Clifford D Simak: HERE GATHER THE STARS (aka WAY STATION)

Published: 1963
Winner or Rec? Hugo winner 1964
Started reading: August 3rd
Finished reading: August 3rd

Epic Reading Project book #14

First of all, Josh Wimmer over at IO9 wrote an awesome review of WAY STATION which you should read if you’d like a more in-depth look at this novel than what I’m about to offer you. We agree about some things. We disagree about others.

This isn’t a book that would come up anywhere on a list of books I’d recommend to people, but… You know, I liked it. I think I liked it mostly because I read it the same day I finished THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE. I was coming down from this intellectually grinding, complex and complicated story about people I didn’t really care about, and then Simak handed me something simple, something tidy, with characters who had emotional arcs I was interested in, with some cool worldbuilding, some nifty aliens and niftier gadgets… Such a relief! Would I like this book if I’d read it on its own, without the influence of the books I had read immediately previously? Hard to say.  Was it a balm to the parts of my brain that THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE had chafed to blistering? Absolutely.

As the IO9 review says (accurately): No, this book “doesn’t even begin to explore the innumerable ancillary questions it raises.” But you know, sometimes you don’t want a book to do that. Sometimes you just want a book about a guy operating a rest stop for interstellar travellers. And that’s okay.

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