Clifford Donald Simak

(1904 - 1988)


Clifford D. Simak, one of the finest modern science-fiction writers, has dealt with time travel and alternate worlds very frequently. He has published over 25 novels and possibly about 300 short stories. Interesting and poetic is his typical flavor of pastoral or American 'small-town viewpoint'. Simak was born and raised in Millville (small town in Wisconsin) and became probably the best known proponent of the pastoral science fiction. He spent his adult life as a teacher and journalist in Michigan and Minnesota and often pictured the Midwest and its people. According to Poul Anderson: "when (Simak) dealt with his Midwestern land and people, he was one of the finest regional writers the United States has had. He knew them, he was them, and he gave them to us in his own homely words, which he nevertheless made into poetry."

"...we thought all the time that we were passing through time when we really weren't, when we never have. We've just been moving along with time. We said, there's another second gone, there's another minute and another hour and another day, when, as a matter of fact the second or the minute or the hour was never gone. It was the same one all the time. It had just moved along and we had moved with it."
(Clifford D. Simak: "City" - Aesop (orig. Astounding, December 1947)

"Time is a mental concept," said Pringle."They looked for time everywhere else before they located it in the human mind..." 

(Clifford D. Simak: "Time and Again" 1950, 1951)

"(after the study of Hamal mathematics, Mona Campbell said:) "Time is one of the factors of the universal matrix... Space is another factor and matter/energy is the third. They're all bound together, woven together. They can't be separated. They can't be destroyed. We can't manipulate them...
... Life is a factor, too. Perhaps I should say life/death, in the same sense that we say matter/energy, although I imagine the analogy is not exactly right."
(Daniel Frost said:) "Life/death?"
"Yes, like matter/energy. You might call it, if you wished, the law of the conservation of life....
... life is not destroyed, it is not quenched or blown out like a candle flame. Death is translation of this property that we call life into another form. Just as matter is translated into energy or energy into matter.""


"(Mona Campbell said:) "... life goes on, ... it can't be destroyed, no more than energy... it's as everlasting as time and space itself. Because it is one with time and space in the fabric of the universe.... there is no end to life...""


"The Holies were right, he (Daniel Frost) thought - as mankind itself had been right for many centuries in the faith it held. Although, he knew, the Holies would reject out of hand the evidence of life's foreverness because it held no promise of everlasting glory, nor the sound of silver trumpets.
For it promised nothing beyond life going on into eternity. It did not say what form that life would take or even if it would have a form. But it was evidence, he thought, and that was better than mere faith, for faith was never more, even at the best, than the implied hope for evidence."

(Clifford Simak: Why Call Them Back From Heaven?)



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