 04-04-12
    Peter Black Rock, AR, United States 04-04-12
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    "Very original theme, very well read, a great yarn."

    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.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    barnes 04-03-12
    barnes 04-03-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Is this the one with imaginary friends?"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes because I like science fiction and time/light speed travel tales and this one fits the bill.


    What other book might you compare Way Station to and why?

    Hopscotch by Neal Stephenson perhaps. Because of the material, not the detail or imagination.


    What does Eric Michael Summerer bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    As with any good narrator, he has a greater repertoire of voices than I could conjour up in my own mind.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It was a good listen but it didn't move me to tears or laughter.


    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 11-03-10
    David 11-03-10 Member Since 2010

    Indiscriminate Reader

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    "A pleasant sci-fi classic"

    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.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Howrah, Australia 07-09-10
    Christopher Howrah, Australia 07-09-10 Member Since 2007

    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.

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    "From one of the Titans"

    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.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DJM Franklin, TN USA 10-14-09
    DJM Franklin, TN USA 10-14-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I wanted this to be great."

    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.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Howard Atlanta, GA, USA 09-27-09
    Howard Atlanta, GA, USA 09-27-09 Member Since 2007
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    "Sadly, it does not hold up well"

    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.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean Pittsburgh, PA USA 11-05-09
    Jean Pittsburgh, PA USA 11-05-09 Member Since 2009
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    "Love it!"

    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.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph 10-01-14
    Joseph 10-01-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Timeless"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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