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Mellemstation (1963)

af Clifford D. Simak

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MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
2,133695,679 (3.94)149
Hugo Award Winner: In backwoods Wisconsin, an ageless hermit welcomes alien visitors--and foresees the end of humanity . . . Enoch Wallace is not like other humans. Living a secluded life in the backwoods of Wisconsin, he carries a nineteenth-century rifle and never seems to age--a fact that has recently caught the attention of prying government eyes. The truth is, Enoch is the last surviving veteran of the American Civil War and, for close to a century, he has operated a secret way station for aliens passing through on journeys to other stars. But the gifts of knowledge and immortality that his intergalactic guests have bestowed upon him are proving to be a nightmarish burden, for they have opened Enoch's eyes to humanity's impending destruction. Still, one final hope remains for the human race . . . though the cure could ultimately prove more terrible than the disease.   Winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novel, Way Station is a magnificent example of the fine art of science fiction as practiced by a revered Grand Master. A cautionary tale that is at once ingenious, evocative, and compassionately human, it brilliantly supports the contention of the late, great Robert A. Heinlein that "to read science-fiction is to read Simak."  … (mere)
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» Se også 149 omtaler

Engelsk (64)  Italiensk (2)  Finsk (2)  Tjekkisk (1)  Alle sprog (69)
Viser 1-5 af 69 (næste | vis alle)
I may have a new favorite classic sci-fi author – Clifford D. Simak. It’s a tragedy that I’m just discovering him now – a glitch that quickly needs to be rectified. I loved Way Station and Simak’s writing. I found it to be warm, unpretentious, and distinctly midwestern. Lately, I’ve been rereading Heinlein, Clarke, and Asimov and some of the luster of my youthful idolization has worn away. Simak might be just the one to restore the patina of my love of the golden age of Science Fiction.

Way Station revolves around a man, named Enoch Wallace. Enoch is a survivor of the U.S. Civil War and his birth records say that he’s 124 years old, but he doesn’t appear to be a day over thirty. The government is watching him – something’s not right. Something about his age, his house, and his life.

Unbeknownst to the government, Enoch is a caretaker. For almost a century, he has been singlehanded running a way station inside his secluded and humble home in the backwoods of rural Wisconsin. His house is a rest stop for individuals passing through. These individuals happen to be otherworldly guests from all over the Galaxy. They teleport (sort of) in, rest for a bit, and then teleport on their way. This ingenious plot allows for all kinds of creatures who not only enjoy interacting (as much as they can), but also leaving him intriguing little gifts behind. Many of which Enoch struggles to understand their purpose and function. However, all is not well. A series of events begin to converge that puts Enoch, his Way Station, Earth and even the entire Galaxy at great peril.

There was one plotline that I didn’t love as much as the rest of the story. It involves Enoch's loneliness and to me, it felt added in and disconnected to the rest of the story. It felt to me like an editor recommended adding some flaws to the MC and this was the response. It’s a small complaint and it just might be my biased perception.

However, overall, this is my favorite kind of science fiction. It’s filled with wonder, possibilities, and intriguing ideas. It satisfies without tricky science, or space battles, or excessive violence. Simak uses this wonderous galactic worldbuilding to explore very human themes. His writing is at times is plain, but at just the right moment, he creates emotion and sentimental beauty.

A line from the opening page - “But silence was an alien note that had no right upon this field or day, and it was broken by the whimper and the pain, the cry for water, and the prayer for death – the crying, the calling, and the whimpering that would go on for hours beneath the summer sun.”

I need to stop the review to run out and get “City” and anything else I can find by written by Simak! While embarrassing to admit this hole in my sci-fi past, I’m excited to have a new grand master to enjoy. Five stars for this imaginative and ingenious far out tale that exposes deeply human themes. ( )
1 stem Kevin_A_Kuhn | Aug 23, 2021 |
Absolutely astonishing for a book from this period. It's a little bit of Walden, a little bit of Trek's basic humanity, and a lot of ideas modern Sci-Fi is still working with. ( )
1 stem Enno23 | Aug 15, 2021 |
This is the best regarded book from the third Science Fiction Writers of America Grand Master, and unlike most books from the Golden Age of Science Fiction, it has aged pretty well. The protagonist is a man out of time, a civil war era soldier whose life has been unnaturally extended, and the antagonist (as much as there is one) is the specter of global thermonuclear war.

This story contains passages with a wide variety of tones, but overall the tone is light and hopeful. Maybe because it never got too depressing, I was surprised to feel a frisson of joy as elements of the story came together.

The only thing that held this book back from being really amazing were some silly mystical elements that felt out of place and which would've benefited from more groundwork being laid earlier in the book. ( )
  wishanem | May 27, 2021 |
I like this quiet story a lot. It's in the "pastoral science fiction" corner, with philosophical musings and a lonely hermit who maintains a way station in the woods for extraterrestrials. ( )
  KatyBee | May 14, 2021 |
Enoch Wallace, a Civil War veteran living on in rural Wisconsin into the twentieth century has a unique job. He is the station keeper for an interstellar transit system. Earth is not a destination for the extraterrestrial aliens that arrive and then depart from this way station on their way to another planet. Its status as a primitive world has so far kept it from being considered for membership by the Galactic Central government which has its own factions and political considerations to balance to maintain peace, therefore Wallace is the only human who knows from firsthand experience of the existence of other non-human civilizations, and his job is to remain inconspicuous. Unfortunately, a federal agent is curious about how a veteran of the battle of Gettysburg could possibly appear to be only about thirty years old and starts to investigate Wallace.

Reading this 1963 novel reminded me why I admire Simak’s vision whose short stories first thrilled me back in junior high school as a novice science fiction fan. His stories were equally at home with the farthest reaches of space and in rural America. In this Hugo winning tale there are conflicts arising from poverty and fear of witchcraft, international tensions which are paralleled by galactic ones, and the denouement is achieved by an individual with the rare gifts of a person able to connect with a spiritual force known only as “the force.” Fans of “Star Wars” may recognize a foreshadowing of the Jedi. ( )
  MaowangVater | Jan 31, 2021 |
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Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Clifford D. Simakprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Baumann, JillOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Faragasso, JackOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Moore, ChrisOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Summerer, Eric MichaelFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Van Dongen, H. R.Omslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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The noise was ended now. The smoke drifted like thin, gray wisps of fog above the tortured earth and the shattered fences and the peach trees that had been whittled into toothpicks by the cannon fire. For a moment silence, if not peace, fell upon those few square miles of ground where just a while before men had screamed and torn at one another in the frenzy of old hate and had contended in an ancient striving and then had fallen apart, exhausted.
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Here lies one from a distant star, but the soil is not alien to him, for in death he belongs to the universe.
Somewhere, he thought, on the long backtrack of history, the human race had accepted an insanity for a principle and had persisted in it until today that insanity-turned-principle stood ready to wipe out, if not the race itself, at least all of those things, both material and immaterial, that had been fashioned as symbols of humanity through many hard-won centuries.
Could it be, he wondered, that the goldenness was the Hazers' life force and that they wore it like a cloak, as a sort of over-all disguise? Did they wear that life force on the outside of them while all other creatures wore it on the inside?
...the Earth was now on galactic charts, a way station for many different peoples traveling star to star. An inn...a stopping place, a galactic crossroads.
...on the other side of the room stood the intricate mass of machinery, reaching well up into the open second storey, that wafted passengers through the space from star to star.
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Hugo Award Winner: In backwoods Wisconsin, an ageless hermit welcomes alien visitors--and foresees the end of humanity . . . Enoch Wallace is not like other humans. Living a secluded life in the backwoods of Wisconsin, he carries a nineteenth-century rifle and never seems to age--a fact that has recently caught the attention of prying government eyes. The truth is, Enoch is the last surviving veteran of the American Civil War and, for close to a century, he has operated a secret way station for aliens passing through on journeys to other stars. But the gifts of knowledge and immortality that his intergalactic guests have bestowed upon him are proving to be a nightmarish burden, for they have opened Enoch's eyes to humanity's impending destruction. Still, one final hope remains for the human race . . . though the cure could ultimately prove more terrible than the disease.   Winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novel, Way Station is a magnificent example of the fine art of science fiction as practiced by a revered Grand Master. A cautionary tale that is at once ingenious, evocative, and compassionately human, it brilliantly supports the contention of the late, great Robert A. Heinlein that "to read science-fiction is to read Simak."  

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