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The Worlds of Clifford Simak: Six Science Fiction Stories from the Original Edition

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Content: Honorable opponent The big front yard Operation Stinky Jackpot LuLu Neighbor.


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Content: Honorable opponent The big front yard Operation Stinky Jackpot LuLu Neighbor.

30 review for The Worlds of Clifford Simak: Six Science Fiction Stories from the Original Edition

  1. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Note that different editions have different content. My (university) library copy has no jacket, but otherwise resembles perfectly the edition to which I attach this review, with the full dozen stories. Yay, because I do love me some Simak. "Dusty Zebra" Silly funny. Of course the dust had to go somewhere. And what, indeed, is the Trader doing with millions of zebra charms? "Honorable Opponent" Well if it's not dust disappearing, it's whole ships, right? Humans have a lot to learn about battle tac Note that different editions have different content. My (university) library copy has no jacket, but otherwise resembles perfectly the edition to which I attach this review, with the full dozen stories. Yay, because I do love me some Simak. "Dusty Zebra" Silly funny. Of course the dust had to go somewhere. And what, indeed, is the Trader doing with millions of zebra charms? "Honorable Opponent" Well if it's not dust disappearing, it's whole ships, right? Humans have a lot to learn about battle tactics.... More wry than funny. "Carbon Copy" Simak didn't share with Brunner the fear that Earth was becoming overpopulated. I wonder what Brunner would have thought of 'Mister Steen's` solution. A little awkwardness in the telling, though. "Founding Father" Oh no - one father for a thousand incubators?! And he's lost himself in his entertainment immersion? Those poor babies.... "Idiot's Crusade" Literal title. Village idiot is given a paranormal power and quickly learns how to use it to do Big Good. Spend a moment thinking about the What If that continues after the last paragraph.... "The Big Front Yard" One of the most widely anthologized that uses three of Simak's tropes: the portal, the dim-witted hired hand who turns out to be able to communicate with those beings on the other side of the portal, and the reactions of the citizens of the small town to the revelation that ETs are real. "Operation Stinky" What do you call a skunk that purrs? An alien, of course! In this case the everyman who befriends it is not simple-minded, though, but a drunk. Hm... until this volume I hadn't realized just how often Simak uses certain ideas... this collection may not be the best intro. to his work for new readers. "Jackpot" For some reason I really liked this story of a ragtag bunch of explorers, even before they analyzed their consciences. "Death Scene" Before Denton Little's Deathdate and They Both Die at the End there was this very brief, very adult take on the motif. Ironic, in a genre often pejoratively accused of being 'juvenile.' Lovely. "Green Thumb" Poignant. What is even more basic than diagrams and math, when establishing communication with an alien? Kindliness, courage, brotherhood.... "Lulu" Silly funny. Even more loaded with slang (now stale) than the others. "Neighbor" Is it a Utopia or a Dystopia? Did this pastoral inspire the classic Twilight Zone episode that I cannot specify because of spoilers? It does serve well as coda. Well, as a whole, I'm glad I could find and read this. But it's not the best representation of the author's works by a long shot. See what you can find on librivox or gutenberg or elsewhere before trying to track this down.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Craig

    This was the second collection of Simak's short fiction and appeared in 1960. (The first was Strangers in the Universe from 1956.) Death Scene, the shortest story included, appeared in Larry Shaw's Infinity Science Fiction magazine, and The Big Front Yard and Neighbor were both from John Campbell's Astounding Science Fiction, and the other nine were all from the H.L. Gold edited Galaxy Magazine. The Big Front Yard is a classic; it showcases Simak's trademark Midwestern pastoralism and middle-cla This was the second collection of Simak's short fiction and appeared in 1960. (The first was Strangers in the Universe from 1956.) Death Scene, the shortest story included, appeared in Larry Shaw's Infinity Science Fiction magazine, and The Big Front Yard and Neighbor were both from John Campbell's Astounding Science Fiction, and the other nine were all from the H.L. Gold edited Galaxy Magazine. The Big Front Yard is a classic; it showcases Simak's trademark Midwestern pastoralism and middle-class, comfortable and optimistic values, as does Neighbor, Carbon Copy, the hilarious Dusty Zebra, and Green Thumb. Founding Father and Death Scene are short, sharp counterpoints to these, and Operation Stinky, Jackpot, and Lulu are more straight forward interstellar exploration tales. Simak's characters lacked diversity for the most part, but he told warm and amusing stories that featured clever rather than hardware-inspired solutions, told with humor and tolerance rather than dogmatic pronouncement. I enjoyed the whole dozen.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Fraser Sherman

    Simak always gives me a folksy sort of feel, as if a bit of human decency and some good common-sense can solve most of his problems. Except that really doesn't do justice to his story-telling or his awareness that sometimes human decency is in short supply. In this collection, a Yankee trader discovers "The Big Front Yard" is a gateway for alien commerce, the lovesick spaceship "Lulu" carries off her crew, conniving space pirates try to find a "Jackpot" plus several more. Simak always gives me a folksy sort of feel, as if a bit of human decency and some good common-sense can solve most of his problems. Except that really doesn't do justice to his story-telling or his awareness that sometimes human decency is in short supply. In this collection, a Yankee trader discovers "The Big Front Yard" is a gateway for alien commerce, the lovesick spaceship "Lulu" carries off her crew, conniving space pirates try to find a "Jackpot" plus several more.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jim Mcclanahan

    Another nice collection of Clifford Simak's tales, many imbued with his trademark mid-western flavor. Includes "The Big Front Yard", one of his most intriguing stories. But all twelve are worthwhile. Another nice collection of Clifford Simak's tales, many imbued with his trademark mid-western flavor. Includes "The Big Front Yard", one of his most intriguing stories. But all twelve are worthwhile.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    Simak was a SF Grandmaster and contemporary of Asimov, Heinlein and Clarke. Unfortunately, he never gained the acclaim those authors did. His stories--and my favorites are "The Big Front Yard", "Neighbor" and "Lulu"--are mostly set in small towns or the country. Very few women are in these stories or in any of his writing, and then as ancillary characters. There is certainly no romance! But the stories are timeless and thoughtful. And "Lulu" is pretty funny! Simak was a SF Grandmaster and contemporary of Asimov, Heinlein and Clarke. Unfortunately, he never gained the acclaim those authors did. His stories--and my favorites are "The Big Front Yard", "Neighbor" and "Lulu"--are mostly set in small towns or the country. Very few women are in these stories or in any of his writing, and then as ancillary characters. There is certainly no romance! But the stories are timeless and thoughtful. And "Lulu" is pretty funny!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Sci-fi short stories from the '50s. More quaint than technical. More charm than action. Sci-fi short stories from the '50s. More quaint than technical. More charm than action.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ted Goldstein

    This is collection of shorter stories gathered together in one book. I think that often short story collections by science fiction writers are a way for them to do something with interesting pretenses that they have not quite developed into a full book. This book fits that pattern as a lot of the stories are not fully realized to their full potential, but are quite fun and thought provoking none the less. He seems to have a penchant for characters that are of the “simple country folk” variety. T This is collection of shorter stories gathered together in one book. I think that often short story collections by science fiction writers are a way for them to do something with interesting pretenses that they have not quite developed into a full book. This book fits that pattern as a lot of the stories are not fully realized to their full potential, but are quite fun and thought provoking none the less. He seems to have a penchant for characters that are of the “simple country folk” variety. The inside front cover teases: In the Worlds of Clifford Simak you will meet: -Stinky, the beguiling, purring, tail-waving skunk who was a mechanical genius. -Lulu the lovelorn robot. -The Fivers, who turned war into a fun game in which no one gets hurt. -Captain, who thought he had no scruples but surprised himself with his own code of ethics. -Hiram Taine, whose back door suddenly opens to another planet. And a host of attractive extra-terrestrials, aliens and just ordinary people caught in extraordinary circumstances. A nice collection of good, fun “what if?” science fiction short stories.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Edward Amato

    I had already read this book before but reread some of it because I enjoyed this collection of Simak so much. I would recommend this to someone who had not read this author before. Some of Simak's work is dated which makes it more charming as one gets to view the future through Simak's Norman Rockwellian, Wisconsin inspired lenses. I had already read this book before but reread some of it because I enjoyed this collection of Simak so much. I would recommend this to someone who had not read this author before. Some of Simak's work is dated which makes it more charming as one gets to view the future through Simak's Norman Rockwellian, Wisconsin inspired lenses.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Marsha Valance

    Six of Simak's best SF stories, including "The Big Front Yard". A Science Fiction Book Club selection. Six of Simak's best SF stories, including "The Big Front Yard". A Science Fiction Book Club selection.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ron

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tom Loock

  12. 5 out of 5

    Isil

  13. 4 out of 5

    Peter

  14. 5 out of 5

    Steve Rainwater

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dennis Lynch

  16. 4 out of 5

    Peter Brander

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alisa Kurylovska

  18. 5 out of 5

    Peter Chomko

  19. 5 out of 5

    Martin H

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ahem!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Gary D.

  22. 4 out of 5

    J.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sally

  24. 4 out of 5

    Richard

  25. 4 out of 5

    David Raffin

  26. 4 out of 5

    Vivek Parmar

  27. 5 out of 5

    stephanie

  28. 5 out of 5

    M

  29. 4 out of 5

    David Stover

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sandro

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