Clifford D. Simak

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Clifford D. Simak
Clifford Simak.jpg
Born Clifford Donald Simak
(1904-08-03)August 3, 1904
Millville, Wisconsin
Died April 25, 1988(1988-04-25) (aged 83)
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Occupation Journalist, popular writer
Nationality American
Period 1931–1986 (fiction)
Genres Science fiction, fantasy
Subjects Popular science

Clifford Donald Simak (August 3, 1904 – April 25, 1988) was an American science fiction writer. He was honored by fans with three Hugo Awards and by colleagues with one Nebula Award.[1] The Science Fiction Writers of America made him its third SFWA Grand Master[2] and the Horror Writers Association made him one of three inaugural winners of the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Simak was born in Millville, Wisconsin in 1904, son of John Lewis and Margaret (Wiseman) Simak. He married Agnes Kuchenberg on April 13, 1929 and they had two children, Richard (Dick) Scott (d. 2012) and Shelley Ellen. Simak attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison and later worked at various newspapers in the Midwest. He began a lifelong association with the Minneapolis Star and Tribune (in Minneapolis, Minnesota) in 1939, which continued until his retirement in 1976. He became Minneapolis Star's news editor in 1949 and coordinator of Minneapolis Tribune's Science Reading Series in 1961. In a blurb in Time and Again he wrote, "I have been happily married to the same woman for thirty three years and have two children. My favorite recreation is fishing (the lazy way, lying in a boat and letting them come to me). Hobbies: Chess, stamp collecting, growing roses." He dedicated the book to his wife Kay, "without whom I'd never have written a line". He was well liked by many of his science fiction cohorts, especially Isaac Asimov. He died in Minneapolis in 1988.[4]

Writing career[edit]

Simak became interested in science fiction after reading the works of H. G. Wells as a child. His first contribution to the literature was "The World of the Red Sun", published by Hugo Gernsback in the December 1931 issue of Wonder Stories with one opening illustration by Frank R. Paul.[5] Within a year he placed three more stories in Gernsback's pulp magazines and one in Astounding Stories, then edited by Harry Bates.[5] But his only science fiction publication between 1932 and 1938 was The Creator (Marvel Tales #4, March–April 1935), a notable story with religious implications, which was then rare in the genre.

Once John W. Campbell, at the helm of Astounding from October 1937,[6] began redefining the field, Simak returned and was a regular contributor to Astounding Science Fiction (as it was renamed in 1938)[6] throughout the Golden Age of Science Fiction (1938–1950). At first, as in the 1939 serial novel Cosmic Engineers, he wrote in the tradition of the earlier "superscience" subgenre[clarification needed] that E. E. "Doc" Smith perfected, but he soon developed his own style, which is usually described as gentle and pastoral.[citation needed] During this period, Simak also published a number of war and western stories in pulp magazines. His best known novel may be City, a collection of short stories with a common theme of mankind's eventual exodus from Earth.

Simak continued to produce award-nominated novels throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Aided by a friend, he continued writing and publishing science fiction and, later, fantasy, into his 80s. He believed that science fiction not rooted in scientific fact was responsible for the failure of the genre to be taken seriously, and stated his aim was to make the genre a part of what he called "realistic fiction."

Themes[edit]

Simak's stories often repeat a few basic ideas and themes. First and foremost is a setting in rural Wisconsin. A crusty individualistic backwoodsman character literally comes with the territory, the best example being Hiram Taine, the protagonist of The Big Front Yard. Hiram's dog "Towser" (sometimes "Bowser") is another Simak trademark being common to many of Simak's works. But the rural setting is not always as idyllic as here; and in Ring Around the Sun it is largely dominated by intolerance and isolationism.

An idea often found in the stories is the idea that there is no past time for a time traveler to go to. Instead, our world moves along in a stream of time, and to move to a different place in time is to move to another world altogether. Thus in City our Earth is overrun by ants, but the intelligent dogs and the remaining humans escape to other worlds in the time stream. In Ring Around the Sun the persecuted paranormals escape to other Earths which, if they could all be seen at once, would be at different stages of their orbit around the sun, hence the title. In Time is the Simplest Thing a paranormal escapes a mob by moving back in time, only to find that the past is a place where there are no living things and inanimate objects are barely substantial.

Time travel also plays an important role in the ingeniously constructed Time and Again, then ventures into metaphysics. A long-lost space traveler returns with a message which is SF-slanted yet religious in tone. He crashed on a planet and was nurtured by ethereal duplicates—spirits? souls?—that seem to accompany every sentient being throughout life. His fuddled observations were seized upon by religious factions, and a schism is threatening to erupt into war on Earth.

Intelligence, loyalty and friendship, the existence of God and souls, the unexpected benefits and harm of invention, tools as extensions of humanity, and more questions are often explored by Simak's robots, whom he uses as "surrogate humans".[7] His robots begin as likable mechanical persons, but morph in surprising ways. Having achieved intelligence, robots move onto common themes such as, "Why are we here?" and "Do robots have souls"? Examples are the faithful butler Jenkins in City, the religious robot Hezekiel in A Choice of Gods, the frontier robots in Special Deliverance and A Heritage of Stars, and the monk-like robots in Project Pope who seek Heaven.

Simak's robot-awareness theme goes farthest in All the Traps of Earth. A 600-year-old robot, a family retainer who earned the name Richard Daniel, is considered chattel to be reprogrammed and lose all its memories. The robot runs away, hitches onto a spaceship, and passes through hyperspace unprotected. Daniel gains the ability to see and fix problems in anything—a ship, a robot, a human—telekinetically. Yet he's still drifting and hunted as chattel. Finally he stumbles on a frontier planet and finds a purpose, helping the pioneers as a doctor, a servant, a colonist, and a friend. And here Daniel achieves an epiphany: human beings are more clever than they know. Human-created robots set loose can become agents with para-human abilities that directly or indirectly benefit humanity. Thus do robots, and Mankind, escape "all the traps of earth".

The religious theme is often present in Simak's work, but the protagonists who have searched for God in a traditional sense, tend to find something more abstract and inhuman. Hezekiel in A Choice of Gods cannot accept this. Quote: "God must be, forever, a kindly old (human) gentleman with a long, white, flowing beard."

Simak's short stories and longer novellas range from the contemplative and thoughtfully idyllic to pure terror, although the punch line is often characteristically understated, as in Good Night Mr. James and Skirmish. There is also a group of humorous stories, of which "The Big Front Yard" is the most successful. And Way Station is in the midst of all of the science fiction paraphernalia a moving psychological study of a very lonely man who has to make peace with his past and finally manages to do so, but not without personal loss. The contemplative nature of the Simak character is a recurring trait both of theme and of the author's style.

Many of his aliens have a dry, otherworldly sense of humor, and others are unintentionally amusing, either in their speech or their appearance. So too are his robots full of personality, and even his dogs. By contrast, his "heroes" are ciphers. His protagonists are often boring men, never described and never reappearing. They solve crises by muddling through, and if they fall in love with "the girl" (also never described), it's incidental. One of Simak's editors objected to his stories because his heroes were "losers". Simak replied, "I like losers."[8]

One finds other traditional SF themes in Simak's work. The importance of knowledge and compassion in Immigrant and Kindergarten. Identity play, as in Good Night. Mr James (filmed as The Outer Limits: The Duplicate Man in 1964). Fictions come to life in Shadow Show and elsewhere, such as the novel Out of Our Minds. And there is the revolt of the machines in Skirmish. And the rather horrifying meeting with an alien world in Beachhead, AKA You'll Never Go Home Again. (Many of these are in Strangers in the Universe).

Finally, Simak throws in many science-fictional fillips that remain unexplained. "Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine," is a phrase misattributed to Arthur Stanley Eddington. Simak's characters encounter alien creatures and concepts they simply cannot understand, and never will. For example, in Special Deliverance, the humans are stalked by The Wailer, which turns out to be a huge wolf-like creature that bellows an infinitely-sad howl. They never learn what the creature is, why it seems sad, or how it got there. Simak leaves mysteries hanging in his writing.

Simak himself sums up his life's work in the Foreword to Skirmish. After explaining what themes he avoids—no large-scale alien invasions, no space wars, no empire sagas—he states, "Overall, I have written in a quiet manner; there is little violence in my work. My focus has been on people, not on events. More often than not I have struck a hopeful note... I have, on occasions, tried to speak out for decency and compassion, for understanding, not only in the human, but in the cosmic sense. I have tried at times to place humans in perspective against the vastness of universal time and space. I have been concerned where we, as a race, may be going, and what may be our purpose in the universal scheme—if we have a purpose. In general, I believe we do, and perhaps an important one."

Works[edit]

Novels[edit]

  • The Creator (48-page novelette: first magazine publication 1935, first book publication 1946)
  • Cosmic Engineers (first published as a "short novel" in Astounding Science Fiction, February 1939, March 1939, and April 1939, expanded slightly for novel publication, 1950.[9]) A crew is piped to the edge of known space, where metal-men Cosmic Engineers need help to prevent two universes from colliding, while opposing Hellhounds want destruction and chaos.
  • Empire (1951) (Galaxy novel #7).
  • Time and Again (1951) Alternate paperback title: First He Died; serialized (with a different ending) as Time Quarry.[10] When a long-lost spaceman returns to Earth from a distant planet where our "souls" may live, his fuddled observations spark a religious schism and war.
  • City (1952) In the far future, only dogs and robots are left on Earth to recount the old stories and debate whether Man ever existed at all. "Epilog" was added in 1981.
  • Ring Around the Sun (1953) A man's unique psychic gift allows him to step into parallel "quantum" earths—a ring around the sun—where he may become mankind's last chance for survival.
  • Time is the Simplest Thing (1961) Serialized in Analog April, May, June, July 1961 as "The Fisherman". A paranormal who telepathically travels to other planets brings back an alien consciousness that can manipulate time. He'll need the help as humans rise to wipe out "parries".
  • The Trouble With Tycho (1961) (first published in Amazing Science Fiction, October 1960) A lunar prospector investigates the crater Tycho where spacecraft have disappeared.
  • They Walked Like Men (1962) A newsman learns alien "bowling balls" that can take any form are buying up the Earth.
  • Way Station (1963) Serialized in Galaxy Magazine June and August 1963 as "Here Gather the Stars". 1964 Hugo Award Winner. A Civil War veteran is a caretaker of a secret Way Station, a transfer point for aliens. But the outside world is snooping around, and their blundering may endanger all of humanity.
  • All Flesh Is Grass (1965) The town of Millville is trapped in a bubble by an alien hive-race of purple flowers. It's established a toehold for mutual cooperation—or invasion.
  • Why Call them Back From Heaven? (1967) A man becomes embroiled in a scandal at a wealthy cryonics corporation.
  • The Werewolf Principle (1967) An astronaut returns to Earth with two different creatures trapped inside him, so in times of stress morphs into either a "werewolf" or an impregnable pyramid.
  • The Goblin Reservation (1968) A traveler teleporting home learns he was murdered a week before by either sneaking aliens or their rivals, the leprechauns and trolls of the local reservation.
  • Out of Their Minds (1970) A newsman is hunted by werewolves, dinosaurs, sea serpents, and other creatures from human imagination, and no one will tell him why.
  • Destiny Doll (1971) Four humans explore the mysteries of an eerie deserted planet.
  • A Choice of Gods (1972) After 99.99% of the human race has disappeared, people discover they have lifespans of five or six thousand years.
  • Cemetery World (1973) Earth has been turned into a vast and silent cemetery. A composer and a treasure-hunter have come to venture past the walls into the wilderness, where they find renegades, war machines, steel wolves, and ghosts whispering answers.
  • Our Children's Children (1974) Refugees from 500 years in the future arrive through time tunnels - and hard behind them come ravening monsters.
  • Enchanted Pilgrimage (1975) When a scholar finds a hidden manuscript he sets out to discover the secrets of the wasteland, accompanied by fellow travelers who join him along the way.
  • Shakespeare's Planet (1976) Two explorers, a robot, a warrior, and even an inky "pond" are stuck on a dead-end planet because the star-tunnel is locked. Yet something is about to happen.
  • A Heritage of Stars (1977) In a primitive world where technology collapsed, a woodsrunner, a witch, and a frontiering robot seek answers at The Place of Going to the Stars.
  • The Fellowship of the Talisman (1978) On a parallel Earth perpetually laid waste by the Harriers of the Horde, a young man must ferry what may be a true account of Jesus's teachings to distant London. He's helped by a lonely ghost, a goblin, a demon, and a warrior woman riding a griffin.
  • Mastodonia (1978) (published as Catface in the UK, a considerably expanded and re-written version of Simak's 1955 short story "Project Mastodon" which was also broadcast on the X Minus One radio program). A cat-faced alien stranded in Wisconsin befriends locals, then time-engineers portals into prehistoric epochs. The locals start a tourism company for big-game hunters, and maybe a new country: Mastodonia.
  • The Visitors (1980). Giant black boxes land on Earth to eat trees. Completely ignored, humans wonder if this is an invasion or something even more sinister.
  • Project Pope (1981) On the planet End of Nothing, robots have labored a thousand years to build a computerized infallible pope to eke out the ultimate truth. Their work is preempted when a human Listener discovers what might be the planet Heaven.
  • Where the Evil Dwells (1982) Adventurers seeking a lost fiancee and cathedral enter the Empty Lands, where even Roman Legions get slaughtered.
  • Special Deliverance (1982) A college professor and other oddballs are dropped onto a bleak world near a giant blue cube - and no clue how to proceed.
  • Highway of Eternity (1986) AKA Highway to Eternity. A man who can "step around a corner" gets scattered across time alongside futuristic refugees. All are fleeing super-advanced humans who have transcended into pure thought—and expect everyone else to come along.

Collections[edit]

  • Strangers in the Universe (1956) (contents revised in 1957 and 1958). Paperback contains 7 of 11 stories from hardback edition: “Target Generation”, “Mirage”, “Beachhead”, “The Answers”, “Retrograde Evolution”, “The Fence”, “Shadow Show”, “Contraption”, “Immigrant”, “Kindergarten” and “Skirmish”.
  • The Worlds of Clifford Simak (1960) Contains “Dusty Zebra”, “Honorable Opponent”, “Carbon Copy”, “Founding Father”, “Idiot's Crusade”, “The Big Front Yard”, “Operation Stinky”, “Jackpot”, “Death Scene”, “Lulu”, “Green Thumb” and “Neighbor”.
  • Aliens for Neighbours (1961) (UK reprint of The Worlds of Clifford Simak) Contains “Dusty Zebra”, “Honorable Opponent”, “Carbon Copy”, “Idiot's Crusade”, “Operation Stinky”, “Jackpot”, “Death Scene”, “Green Thumb” and “Neighbor”.
  • All the Traps of Earth and Other Stories (1962) (contents revised in 1963) Contains “All the Traps of Earth”, “Good Night, Mr. James”, “Drop Dead”, “No Life Of Their Own”, “The Sitters”, “Crying Jag”, “Installment Plan”, and “Condition of Employment”.
  • Other Worlds of Clifford Simak (1962) (abridgment of The Worlds of Clifford Simak (1961) Contains “Dusty Zebra”, “Carbon Copy”, “Founding Father”, “Idiot’s Crusade”, “Death Scene”, and “Green Thumb”.
  • The Night of the Puudly (1964) Contains “The Night of the Puudly”, “Crying Jag”, “Installment Plan”, “Condition of Employment” and “Project Mastodon”.
  • Worlds Without End (1964) Contains “Worlds Without End”, “The Spaceman’s Van Gogh”, and “Full Cycle”.
  • Best Science Fiction Stories of Clifford Simak (1967) Contains “Founding Father”, “Immigrant”, “New Folks Home”, “Crying Jag”, “All The Traps Of Earth”, “Lulu” and “Neighbor”.
  • So Bright the Vision (1968) Contains “The Golden Bugs”, “Leg. Forst.”, “So Bright the Vision,” and “Galactic Chest”.
  • The Best of Clifford D. Simak (1975) Contains “1939: Madness from Mars”, “1940: Sunspot Purge”, “1958: The Sitters”, “1959: A Death in the House”, “1960: Final Gentleman”, “1961: Shotgun Cure”, “1963: Day of Truce”, “1965: Small Deer”, “1970: The Thing in the Stone”, and “1971: The Autumn Land”.
  • Skirmish: The Great Short Fiction of Clifford D. Simak (1977) Contains “Huddling Place”, “Desertion”, “Skirmish”, “Good Night, Mr. James”, “The Sitters”, “The Big Front Yard”, “All the Traps of Earth”, “The Thing in the Stone”, “The Autumn Land”, and “The Ghost of a Model T”.
  • Brother And Other Stories (1986) Contains “Brother”, “Over The River And Through The Woods”, “Auk House” and “Kindergarten”.
  • The Marathon Photograph (1986) Contains “The Birch Clump Cylinder”, “The Whistling Well”, “The Marathon Photograph”, and “The Grotto of the Dancing Deer”. Introduction by Francis Lyall.
  • Off-Planet (1989) Contains "Construction Shack", "Ogre", "Junkyard", "The Observer", "The World That Couldn't Be", "Shadow World" and "Mirage". Introduction by Francis Lyall.
  • The Autumn Land and Other Stories (1990) Contains “Rule 18”, “Jackpot”, “Contraption”, “Courtesy”, “Gleaners” and “The Autumn Land”.
  • Immigrant and Other Stories (1991) “Neighbor”, “Green Thumb”, “Small Deer”, “The Ghost of a Model T”, “Byte your Tongue!”, “I am Crying All Inside”, and “Immigrant”. Introduction by Francis Lyall.
  • The Creator and Other Stories (1993) Contains “The Creator”, “Shotgun Cure”, “All The Traps Of Earth”, “Death Scene”, “Reunion On Ganymede”, “The Money Tree”, “Party Line”, "The Answers” and “The Thing In The Stone”.
  • Over the River and Through the Woods: The Best Short Fiction of Clifford D. Simak (1996) Contains “A Death in the House”, “The Big Front Yard”, “Good Night, Mr. James”, “Dusty Zebra”, “Neighbor”, “Over the River and Through the Woods”, “Construction Shack”, and “The Grotto of the Dancing Deer”. Introduction by Poul Anderson.
  • The Civilization Game and Other Stories (1997) Contains “Horrible Example”, “The Civilisation Game”, “Hermit Of Mars”, “Masquerade”, “Buckets Of Diamonds”, “Hunch” and “The Big Front Yard”.

Science fiction short stories[edit]

The table is ordered by date; select an arrow to sort by another column.

Name Magazine Published Notes
“The World of the Red Sun” Wonder Stories December 1931
“Mutiny on Mercury” Wonder Stories March 1932
“The Voice in the Void” Wonder Stories Quarterly Spring 1932
“Hellhounds of the Cosmos” Astounding June 1932
“The Asteroid of Gold” Wonder Stories November 1932
“The Creator” Marvel Tales, Volume 1, #4 March/April 1935
“Rule 18” Astounding Science Fiction July 1938 Earth has lost at football to Mars for decades because men have grown soft. So the coach reaches back for real he-men - back 3,000 years.
“Hunger Death” Astounding Science Fiction October 1938
“Reunion on Ganymede” Astounding Science Fiction November 1938 On Jupiter's desolate moon, two cantankerous veterans of the Earth-Mars War end up fighting shoulder-to shoulder against rampaging robots.
“The Loot of Time” Thrilling Wonder Stories December 1938 AKA "S.O.S in Time" (unauthorized).
"Cosmic Engineers" Astounding Science Fiction February, March, April 1939 A crew is piped to the edge of known space to help prevent two universes from colliding.
“Madness from Mars” Thrilling Wonder Stories April 1939 The fourth, and only, spaceship to return from Mars holds an insane crew and a Martian "furball".
"Hermit of Mars" Astounding Science Fiction June 1939 A woman dares two guides to trek into Madman's Canyon, where no one's ever escaped with their sanity.
"The Space Beasts" Astounding Science Fiction April 1940
"Rim of the Deep" Astounding Science Fiction May 1940
"Clerical Error" Astounding Science Fiction August 1940
“Sunspot Purge” Astounding Science Fiction November 1940 Two newspapermen fly into the future to report how sunspots have affected humanity.
"Masquerade" Astounding Science Fiction March 1941 AKA "Operation Mercury". The power station on Mercury tolerates the "Roman Candle" energy beings that cavort outside - until a crew member goes missing.
"Earth for Inspiration" Thrilling Wonder Stories April 1941
"Spaceship in a Flask" Astounding Science Fiction July 1941
"The Street That Wasn't There" Comet July 1941 AKA "The Lost Street". Co-written with Carl Jacobi. A disgraced physicist watches his city disappear as people stop believing it exists.
"Tools" Astounding Science Fiction July 1942
"Shadow of Life" Astounding Science Fiction March 1943
“Hunch” Astounding Science Fiction July 1943 A blind man and his alien "seeing eye dog" have only a "hunch" that an epidemic of insanity stems from a million-year-old war.
"Infiltration" Science Fiction Stories July 1943
"Message from Mars" Planet Stories Fall 1943
"Ogre" Astounding Science Fiction January 1944
“Lobby” Astounding Science Fiction April 1944
“City” Astounding Science Fiction May 1944 Since everyone moved to the country with their atomic generators and personal aircraft, the cities are largely abandoned. What's left of the city councils will burn the empty houses—unless someone has a better idea.
"Mr. Meek - Musketeer" Planet Stories Summer 1944 Touring the asteroid Juno, a bookkeeper is mistaken for a gunman and forced to clean up the town!
Huddling Place Astounding Science Fiction July 1944 Men left the cities for the comforts of home, and now can't leave home—not even to save a life.
"Mr. Meek Plays Polo" Planet Stories Fall 1944 Touring the rings of Saturn, a bookkeeper runs into mathematically-minded bugs and rough-and-tumble miners out to play space polo - with Meek as their star player!
“Census” Astounding Science Fiction September 1944 In the first census in 300 years, an enumerator discovers what may be the next step in human evolution.
“Desertion” Astounding Science Fiction November 1944 When yet another survey team fails to return from Jupiter's harsh surface, an aging administrator and his old dog volunteer for a biological conversion--with the promise to return quickly with information, if at all possible. (One of the first stories about Pantropy).
“Paradise” Astounding Science Fiction June 1946 A volunteer has returned from lizard-conversion on Jupiter (seen in "Desertion") with a promise of paradise.
“Hobbies” Astounding Science Fiction November 1946 While the last few humans kill time with hobbies, talking dogs and sentient robots explore uncharted sciences.
“Aesop” Astounding Science Fiction December 1947 Animals have inherited the world, and "cobblies" (other-dimensional demons) have come, so Jenkins the faithful butler takes the last remaining humans away.
“Eternity Lost” Astounding Science Fiction July 1949 A 500-year-old politician is denied any more life extensions, so plots to get even.
“Limiting Factor” Startling Stories November 1949 A survey team finds a shining planet is one vast computer, built to calculate - what?
“Bathe Your Bearings in Blood!” Amazing Stories 1950 AKA “Skirmish”. A newspaper reporter discovers machines are coming alive and revolting, the first skirmish in a war to come.
“The Call from Beyond” Super Science Stories May 1950
"Seven Came Back" Amazing Stories October 1950 AKA "Mirage". A stranded archeologist who befriends Martians is shown an ancient city that glitters like a mirage.
“The Trouble with Ants” Fantastic Adventures January 1951 AKA "The Simple Way". Evolved ants and their robot ants are building so fast they'll cover the Earth, and there's no simple way to stop them.
"Second Childhood" Galaxy Science Fiction February 1951
Good Night, Mr. James Galaxy Science Fiction March 1951 AKA "The Duplicate Man" and "The Night of the Puudly". A lethal alien puudly is loose and ready to breed. Mr. James hunts to kill it—or does he?
“You’ll Never Go Home Again” Fantastic Adventures July 1951 AKA "Beachhead". A survey team brutally pacifies a toehold on an alien planet, then learns you can't plan for the unknown.
“Courtesy” Astounding Science Fiction August 1951 Planetary explorers succumb to a virus that doesn't afflict the local "savages" - except for one man who's polite.
"The Fence" Space Science Fiction September 1952 A man with a dismal PS (Personal Satisfaction rating) finds intrigue in an invisible fence that can't be crossed.
"And The Truth Shall Make You Free" Future Science Fiction March 1953 AKA "The Answers". A space wanderer finds the long-lost mutant strain of humans and the universal truths they uncovered.
"Retrograde Evolution" Science Fiction Plus April 1953 Spacefaring traders are stumped when an alien race evolves from savages to geniuses overnight.
"Junkyard" Galaxy Science Fiction May 1953 Explorers touch down on a planet containing only a junked spaceship and a stone tower. Then they discover they can't get leave because the engineers have forgotten how.
"Kindergarten" Galaxy Science Fiction July 1953
Worrywart Galaxy Science Fiction September 1953 A newspaperman finds a recluse who can seemingly fix any problem just by wishing it better.
"Shadow Show" Fantasy & Science Fiction November 1953 A colony of scientists struggle to develop artificial life. For entertainment, they role-play in a neverending melodrama. Until art begins to imitate life.
"Contraption" Star Science Fiction Stories #1 1953 A lonely farm boy finds friends in a broken flying saucer.
"The Questing of Foster Adams" Fantastic Universe August/September 1953
"Spacebred Generations" Science Fiction Plus August 1953 AKA "Target Generation". A generation ship that's traveled for 1,000 years suddenly stops. Only one man, a "sinner" who can read books, will risk his life to complete the mission.
"Immigrant" Astounding Science Fiction March 1954 The planet Kimon is a galactic El Dorado. There are a few who do not dream of going there, and fewer still who make the grade, none return.
"Neighbor" Astounding Science Fiction June 1954 A newcomer to a run-down farm brings peace and prosperity to the community, but powerfully resists inquiries.
"Green Thumb" 'Galaxy Science Fiction' July 1954 A county agent finds an alien plant hiding in his garden, and learns why a "green thumb" is a blessing and a curse.
"Dusty Zebra" 'Galaxy Science Fiction' September 1954 When common household items disappear from his desk top, a salesman seizes the opportunity to trade for alien what-nots.
"Idiot's Crusade" Galaxy Science Fiction October 1954 The village idiot has been possessed by an anthropologist alien, but now the "idiot" has ideas of his own.
"How-2" Galaxy Science Fiction November 1954 Novella illustrated by Emsh. Due to a mix-up, a hobbyist builds a kit-robot that makes another robot, then another...
"Project Mastodon" Galaxy Science Fiction March 1955 Going back 50,000 years in time, opportunists found "Mastodonia" to make millions selling access to their "country" and its "resources".
"Full Cycle" Science Fiction Stories November 1955 An out-of-work history teacher buys a trailer and becomes a nomad—as has everyone else—but conceives an idea how to improve life for everyone.
"Worlds Without End" Future #31 1956 When the Director of Dreams mysteriously dies, a bureaucrat is promoted - into a conspiracy.
"The Spaceman's Van Gogh" Science Fiction Stories March 1956 A seeker finds the final resting place of a famous painter who saw something no one had ever seen before.
"Drop Dead" Galaxy Science Fiction July 1956 An agricultural survey team on a new planet finds a one-stop-shopping animal that could end hunger. Dare they eat it?
"So Bright the Vision" Fantastic Universe August 1956 A luckless writer can't afford a new "yarner" machine to create stories, until he finds an alien "blanket" that grants him visions.
"Honorable Opponent" Galaxy Science Fiction August 1956 The alien "Flyers" are winning the war, and Earth's leaders can't even guess their objective.
"Galactic Chest" Science Fiction Stories September 1956 A frustrated newsman attributes local serendipities to brownies, then gets a surprise.
"Jackpot" Galaxy Science Fiction October 1956 Shoestring salvagers hit the jackpot when they discover a galactic library, but soon learn a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
"Operation Stinky" Galaxy Science Fiction April 1957 An old codger finds a skunk with peculiar abilities, and is soon in hot water with the local Air Force commander.
"Founding Father" Galaxy Science Fiction May 1957 A lonely colonist is responsible for raising one thousand embryos on a distant planet, but he's no longer sure what's real.
"Lulu" Galaxy Science Fiction June 1957 Lulu, a Planetary Exploration Robot, develops the heart and soul of a woman - and ambitious plans for her three-man crew.
“Shadow World” Galaxy Science Fiction September 1957 On an alien planet, a construction crew is pestered by “Shadows” that copy everything they do - literally.
"Death Scene" Infinity Science Fiction October 1957 Everyone on Earth gains the power to see a day into the future, but some visions are better not "seen".
"Carbon Copy" Galaxy Science Fiction December 1957 A real estate salesman is making a fortune leasing houses to families—except the houses remain empty.
"Nine Lives" Short Stories: A Man's Magazine December 1957
“The World That Couldn’t Be” Galaxy Science Fiction January 1958 A plantation owner on an alien world tracks the strange animal Cytha, and gets a lesson in xeno-ecology.
“Leg. Forst.” Infinity Science Fiction April 1958 A skinflint stamp dealer discovers an alien stamp is reorganizing his collection—and himself.
“The Sitters” Galaxy Science Fiction April 1958 A prodigal-son spaceman brought home gentle alien "Sitters" to raise the town's children—except they don't remain children.
"The Money Tree" Venture Science Fiction July 1958 A sharper goes hunting a money tree and stumbles on an opportunity to benefit all mankind.
“The Big Front Yard” Astounding Science Fiction October 1958 When a spatial gateway splits his house and opens onto another world, a Yankee trader drives in to explore—and to dicker with the locals. Winner 1959 Hugo for Best Novelette.
“The Civilization Game” Galaxy Magazine November 1958 On the neglected backwater Earth, people preserve mankind's greatest arts such as sculpture, music, and religion, but also war, politics, and assassination.
"Installment Plan" Galaxy Magazine February 1959 A work gang shows up on a remote planet to collect the harvest of podars needed for medicine, but the natives won't sell.
"No Life of Their Own" Galaxy Magazine August 1959 Novella illustrated by Wally Wood. Aliens are settling local farms, so Steve plays with kids nicknamed Fancy Pants, Nature Boy, and Butch. Quarrels escalate when one boy goes missing, and only kids can see the ghostly "Halflings" who hold him!
“A Death in the House” Galaxy Magazine October 1959 A hillman finds a smashed spaceship and a dying alien, and buries it. Then is visited again.
“Final Gentleman” Fantasy & Science Fiction January 1960 An oracle computer seems to be steering humanity's destiny, and a defamed writer doesn't like it.
“Crying Jag” Galaxy Magazine February 1960 A visiting alien latches onto people to hear their sad stories.
“All the Traps of Earth” Fantasy & Science Fiction March 1960 A runaway robot gains the ability to telekinetically fix any problem, yet can't fix his own problem: the need to be needed.
“The Gleaners” IF March 1960 The put-upon director of Past, Inc. sends out operatives to cherry-pick treasures from the past, until some oddly prescient folk in his office suggest another way.
“Condition of Employment” Galaxy Magazine April 1960 Only homesickness can induce spacemen to risk their lives, so it's induced.
“The Golden Bugs” Fantasy & Science Fiction June 1960 An insurance salesman finds an agate boulder in his garden and his house full of golden (alien?) ladybugs.
“Shotgun Cure” Fantasy & Science Fiction January 1961 An alien gives a country doctor a vaccine to wipe out mankind's diseases—including a few we never recognized.
"Horrible Example" Analog Science Fiction March 1961 A frustrated robot plays the role of a town drunk, then one night steps outside his programming.
“The Shipshape Miracle” IF (Worlds of IF Science Fiction) January 1963 A slippery character stranded on a remote planet is "rescued" by a mysterious black ship.
“Day of Truce” Galaxy Magazine February 1963 The local "Punks" take advantage of the once-a-year truce to ransack the last fortified house in the suburbs.
"Physician to the Universe" Fantastic Science Fiction March 1963 When health and hygiene are made mandatory, an inventor is consigned to a dismal remote "limbo" to die.
"A Pipeline to Destiny" HKLPLOD #4 Summer 1963
"New Folk's Home" Analog Science Fiction July 1963
“Small Deer” Galaxy Magazine October 1965 A tinkerer fires up a time machine and learns what killed off the dinosaurs — and may come back.
“Over the River and Through the Woods” Amazing Stories May 1965 A farm family c. 1900 is visited by their great-great-great-grandchildren.
“Buckets of Diamonds” Galaxy Magazine April 1969 First Uncle George mysteriously "finds" a pile of treasures, then a mysterious evangelist commands he throw it all away!
“I Am Crying All Inside” Galaxy Magazine August 1969
“The Thing in the Stone” IF (Worlds of If Science Fiction) March 1970 A man who suffered brain damage can see the ancient past and hear the traffic of the stars - and the creature trapped under a mountain.
“The Autumn Land” Fantasy & Science Fiction October 1971 An engineer drifting through life finds himself trapped in a village where nothing ever happens.
"To Walk a City's Street" Infinity #3 1972
"The Observer" Analog Science Fiction May 1972
“Construction Shack” Worlds of If January/February 1973 A manned expedition to Pluto finds it's not a planet, but a hollow metal sphere.
"UNIVAC: 2200" Frontiers 1: Tomorrow’s Alternatives 1973
"The Marathon Photograph" Threads of Time 1974 Back in the hills, two scientists find a body and a hologram-photo of the Battle of Marathon - and sinister strangers hunting both.
“The Birch Clump Cylinder” Stellar #1 1974 A sputtering "time engine" has fallen onto the grounds of an old college, and an alumnus is asked to turn it off - with no idea what might happen.
“The Ghost of a Model T” Epoch 1975 A lonely old man gets one last ride through his happy youth.
"Senior Citizen" Fantasy & Science Fiction October 1975
“Unsilent Spring” Stellar #2 1976 A country doctor suspects an epidemic of malaise is due to a lack(?) of DDT. Co-written with Richard Simak.
“Auk House” Stellar #3 1977 An artist enters a remote house only to learn it actually sits in prehistoric North America, with no way back.
“Brother” Fantasy & Science Fiction October 1977
“Party Line” Destinies 1978 Volunteers risk their sanity by sending their minds into the void to query alien intelligences.
Grotto of the Dancing Deer Analog Science Fiction April 1980 An archeologist discovers ancient cartoony cave paintings, and the artist who painted them. Winner of Hugo and Nebula Awards for Best Short Story 1981.[1]
“The Whistling Well” Dark Forces 1980 A genealogist unearths his ancestral home, and wonders if dinosaurs had gods.
“Epilog” City 1981 Humans, animals, and even ants are gone, so it's time for Jenkins the robot to go too.
“Byte Your Tongue!” Stellar #6 1981

Western short stories[edit]

Simak wrote a few Western pulp stories.

Name Magazine Published Notes
"Smoke Killer" Lariat Story Magazine May 1944
"Cactus Colts" Lariat Story Magazine July 1944
"Trail City's Hot-Lead Crusaders" New Western Magazine September 1944
"Gravestone Rebels Ride by Night" Big Book Western Magazine October 1944
"Fighting Doc of Bushwhack Basin" .44 Western Magazine November 1944
"The Reformation of Hangman's Gulch" Big Book Western Magazine December 1944
"Way for the Hangtown Rebel" Ace-High Western Stories May 1945
"Good Nesters are Dead Nesters" .44 Western Magazine July 1945
"The Hangnoose Army Rides to Town" Ace-High Western Stories September 1945
"Barb Wire Brings Bullets" Ace-High Western Stories November 1945
“The Gunsmoke Drummer Sells a War” Ace-High Western Stories January 1946 A roving peddler tangles with county politics, feuding bandits, a mysterious letter, a grizzled trapper, and a dapper assassin to rescue his kidnapped girl.
"No More Hides and Tallow" Lariat Story Magazine March 1946
"When it's Hangnoose Time in Hell" .44 Western Magazine April 1946
"Gunsmoke Interlude" Ten Story Western October 1952

War short stories[edit]

Simak wrote a few war stories during World War II.

Name Magazine Published Notes
"A Bomb for No. 10 Downing" Sky Fighters September 1942
"A Hero Must Not Die" Sky Raiders June 1943
"Green Flight, Out!" Army-Navy Flying Stories Fall 1943
"Guns on Guadalcanal" Air War Fall 1943
"War is Personal" Army-Navy Flying Stories Vol. 4 No. 3 Winter 1944
"War is Personal" (reprint) American Eagles (U.K) Aug 1945

Non-fiction books[edit]

  • The Solar System: Our New Front Yard (1962)
  • Trilobite, Dinosaur, and Man: The Earth's Story (1965)
  • Wonder and Glory: The Story of the Universe (1969)
  • Prehistoric Man: The Story of Man's Rise to Civilization (1971)

Edited books[edit]

  • From Atoms to Infinity: Readings in Modern Science (1965)
  • The March of Science (1971)
  • Nebula Award Stories #6 (1971)
  • The Best of Astounding (1978)

Film adaptations[edit]

  • "Good Night, Mr. James" adapted as "The Duplicate Man" on The Outer Limits in 1964. Simak notes this is a "vicious story—so vicious that it is the only one of my stories adapted to television." [8]

Audiotapes[edit]

  • Clifford D. Simak; Over the River and Through the Woods (read by Jonathan Frakes) (1995)

Awards[edit]

The Science Fiction Writers of America made Simak its third SFWA Grand Master in 1977, after Robert Heinlein and Jack Williamson.[2] In 1987 the Horror Writers Association named him one of three inaugural winners of the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement, with Fritz Leiber and Frank Belknap Long.[3]

Other lifetime awards
Best-of-year literary awards[1]

Books about Clifford D. Simak[edit]

Biographical sources[edit]

  • Contemporary Authors. New Revision Series. Detroit, Gale Research Co.
  • Sam Moskowitz Seekers of Tomorrow (1967) (one chapter covers Simak)
  • "Obituaries: Clifford D. Simak." Nationwide News Pty Limited - Herald, April 29, 1988.
  • Weatherby, W. J. "Obituary of Clifford Simak, realist of SF." Guardian Newspapers Limited/The Guardian (London), April 29, 1988.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Simak, Clifford D." The Locus Index to SF Awards: Index to Literary Nominees. Locus Publications. Retrieved 2013-04-05.
  2. ^ a b "Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master". Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  3. ^ a b "Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement". Horror Writers Association (HWA). Retrieved 2013-04-05.
  4. ^ Bramscher, Paul. "Clifford Simak's Biography". Paul Bramscher. Retrieved 2011-12-28. 
  5. ^ a b Clifford D. Simak at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB). Retrieved 2013-04-05. Select a title to see its linked publication history and general information. Select a particular edition (title) for more data at that level, such as a front cover image or linked contents.
  6. ^ a b "Astounding/Analog – Series Bibliography". ISFDB. Retrieved 2013-04-05.
  7. ^ Author's "Foreword" in Skirmish: The Great Short Fiction of Clifford D. Simak.
  8. ^ a b Author's Foreword in Skirmish.
  9. ^ Paperback Library Edition of 1964 gives this printing history: "From the original short novel by the same author, Copyright 1939 by Street and Smith Publications, Inc... Copyright 1950 by Clifford D. Simak."
  10. ^ "Galaxy's Five Star Shelf," Galaxy Science Fiction, August 1951, p.101.

External links[edit]