The Works of Clifford D. Simak Volume Four

The Works of Clifford D. Simak Volume Four

The Big Front Yard and Other Stories, Time Is the Simplest Thing, and The Goblin Reservation

Clifford D. Simak, David W. Wixon


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A collection of masterpieces from a Hugo and Nebula Award–winning Grand Master of Science Fiction who “has never written a bad book” (Theodore Sturgeon).

The Big Front Yard and Other Stories: Handyman Hiram likes things he can understand and fix. But he has a true mystery on his hands when a new ceiling appears in his basement—a ceiling with the ability to repair televisions so they’re better than before. Winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novelette, “The Big Front Yard” is a powerful story about what happens when an ordinary man finds reality coming apart around him. Along with the other stories in this collection, it is some of the most lyrical science fiction ever published.
“To read science fiction is to read Simak. A reader who does not like Simak stories does not like science fiction at all.” —Robert A. Heinlein
Time Is the Simplest Thing: Space travel has been deemed too dangerous and expensive, and now the Fishhook company holds a monopoly on interstellar exploration, using telepaths who can expand their minds throughout the universe. But when Fishhook employee Shepherd Blaine is implanted with a copy of an alien consciousness, he becomes something more than human—and soon there is no safe place for him to hide. This Hugo Award finalist is a richly imagined tale of prejudice, corporate greed, oppression, and, ultimately, transcendence.
“Simak is the most underrated great science fiction writer alive, and has never written a bad book.” —Theodore Sturgeon
The Goblin Reservation: In this unabashedly tongue-in-cheek novel, Professor Peter Maxwell of the College of Supernatural Phenomena is murdered—but he’s even more dismayed when he turns up at a matter transmission station several weeks later and discovers he’s not only dead, but also unemployed. This “alternate” Maxwell soon learns he’s being used as a vessel by a strange alien race to carry knowledge of remarkable technology back to Earth—and it seems someone does not want the information shared . . .
“The finest novel in a merry mood that Simak has yet given us.” —Fritz Leiber
This brilliant volume represents the genre at its very best, reaffirming that “without Simak, science fiction would have been without its most humane element, its most humane spokesman for the wisdom of the ordinary person and the value of life lived close to the land” (James Gunn).


Clifford D. Simak:
During his fifty-five-year career, CLIFFORD D. SIMAK produced some of the most iconic science fiction stories ever written. Born in 1904 on a farm in southwestern Wisconsin, Simak got a job at a small-town newspaper in 1929 and eventually became news editor of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, writing fiction in his spare time.
Simak was best known for the book City, a reaction to the horrors of World War II, and for his novel Way Station. In 1953 City was awarded the International Fantasy Award, and in following years, Simak won three Hugo Awards and a Nebula Award. In 1977 he became the third Grand Master of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and before his death in 1988, he was named one of three inaugural winners of the Horror Writers Association’s Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement.

DAVID W. WIXON was a close friend of Clifford D. Simak’s. As Simak’s health declined, Wixon, already familiar with science fiction publishing, began more and more to handle such things as his friend’s business correspondence and contract matters. Named literary executor of the estate after Simak’s death, Wixon began a long-term project to secure the rights to all of Simak’s stories and find a way to make them available to readers who, given the fifty-five-year span of Simak’s writing career, might never have gotten the chance to enjoy all of his short fiction. Along the way, Wixon also read the author’s surviving journals and rejected manuscripts, which made him uniquely able to provide Simak’s readers with interesting and thought-provoking commentary that sheds new light on the work and thought of a great writer.