Way Station

Way Station (Mass Market) - Clifford D. Simak Many readers consider Way Station to be Simak's best book. After all, it beat the much more popular Dune in the Hugo awards for 1964. While I prefer City, I still think Way Station is a marvelous merging of science fiction and subtlety. Again, the setting is Simak's much beloved rural Wisconsin. Enoch Wallace is manning a way station on Earth for galactic civilizations yet Earth is still oblivious to their presence. The fact that Wallace hasn't aged for a hundred years does nothing to hide certain peoples' suspicious that something odd is going on in Wisconsin. As usual, it is Simak's pastoral style and dead-on empathy for rural life that puts this novel above the usual sci-fi of the 60s. Simak brings up some interesting questions about man's role in the universe and, again as usual, the joy of his work lies in the thoguhtful presentation of the ideas and emotion. four and a half stars.

By the way, if you wondering how I stand in the Dune vs. Way Station controversy, I'll take one Simak novel to ten Frank Herbert novels any day.