Parallel Worlds of Clifford D. Simak







Further Excerpts from Simak's Travels into Parallel Worlds



"'Harder,' Jenkins thought. 'Harder! Harder!'
A quiver went across his mind and he brushed it away. Not hypnotism - not yet telepathy, but the best that he could do. A drawing together, a huddling together of minds - and it was all a game.
Slowly, carefully, he brought out the hidden symbol - the words, the thought and the inflection. Easily he slid them into his brain, one by one, like one would speak to a child, trying to teach it the exact tone, the way to hold its lips, the way to move its tongue.
He let them lay there for a moment, felt the other minds touching them, felt the fingers dabbing at them. And then he thought them aloud - thought them as the cobbly had thought them.
And nothing happened. Absolutely nothing. No click within his brain. No feeling of falling. No vertigo. No sensation at all.
So he had failed. So it was over. So the game was done.
He opened his eyes and the hillside was the same. The sun still shone and the sky was robin's egg.
He sat stiffly, silently and felt them looking at him.
Everything was the same as it had been before.
Except -
There was a daisy where the clump of Oswego tea had bloomed redly before. There was a pasture rose beside him and there had been none when he had closed his eyes..."

(Clifford D. Simak: City)


"One world and then another, running like a chain. One world treading on the heels of another world that plodded just ahead. One world's tomorrow, another world's today. And yesterday is tomorrow, and tomorrow is the past.
Except, there wasn't any past. No past, that was, except the figment of remembrance that flitted like a night-winged thing in the shadow of one's mind. No past that one could reach. No pictures painted on the wall of time. No film that one could run backwards and see what-once-had-been...
One road was open, but another road was closed. Not closed, of course, for it had never been. For there wasn't any past, there never had been any, there wasn't room for one. Where there should have been a past there was another world.
Like two dogs walking in one another's tracks. One dog steps out and another dog steps in. Like a long, endless row of ball bearings running down a groove, almost touching, but not quite. Like the links of an endless chain running on a wheel with a billion billion sprockets..."

(Clifford D. Simak: City)


""There isn't any room," said Joshua. "You travel back along the line of time and you don't find the past, but another world., another bracket of consciousness. The earth would be the same, you see, or almost the same. Same trees, same rivers, same hills, but it wouldn't be the world we know. Because it has lived a different life, it has developed differently. The second back of us is not the second back of us at all, but another second, a totally separate sector of time. We live in the same second all the time. We move along within the bracket of that second, that tiny bit of time that has been allotted to our particular world."
"The way we keep time was to blame," said Ichabod. "It was the thing that kept us from thinking of it in the way it really was. For 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."
Jenkins nodded. "I see. Like driftwood on the river. Chips moving with the river. And the scene changes along the river bank, but the water is the same."
"That's roughly it," said Joshua. "Except that time is a rigid stream and the different worlds are more firmly fixed in place than the driftwood on the river."
"And the cobblies live in those other worlds?"
Joshua nodded. "I'm sure they must.""

(Clifford D. Simak: City)


"The grey shadow slid along the rocky ledge, heading for the den, mewing to itself in frustration and bitter disappointment - for the Words had failed.
The slanting sun of early afternoon picked out a face and head and body, indistinct and murky, like a haze of morning mist rising from the gully.
Suddenly the ledge pinched off and the shadow stopped, bewildered, crouched against the rocky wall - for there was no den. The ledge pinched off before it reached the den!
It whirled around like a snapping whip, stared back across the valley. And the river was all wrong. It flowed closer to the bluffs than it had flowed before. There was a swallow's nest on the rocky wall and there'd never been a swallow's nest before.
The shadow stiffened and the tufted tentacles on its ears came up and searched the air.
There was life! The scent of it lay faint upon the air, the feel of it vibrated across the empty notches of the marching hills.
The shadow stirred, came out of its crouch, flowed along the ledge.
There was no den and the river was different and there was a swalow's nest plastered on the cliff.
The shadow quivered, drooling mentally.
The Words had been right. They had not failed. This was a different world."

(Clifford D. Simak: City)


...He could go back into the basement, but that wasn't any better than the place he was. He could saunter out into the store and act like a customer, finally walk out into the street, doing his best to look like an ordinary citizen who had dropped into the place to look at some treasured gun or tool he wished that he could buy. But he doubted that he could carry it off.
So the ilIogic hadn't paid off, after all. Logic and reason were still the winners, still the factors that ruled the ordering of men's lives.
There was no escape from this sun-lit nest behind the crated stove.
There was no escape, unless -
He had found the top again. He had the top there with him. There was no escape - unless the top should work, there was no escape.
He put the top's point on the ftoor and spun it slowly, pumping on the handle. It picked up speed; he pumped it faster. He let go and it spun, whistling. He hunkered in front of it and watched the coloured.stripes. He saw them come into being and he followed them into infinity and he wondered where they went. He forced his attention on the top, narrowing it down until the top was all he saw.
It didn't work. The top wobbled and he put out a hand and stopped it.
He tried again.
He had to be an eight-year-old. He had to go back to childhood once again. He must clear away his mind, sweep out all adult thoughts, all the adult worry, all sophistication. He must become a child.
He thought of playing in the sand, of napping under trees, of the feel of soft dust beneath bare feet. He closed his eyes and concentrated and caught the vision of a childhood and the colour and the smell of it.
He opened his eyes and watched the stripes and filled his mind with wonder, with the question of their being and the question of where they went when they disappeared.
It didn't work. The top wobbled and he stopped it.
A frantic thought wedged its way into his consciousness. He didn't have much time. He had to hurry.
He pushed the thought away.
A child had no conception of time. For the child, time went on forever and forever. He was a little boy and he had all the tirne there was and he owned a brand new top.
He spun the top again.
He knew the comfort of a home and a loved mother and the playthings scattered on the ftoor and the story books that Grandma would read to him when she came visiting again. And he watched the top, with a simple, childish wonder - watching the stripes come up and disappear, come up and disappear, come up and disappear -
He fell a foot or so and thumped upon the ground and he was sitting atop a hilI and the land stretched out before him for miles and miles and miles, an empty land of waving grass and groves of trees and far-off, winding water.
He looked down at his feet and the top was there, slowly spinning to a wobbling halt.


The land lay new and empty of any mark of Man, a land of raw earth and sky; even the wildness of the wind that swept across it seemed to say that the land was untamed.
From his hilltop, Vickers saw bands of dark, moving shapes that he felt sure were small herds of buffalo and even as he watched three wolves came loping up the slope, saw him and veered off, angling down the hill. In the blue sweep of sky that arched from horizon to horizon with a single cloud a bird wheeled gracefully, spying out the land. It screeched and the screech came down to Vickers as a high, thin sound filtered through the sky.
The top had brought him through. He was safe in this empty land with wolves and buffalo.
He climbed to the ridgetop and looked across the reaches of the grassland, with its frequent groves and many watercourses, sparkling in the sun. There was no sign of human habitation - no roads, no threads of smoke sifting up the sky.

(Clifford D. Simak: "Ring Around the Sun", from the end of Chapter 29 and beginning of Chapter 30)

It was no alien land - no alien dimension into which the top had flung bim, although, of course, it had not been the top at all. The top hadn't had anything to do with it. The top was simply something on which one focused one's attention, simply a hypnotic device to aid the mind in the job which it must do. The top had helped him come into true land, but it had been his mind and that strange otherness that was his which had enabled him to travel from old familiar Earth to this strange, primal place.
There was something he had heard or read....
He was searching for it, digging back into his brain with frantic mental fingers.
A news story, perhaps. Or something he had heard. Or something he had seen on television.
It came to bim finally - the story about the man in Boston - a Dr Aldridge, he seemed to remember, who had said that there might be more worlds than one, that there might be a world a second ahead of ours and one a second behind ours and another a second behind that and still another and another and another, a long string of worlds whirling one behind the other, like men walking in the snow, one man putting his foot in the same track and so on down the line.
An endless chain of worlds, one behind the other. A ring around the sun.
He hadn't finished reading the story, he remembered; something had distracted him and he'd laid the paper down. Smoking the cigarette down to its final shred, he wished that he had read it all. For Aldridge might have been right. This might be the next world after the old, familiar Earth, the next link on an endless chain of earths.
He tried to puzzle out the logic of such a ring of worlds but he gave up, for he had no idea of why it should be so.
Say, then, that this was Earth. No. Two, the next earth behind the original Earth which he had left behind. Say, then, that in topographical features the earths would resemble one another, not exactly like one another perhaps, but very close in their topography, with little differences here and there, each magnified in turn until probably a matter of ten earths back the change would become noticeable. But this was only the second earth and perhaps its features were but little changed, and on old Earth he had been somehow in Illinois and this, he told himself, was the kind of land the ancient Illinois would have been.
As a boy of eight he had gone into a land where there had been a garden and a house in a grove of trees and maybe this was the very earth he had visited then. lf that were so, the house might still be there. And in later years he had walked an enchanted valley and it, too, might have been this earth, and if that were true, then there was another Preston house on this very earth exactly like the one which stood so proudly in the Earth of his childhood.
There was a chance, he told himself. A slim chance, but the only chance he had....

(Clifford D. Simak: "Ring Around the Sun", from the end of Chapter 30)

lt was a good life bere, said Andrews, the best life they'd ever known and Jean smiled her agreement and the kids had lost an argument about letting the dogs come in and sleep the night with them.
lt was a good life, Vickers silently agreed. Here again was the old American frontier, idealised and bookish, with all the frontier's advantages and none of its terror and its hardship. Here was a paternal feudalism, with the Big House on the hill, the castle that looked down across the fields where happy people lived and took their living from the soil. Here was a time for resting and for gathering strength. And here was peace. Here there was no talk of war, no taxes to fight a war, or to prevent a war by a proved willingness to fight.
Here was - what had Andrews said? - the pastoral-feudal stage. And after that came what stage? The pastoral-feudal stage for resting and thinking, for getting thoughts in order, for establishing once again the common touch between Man and soil, the stage in which was prepared the way for the development of a culture that would be better than the one they had left.
This was one earth of many earths. How many others followed close behind: hundreds, millions? Earth following earth, and now all the earths lay open. He tried to figure it out and he thought he saw the pattem that the mutants planned. lt was simple and it was brutal, but it was workable.
There was an Earth that was a failure. Somewhere, on the long path that led up from apedom, they had taken the wrong turning and had travelled since that day a long road of misery. There was brilliance in these people, and goodness, and ability - but they had turned their brilliance and their ability into channels of hate and arrogance and their goodness had been buried in selfishness.
They were good people and were worth the saving, as a drunkard or a criminal is worthy of rehabilitation. But to save them, you must get them out of the neighbourhood they live in, out of the slums of human thought and method. There could be no other way of giving them the opportunity to break themselves of old habits, of the ingrown habits of generation after generation of hate and greed and killing.
To do this, you must break the world they live in and you must have a plan to break it and after it is broken, you must have a programme that leads to a better world.
But first of all, there must be a plan of action.
First you shattered the economic system on which old Earth was built. You shattered it with Forever cars and everlasting razor blades and with synthetic carbohydrates that would feed the hungry. You destroyed industry by producing, once and for all, things that industry could not duplicate and things that made industry obsolete and when you shattered industry to a certain point, war was irnpossible and half the job was done. But that left people without jobs, so you fed them with carbohydrates while you tried to funnel them to the following earths that lay waiting for them. If there wasn't room enough on Earth Number Two, you sent some of them to Number Three and maybe Number Four, so that you had no crowding, so there was room enough for all. On the new earths there was a beginning again, a chance to dodge the errors and skirt the dangers that had bathed Old Earth in blood for countless centuries.
On these new earths you could build any sort of culture that you wished. You could even experiment a little, airn at one culture on the Second Earth and a slightly different one on Number Three and yet a different one on Four. And after a thousand years or so you could compare these cultures and see which one was best and consult the bales of data you had kept and pinpoint each mistake in each particular culture. In tirne you could arrive at a fotrnula for the best in human cultures.
Here on this earth, the pastoral-feudal culture was the first step only. It was a resting place, a place for education and for settling down. Things would change or be changed. The son of the man in whose house he lay would build a better house and probably would have robots to work his fields and make his living, while he himself would live a leisured life and out of a leisured people, with their energies channelled by good leadership, would come paradise on earth - or on many earths.

(Clifford D. Simak: "Ring Around the Sun", from the Chapter 36)


"Millville had gone away somewhere, into some other world. Although that was wrong, I told myself. For somewhere, in its same old world, there yet must be a Millville. It had not been Millville, but myself, that had gone away. I had taken just one step and had walked clear out of Milville into another place.
Yet, while it was a different place, the terrain seemed to be identical with the old terrain. I still was standing in the dip of ground that lay behind my house and back of me the hill rose steeply to the non-existent street where Doc's house had stood and a half mile away loomed the hill where the Sherwood house should be." 

(Clifford D. Simak: All Flesh is Grass)


"What strange circumstances, or what odd combination of many circumstances, must occur, I wondered, to make it possible for a man to step from one world to another.
I stood, a stranger in an unknown land, with the perfume of the flowers clogging not my nostrils only, but every pore of me, pressing in upon me, as if the flowers themselves were rolling in great purple waves to bear me down and bury me for all eternity. The world was quiet; it was the quietest place I had ever been. There was no sound at all. And I realized that perhaps at no time in my life had I ever known silence. Always there had been something that had made some sort of noise - the chirring of a lone insect in the quiet of a summer noon, or the rustle of a leaf. Even in the dead of the night there would have been the creaking of the timbers in the house, the murmur of the furnace, the slight keening of a wind that ran along the eaves.
But there was silence here. There was no sound at all. There was no sound, I knew, because there was nothing that could make a sound. There were no trees or bushes; there were no birds or insects. There was nothing here but the flowers and the soil in which they grew.
A silence and the emptiness that held the silence in its hand, and the purpleness that ran to the far horizon to meet the burnished, pale-blue brightness of a summer sky."

(Clifford D. Simak: All Flesh is Grass)


""What is this place?" I asked.
"This is an alternate Earth," said the Flowers. "It's no more than a clock-tick away from yours."
"An alternate Earth?"
"Yes. There are many Earths. You did not know that , did you?"
"No," I said, "I didn't."
"But you can believe it?"
"With a little practice, maybe."
"There are billions of Earths," the Flowers told me. "We don't know how many, but there are many billions of them. There may be no end to them. There are some who think so."
"One behind the other?"
"No. That's not the way to think of it. We don't know how to tell it. It becomes confused in telling."
"So let's say there are a lot of Earths. It's a little hard to understand. If there were a lot of Earths, we'd see them."
"You could not see them," said the Flowers, "unless you could see in time. The alternate Earths exist in a time matrix..."
"A time matrix? You mean..."
"The simplest way to say it is that time divides the many Earths. Each one is distinguished by its time-location. All that exists for you in the present moment. You cannot see into the past or future..."
"Then to get here I travelled into time."
"Yes," said the Flowers. "That is exactly what you did."
"I choke on it," I told them.
"Let's try to say it another way. Earth is a basic structure, but it progresses along the time path by a process of discontinuity.""

(Clifford D. Simak: All Flesh is Grass)


""The barrier," said the Flowers, "is a rather simple thing. It is a time bubble we managed to project outward from the thin spot in the boundary that separates our worlds. That one slight area of space it occupies is out of phase both with Millville and with the rest of your Earth. The smallest imaginable fraction of a second in the past, running that fraction of a second of time behind the time of Earth. So slight a fraction of a second, perhaps, that it would be difficult, we should imagine, for the most sophisticated of your instruments to take a measurement. A very little thing and yet, we imagine you'll agree, it is quite effective."" 

(Clifford D. Simak: All Flesh is Grass)


"(Jones said:) "... Once there was, as you say, only one world. I do not know how long ago - there is no way of knowing. Then one day something happened. I don't know what it was, we may never know exactly what it was or how it came about. But on that day one man did a certain thing - it would have to have been one man, for this thing he did was so unique that there was no chance of more than one man doing it. But, anyhow, he did it, or he spoke it, or he thought it, whatever it might be, and from that day forward there were two worlds, not one - or at least the possibility of two worlds, not one. The distinction, to start with, would have been shadowy, the two worlds perhaps not too far apart, shading into one another so that you might have thought they were still one world, but becoming solider and drawing further apart until there could be no doubt that there were two worlds. To start with, they would not have been greatly different, but as time went on, the differences hardened and the worlds diverged. They had to diverge because they were irreconcilable. They, or the people in them, were following different paths. One world to begin with, then splitting into two worlds..." "

(Clifford D. Simak: "Enchanted Pilgrimage",
Methuen 1985; p. 107-108)


"Now, please," said Hoot, "all of us together leave us bring forth the door."
His tentacles shot out in front of him, so fast they seemed to snap, standing out rigidly with their tips a-quiver.
God knows, I tried to concentrate. I tried to see a door in front of us, and, so help me, I did see it, a sort of ghostly door with a thin edge of light around it, and once I saw it, I fried to pull on it, but there was nothing on it for a man to grab a hold of and with nothing to grab a hold on there was little chance of pulling. But I tried just the same and kept on trying. I could almost feel the fingers of my mind trying to get hold of its smooth and slippery surfaces, then slowly sliding off.
We would never make it, I knew. The door seemed to be coming open a bit, for the crack of light around it appeared to have widened. But it would take too long; we never could hold out, to get it open wide enough so we could slide through.
I was getting terribly tired - both mentally and physically, it seemed - and I knew the others could be in no better shape. We would try again, of course, and again and again, but we'd be getting weaker all the time and if we couldn't get it open in the first several tries, I knew that we were sunk. So I tried the harder and I seemed to get some small hold on it and pulled with all my might and could feel the others pulling, too - and the door began to open, swinging back toward us on invisible hinges until there was room enough for a man to get his hand into the crack, that is, if the door had been really there. But I knew, even as I pulled and sweated mentally, that the door had no physical existence and that it was something a man could never lay a hand on.
Then, with the door beginning to open, we failed. All of us together. And there was no door. There was nothing but the dune climbing up the sky.
Something crunched behind us and I jumped up and swung around. The wheel loomed tall above us, crunching to a halt, and swarming down from the green mass in the center, swinging down the silvery spider web between the rim and hub was a blob that dripped. It was not a spider, although the basic shape of it and the way it came scrambling down the web brought a spider to one's mind. A spider would have been friendly and cozy alongside this monstrosity that came crawling down the web. It was a quivering obscenity, dripping with some sort of filthy slime, and it had a dozen legs or arms, and at one end of the dripping blob was what might have been a face - and there is no way to put into words the kind of horror that it carried with it, the loathsome feeling of uncleanliness just from seeing it, as if the very sight of it were enough to contaminate one's flesh and mind, the screaming need to keep one's distance from it, the fear that it might come close enough to touch one.
As it came down the web it was making a noise and steadily, it seemed, the noise became louder. Although it had what one could imagine was its face, it had no mouth with which to make the noise, but even with no mouth, the noise came out of it and washed over us. In the noise was the crunch of great teeth splintering bones, mixed with the slobbering of scavenger gulping at a hasty, putrid feast, and an angry chittering that had unreason in it. It wasn't any of these things alone; it was all of them together, or the sense of all of them together, and perhaps if a man had been forced to go on listening to it for long enough he might have detected in it other sounds as well.
It reached the rim of the wheel and leaped off the web to land upon the dune - spraddled there, looming over us, with the filthiness of it dripping off its body and splashing on the sand. I could see the tiny balls of wet sand where the nastiness had dropped.
It stood there, raging at us, the noise of it filling all that world of sand and bouncing off the sky.
And in the noise there seemed to be a word, as if the word were hidden and embedded in the strata of the sound. Bowed down beneath that barrage of sound, it seemed that finally I could feel - not hear, but feel - the word.
"Begone!" it seemed to shout at us. "Begone! Begone! Begone!"
From somewhere out of that moonlit-starlit night, from that land of heaving dunes, came a wind, or some force like a wind, that hammered at us and drove us back - although, come to think of it, it could not have been a wind, for no cloud of sand came with it and there was no roaring such as a wind would make. But it hit us like a fist and staggered us and sent us reeling back.
As I staggered back with the loathesome creature still spraddled on the dune and still raging at us, I realized that there was no longer sand underneath my feet, but some sort of paving.
Then, quite suddenly, the dune was no longer there, but a wall, as if a door we could not see had been slammed before our faces, and when this happened the creature's storm of rage came to an end and in its stead was silence.
But not for long, that silence, for Smith began an insane crying. "He is back again! My friend is back again! He's is in my mind again! He has come back to me."
"Shut up!" I yelled at him. "Shut up that yammering!"
He quieted down a bit, but he went on muttering, flat upon his bottom, with his legs stuck out in front of him and that silly, sickening look of ecstasy painted on his face.
I took a quick look around and saw that we were back where we had come from, in that room with all the panels and behind each panel the shimmering features of another world.
Safely back, I thought with some thankfulness, but through no effort of our own. Finally, given time enough, we might have hauled that door wide enough for us to have gotten through. But we hadn't had to do it; it had been done for us. A creature from that desert world had come along and thrown us out.
The night that had lain over the white world when we had been brought there had given way to day. Through the massive doorway, I could see the faint yellow light of the sun blocked out by the towering structures of the city.
There was no sign of the hobbies or the gnomelike humanoid who had picked the world into which the hobbies threw us.

(Clifford D. Simak: "Destiny Doll",
New York, Putnam 1971)

"(Andy Spaulding said:) "... In a few years more, all the old and solid theories about space and time may collapse to nothing, leaving us standing in the rubble of shattered theories that we then will know are worthless and always have been worthless...""

(Clifford D. Simak: "Special Deliverance",
New York, Ballantine Books (A Del Rey Book) 1982; p. 8)


"(Andy Spaulding said:) "... it would be a blessing should we be forced to undergo some catastrophic event that would cause us to change our thinking and to seek another way of life...""

(Clifford D. Simak: "Special Deliverance",
New York, Ballantine Books (A Del Rey Book) 1982; p. 10)


""Have you ever given any thought," Andy was asking, "to historic crisis points?"

"I don't believe I ever have," said Lansing.

"History is replete with them," Andy told him. "And upon them, the sum of them, rests the sort of world we have today. It has occurred to me, at times, that there may be a number of alternate worlds...""

(Clifford D. Simak: "Special Deliverance",
New York, Ballantine Books 
(A Del Rey Book) 1982; p. 11)

""The hell with it," he (Lansing) said aloud and dropped the dollar (into the slot). The (slot) machine gulped it down and made a clanking sound, and the lights came on the dials. He chugged the lever down, and the dials began their crazy spinning. Then the lights went out and the machine went away. So did the room as well.
He stood upon a path in a woodland glen. Tall, massive trees hemmed him in, and from a little distance off he heard the liquid chatter of a singing brook. Except for the brook there was no sound, and there was nothing stirring." 

(Clifford D. Simak: "Special Deliverance",
New York, Ballantine Books (A Del Rey Book) 1982; p. 23)


"(Sandra Carver said:) "I am a certified poetess in the Academy of Very Ancient Athens and I can speak fourteen tongues, although I only write or sing in one - one of the dialects of Former Gaul, the most expressive language in the entire world. How I came here I do not entirely understand. I was listening to a concert, a new composition played by an orchestra from the Land Across the Western Sea, and in all my life I've never heard anything so powerful and so poignant. It seemed to lift me out of my corporeal body and launch my spirit into another place and when I came back again into my body, both I, my soaring spirit, and my body were in a different place, a pastoral place of astounding beauty. There was a path and I followed it and - ".
"The year?" asked the Parson. "What year, pray?"
"I don't understand your question, Parson."
"What year was it? Your measurement of time."
"The sixty-eigth of the Third Renaissance."
"No, no, I don't mean that. Anno Domini - the year of Our Lord."
"What lord do you speak of? In my day there are so many lords."
"How many years since the birth of Jesus?"
"Yes, the Christ."
"Sir, I have never heard of Jesus nor of Christ."
The Parson appeared on the verge of apoplexy. His face became red and he pulled at his collar as if fighting for air. He tried to speak and strangled on his words." 

(Clifford D. Simak: "Special Deliverance",
New York, Ballantine Books (A Del Rey Book) 1982; p. 31-32)


""I was done in," said Mary, "by, of all things, a blueprint. A fellow engineer brought it to me, claiming there was something in it that he did not understand. He insisted I have a look at it, and he pointed with his finger to where he wanted me to look. It was nothing I had ever seen before and as I struggled to make some sense of it, I was caught up in the configuration that was represented on it and the next I knew I was standing in a forest. I am struck by the coincidence that both Edward and myself were trapped by another human - in his case a student, in my case another engineer. This would argue that whoever, or whatever, did this to us has agents on our worlds."" 

(Clifford D. Simak: "Special Deliverance",
New York, Ballantine Books (A Del Rey Book) 1982; p. 40)


"(Jurgens said:) "... You spoke of what your friend had said - I believe you said he babbled. About alternate worlds, alternate earths splitting off from one another at certain crisis points. I believe you said that was what may have happened."
(Lansing said:) "Yes, I did. For all its madness..."
"And those alternate worlds each would follow its world line. They'd exist simultaneously through time and space. Would that mean, if we indeed are from different alternate worlds, that all of us would come from the same time frame?"
"I hadn't thought of that," said Lansing, "and I don't really know. You understand that this all is supposition. But if the alternate world theory should be true and we do come from such worlds, I see no reason to believe we'd all have to be from the same time frame. Any agency that could put us here probably could be rather arbitrary about time as well.""

(Clifford D. Simak: "Special Deliverance",
New York, Ballantine Books (A Del Rey Book) 1982; p. 53-54)


"The night before he (Lansing) and Jurgens had talked of that, the disparity of time that might be possible in alternate worlds. It was quite apparent from what Jurgens had told him that the robot's time had been many thousands of years in the future beyond the time of Lansing's Earth. Or could the cube be a structure out of time itself, seen only dimly through the misty veil of otherwhen and otherwhere?..." 

(Clifford D. Simak: "Special Deliverance",
New York, Ballantine Books (A Del Rey Book) 1982; p. 62-63)


"Mary gripped his (Lansing's) right arm with both her hands.
""Edward," she said, her voice shaking, "we've found other worlds."
"Other worlds?" he repeated, stupidly.
"There are doors," she said, "and peepholes through the doors. Look through the peepholes and you see the world."
She urged him forward and, not quite comprehending, he came along with her until they stood in front of one of the circles of light. "Look," she said, enthralled. "Look and see. That's my favorite world. I like it best of all."
Lansing moved closer and looked through the peephole.
"I call it the apple-blossom world," she said. "The bluebird world."
And he saw.
The world stretched out before him, a quiet and gentle place with a broad expanse of grass that practically glistened in its greenness. A sparkling brook ran through the meadow in the middle distance, and now he saw that the grass was dotted with the pale blue and soft yellow of many blooming flowers. The yellow flowers looked like daffodils nodding in a breeze. The blue flowers, not so tall, half hidden in the grass, stared out at him like so many frightened eyes. On a distant hilltop stood a grove of small pink trees, covered and obscured by the astonishing pinkness of their blossoms.
"Crabapple trees," said Mary. "Crabapples bear pink blossoms."
The world had a sense of freshness, as if it might be only minutes old - washed clean by a careful springtime rain, dried and scrubbed by a solicitous breeze, burnished to its brightness by the rays of a gentle sun." 

(Clifford D. Simak: "Special Deliverance",
New York, Ballantine Books (A Del Rey Book) 1982; p. 98)


"The Parson must have experienced the same sensation, for he said, "This place is half as old as time and it bears down upon one. As if it is possible to feel the weight of centuries resting on one's shoulders. Time has eroded its very stones. It is becoming one with the land on which it stands. Had you, Mr. Lansing, noticed that?"
"I think I have," said Lansing. "There's an unusual feel to it."
"It is a place," the Parson said, "where history has run down, where it has fulfilled itself and died. The city now stands as a reminder that all things of the flesh are fleeting, that history itself is no more than illusion..."" 

(Clifford D. Simak: "Special Deliverance",
New York, Ballantine Books (A Del Rey Book) 1982; p. 104)


"Lansing found his body unconsciously responding to the rhythm of the song the machines were singing, as if his body, all of his body, was responding to its beat. It seeped into him, formed a background for his life.
It's taking over, he thought, but the thought came from very far away and did not seem to be a part of him, as if another person might be thinking it. He recognized the danger of being taken over and tried to call out a warning to Mary, but the warning took some little time and before he could cry out, he was another kind of life.
He was light-years tall and each step he took spanned many trillion miles. He loomed in the universe, his body wispy and tenuous, a body that flashed like spangles in the glare of flaring suns that swirled and spun about him. Planets were no more than grating gravels underneath his feet. When a black hole blocked his way, he kicked it to one side. He put out his hand to pluck half a dozen quasars and strung them on a strand of starlight to hang about his neck.
He climbed a hill made of piled-up stars. The hill was high and steep and required a lot of scrabbling to get up it; in the process of climbing he dislodged a number of the stars that made up the hill and, once dislodged, they went clattering down, rolling and bouncing to the bottom of the hill, except that it had no bottom..." 

(Clifford D. Simak: "Special Deliverance",
New York, Ballantine Books (A Del Rey Book) 1982; p. 123-124)


"(Lansing said:) "... I climbed a hill made up of shoveled-together stars and, standing on top of it, I saw the universe, all of the universe, out to the end of time and space, where time and space pinched out. I saw what lay beyond time/space, and I don't now remember exactly what I saw. Chaos. Maybe that's the name for it..." " 

(Clifford D. Simak: "Special Deliverance",
New York, Ballantine Books (A Del Rey Book) 1982; p. 125-126)


"There could be no doubt, he (Lansing) told himself, that this place was Earth, but not the old familiar Earth that he had known. It was not another planet in another solar system; it was one of the alternate Earths that Andy had talked about, never for a moment suspecting there could be such other Earths..." 

(Clifford D. Simak: "Special Deliverance",
New York, Ballantine Books (A Del Rey Book) 1982; p. 137-138)


"(Jorgenson said:) "... I am a time traveler. When I first came to this place I thought I was just traveling through - which, if that had been the case, would have seen me long gone from here. It turns out, however, that this is not the case. Why it's not, I do not know. I'm not at all sure what happened; this is the first instance that I have been stuck in time."" 

(Clifford D. Simak: "Special Deliverance",
New York, Ballantine Books (A Del Rey Book) 1982; p. 145)


"They (the four card players) were so alike, so like four peas in a pod, that Lansing could not think of them as four, but only as a single entity, as if the four were one. He did not know their names. He had never heard their names. He wondered if they might, in fact, have no names. To distinguish one from the other, he assigned them identities, mentally tying tags upon them. Starting from the left, he would think of them as A, B, C and D." 

(Clifford D. Simak: "Special Deliverance",
New York, Ballantine Books (A Del Rey Book) 1982; p. 208)


"You know, of course," said A, "about the multiplicity of worlds, worlds splitting off at crisis points to form still other worlds. And I take you are acquainted with the evolutionary process."
"We know of evolution," Mary said. "A system of sorting out to make possible the selection of the fittest."
"Exactly. If you think about it, you will see that the splitting off of the alternate worlds is an evolutionary process."
"You mean for the selection of better worlds? Don't you have some trouble with the definition of a better world?"
"Yes, of course we do. That's the reason you are here. That's the reason we have brought many others here. Evolution, as such, does not work. It operates on the basis of the development of dominant life forms. In many cases the survival factors that make for dominance in themselves are faulty. All of them have flaws; many of them carry the seeds of their own destruction."" 

(Clifford D. Simak: "Special Deliverance",
New York, Ballantine Books (A Del Rey Book) 1982; p. 210-211)






Links to further pages on my Clifford Simak's site


Clifford D. Simak: Awards and Writings

Parrallel Worlds of Clifford D. Simak

Stručná česká bibliografie Clifforda D. Simaka

Original Story of Clifford Simak: Univac 2200 (1973)

Original Story of Clifford Simak: All the Traps of Earth (1960)

Original Story of Clifford Simak: Over the River and Through the Woods (1966)

Petr, V. (2004): Clifford Simak – pár slov o něm a o povaze času

Petr, V. (2007): Clifford Simak – ještě pár slov o něm






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