Way Station, Clifford Simak
Clifford Simak

Way Station

277 printed pages
An ageless hermit runs a secret way station for alien visitors in the Wisconsin woods in this Hugo Award–winning science fiction classic
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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Dear sir [he read], I would suspect I am unknown to you. I am one of several editors of the British journal, Nature, to which you have been a subscriber for these many years. I do not use the journal’s letterhead because this letter is personal and unofficial and perhaps not even in the best of taste.
You are, it may interest you to know, our eldest subscriber. We have had you on our mailing lists for more than eighty years.
While I am aware that it is no appropriate concern of mine, I have wondered if you, yourself, have subscribed to our publication for this length of time, or if it might be possible that your father or someone close to you may have been the original subscriber and you simply have allowed the subscription to continue in his name.
My interest undoubtedly constitutes an unwarranted and inexcusable curiosity and if you, sir, choose to ignore the query it is entirely within your rights and proper that you do so. But if you should not mind replying, an answer would be appreciated.
I can only say in my own defense that I have been associated for so long with our publication that I feel a certain sense of pride that someone has found it worth the having for more than eighty years. I doubt that many publications can boast such long time interest on the part of any man.
May I assure, you, sir, of my utmost respect.
Sincerely yours.
For despite whatever might have happened, a man still had a life to live, days to be gotten through the best that one could manage.
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Клиффорд Саймак, Maxim Bindus
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