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4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  7,326 ratings  ·  319 reviews
Here is an utterly enthralling science-fiction novel that spans 10,000 years of future adventures, human hopes, and super-human achievements. The story of one family, the Websters—and also of the Webster dogs and robots—it is narrated in the form of eight long sequences, each showing a further and more wonderful development. Humanity moves fr
Kindle Edition, 319 pages
Published October 1st 2011 by Gate Way Publishers (first published 1952)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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mark monday
gosh i loved this one!

City is a collection of eight connected stories depicting the future and end of mankind, and the rise of dogs. just as i always suspected, dogs will eventually inherit the earth. good dogs!

Simak is a humanist, but a clear-eyed one, an author who doesn't let much sentiment cloud his storytelling. man fails, and fails again, but his strivings are viewed with both careful distance and genuine affection. this is not one of those scifi novels about man being the architect of his
Althea Ann
'City' is a novel which is actually made up of nine stories, originally published separately, but later strung together with a series of 'notes' explaining that these stories are part of the mythological heritage of the civilisation of Dogs, who believe that the existence of Man is most probably only a legend.

· City · May 1944
Occasionally, you read an old science fiction story and are just blown away by the remarkable prescience of the author and his or her ability to predict future events.
4.0 to 4.5 stars. I have not read all of Clifford Simak's novels (my bad) but I have enjoyed every one that I have read so far and this book is no exception. The novel is actually a "fix up" series of connected short stories that range from the superb (i.e., 5.0 to 6.0 stars) (the Huddling Place and Desertion) to the very good (Aesops) (i.e., 3.0 to 4.0 stars). All of the stories deal with the decline of the human "cities" and the results on mankind over a vast period of time. The version I read ...more
This slim white hardcover from the Science Fiction Book Club has caught my eye numerous times over the years, nestled between its bigger shelfmates in my family's science fiction collection. I had a vague knowledge that it was narrated by dogs, and a vague knowledge that this was a "fix-up novel" - a group of short stories tied together with an overarching structure for publication purposes. I'm glad I didn't go into it with any further preconceptions. Simak did an excellent job of linking the s ...more
City: Pastoral SF classic where Rover takes over
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature
City is a well-loved classic by Clifford D. Simak published back in 1952 and awarded the International Fantasy Award in 1954. It’s actually a collection of linked far-future stories written between 1944 and 1951 about men, mutants, dogs, robots, ants and stranger beings still. It’s told as a series of episodes that trace the evolution of the various species as they reach out to space, but also follows the fat
Why is Clifford Simak virtually a forgotten writer?

"City" won the International Fantasy Award in 1952. Simak won a Hugo for his novella, "The Big Front Yard." He also won a Hugo for "Way Station" in 1964. Simak was a big wheel in the science fiction world back then.

So again, I ask. why is he forgotten? I have combed the shelves of used book shops, and Simak's books are tough to find. I don't know if this means that collectors tended to hoard Simak's books, or if it means that people commonly th
I really wouldn't attempt to read City as speculative fiction, despite the opening stories and the fact that there's space travel and alternate dimensions. After I saw the reactions of group members to it, I thought I wasn't going to get on with it at all -- totally unscientific, only one or two female characters even mentioned, etc.

But then I started reading and the scholarly notes really tickled me. I've read them before, in a sense, in every book that attempts to piece together whether King A
I'd read one of the stories in this book before, "Desertion," and loved it. I still think I love that story best, but the whole book is definitely worth reading. In fact, this is one book that I would love to teach, for several reasons.

1. It's a fun read, with some interesting conceits (a future Doggish society [made up of a race of intelligent speaking dogs], space travel, a society of ants, etc.)
2. It demands close reading skills, not just in the stories themselves but in the Doggish commentar
Jun 08, 2012 Marvin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: science fiction fans and dog lovers
Of all the great science fiction writers of the 50s, my favorite is Clifford D. Simak. He is also one of the authors that has fared poorly as we begin the 21th century. His novels are not that easy to find in reprints. While Simak could write of space travel and androids as well as the Heinleins and the Asimovs, he was most comfortable in the setting of rural Wisconsin and generously laced his stories with a sense of American pastoralism. In fact he was often called the pastoralist of science fi ...more
Biologically, this book is absurd: quasi-robotic intelligent dogs, hyper-evolved progressive rural humans with an intelligence seemingly gained from nothing whatsoever, a race of ants experiencing socio-economic and industrial revolutions, evolution stemming from surgery; to name but a few. Philosophically, it's broken and contradictory to the point of frustration; economically null, politically ridiculous and simply completely ignorant of the science in science-fiction. That this collection of ...more
Clifford Simak's fame has waned in the years after his death, and he never was one of the more well-known or popular SF authors to begin with. He broke onto the SF scene in 1944 with a series of semi-linked short stories and novellas, a future-history that took humanity out of its near-future cites, into star-studded galaxies, even beyond mere homo sapiens. He continued writing them through 1947, then published one final tale in 1951, at which point they were joined together and sold as the fixu ...more
I have to say that this was quite a disappointment for me and not what I was expecting after reading the excellent Way Station.

"City" is basically a chronicle of mankind's demise, usually involving characters who are decendents of the Webster family who invariably end up involved in pivotal events in our future history. No single event or catastrophy here, rather it is a gradual decline. And the reasons are more social, cultural and psycological than anything else.

This is actually a collection
Clifford/Cliff Simak is an author I first came to when I was a teenager in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. At first I wasn’t sure – it wasn’t spaceships and action, but instead a much more subtler and gentle SF. (Mark Charan Newton has since referred to it as ‘rural SF’, which sorta works.) Instead of Star Wars whizz-bang action, we have pastoral introspection, Waltons-style homily and self-depreciating humour.

And in City in particular we have robots, ants and dogs.

To my younger self, City was
Several months ago, I visited the science fiction museum up in Seattle. It wasn't that impressive to me, like someone's small private collection stretched out to cover a bunch of exhibits. Forrey's house had been more impressive than this place. But I'd had some interest in post-apocalyptic stuff lately, so I paused at the exhibit, and I noticed some books I hadn't read before featured as classics in the genre. Among them were Alas, Babylon and City by Clifford Simak.

I found Alas, Babylon pretty
Yzabel Ginsberg
[I received a copy through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]

A hard one to rate, for sure. 3 to 3.5 stars?

On the one hand, it's one of the classics of "old science fiction" I've always wanted to read—I only recently linked its English title to the French one. And, like many stories written several decades ago, it retains a quaint charm. Science that was prominent in minds at the time (atomic power...). Themes of a better world, of Man evolving into better beings, renouncing the old wa
Voila un livre surprenant virevoltant entre S-F (certes, un peu poussiéreuse) et une certaine forme de philosophie.

Il existe dans la mythologie canine, une histoire des hommes. De là à dire que les hommes aient un jour existé sur Terre, ce serait certainement audacieux, mais il reste des textes légendaires transmit de génération de chiens en génération de chiens. Ces mythes retracent sur des milliers d'années ce qui pourrait expliquer la place actuelle des canidés sur Terre : la fin des cités,
I've heard about this novel (series of short stories that are related closely) for years, always referred to in terms of deep respect and honor, and now that I've finished reading it, I can add my own.

It was very clever to throw the viewpoint in from robots and dogs and see the lost civilization of man from their viewpoints, but I found it more interesting to see the complete eradication of so much of Earth's life, seen from Jenkin's point of view. Perhaps I'm just a cynical bastard and I love t
Diana Vassileva-ditsy
Разочароващата представа за човечеството, която се представя тук е твърде вероятна, което малко ме плаши, наистина.
Първо запознанство със Саймък. Хубава книга, много!
И мисля, че тоя тип книги не се четат на един дъх. Малко ограничено, но, ако някой препуска през тази книга, не мисля, че ще може да я попие както трябва. А има толкова много социални теми, философия и сценарии за обмисляне, че ми иде да си хвана пътя за Юпитер.
След трето предание почнах да зяпам в една точка. След пето (или шесто)
I found it quite a change reading Clifford Simak after reading a number Phillip K. Dicks novels and short stories. Simak tends to make his mankind a bit kindler and gentler while still headed for self destruction then PKD does. Some of his characters are more self aware of the impact they have on the earth as well as their fellow creatures. It was refreshing.

I was also pleased with who's perspective this book was written from. Even though all mankind is not as bad as the rest they still have a
Rick Strong
May 19, 2013 Rick Strong rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: SF fans, 40s and 50s SF-curious, dog lovers, robot lovers
City, like several other science fiction books, is a series of connected short stories; written between 1944 and 1951, they were published separately in John W. Campbell's Astounding Stories, and gathered together and published in 1952 as a novel. The stories follow a future history of Earth from a very near future to a time over 12,000 from now, and are held together by introductory notes, written by a canine scholar. No, not a student of Dogs, but a Dog. Dogs now gather around campfires and te ...more
J.j. Metsavana
Ma mäletan, et proovisin seda raamatut lugeda juba hulk aastaid tagasi aga siis ei saanud miskipärast esimestest lehtedest eriti kaugele. Ju oli siis midagi muud parasjagu meelel või tont teab enam. Praegu istus igaljuhul väga hästi, nukker ja optimistlik ühekorraga nagu Simak ikka. Täis temale omaseid teemasid, pisikesi veidrusi ja kinnisideid kuid selles hoolimata suurepärane hästi lendava fantaasiaga ja küllaltki eepiline lugu robotist, kes jälgib maal toimuvaid arengutsükleid. Inimeste kadum ...more
Kristine Muslim
There aren't enough stars to rate this book, so I'm stuck with the measly 5 stars.

Авторская концепция варианта развития мира очень любопытна. И необычное представление в виде сборника преданий, анализируемом разумным псами через тысячи лет в попытке ответить на вопрос "А был ли человек?" - оригинально и занимательно.

Но, к моему сожалению, почти на каждый поступок людей, персонажей этих преданий и человечества в целом, у меня была реакция "Не верю!" Не верю я, что Человек может претерпеть такие личностные изменения, а значит и развитие всей цепочки событий этих преданий каж
This was quite enjoyable, if not a little depressing. The writer had a great imagination -- some of the things he came up with were pretty wild. The set of stories tells of the evolving of mankind and I found it to be a bit disturbing and sort of sad. I won't spoil the fun of someone wanting to read this by telling what becomes of our species but it is not an evolution I'd want to consider. The main character throughout is a robot named Jenkins. I really felt sorry for him as he lives for thousa ...more
Clifford Simak's City won the 1953 International Fantasy Award, which was awarded to a science fiction or fantasy book. This book is more the latter, despite its later inclusion in later collections such as the SF Masterworks, Easton Press Masterpieces of Science Fiction, and the Locus Best SF Novels of All-Time.

Yes, this book is science fiction, and contains references to space and dimensional travel. Despite one of the stories being set on Jupiter, these are only references. This book focuses
One of the most staggeringly imaginative SF books i've read. While writers like Clarke and Asimov operate on matters of sheer scale (space and time) Simak's approach is much subtler, smaller, even kinda homely. He explores, not vast spaces and distances, but moves his speculation laterally, to explore more intagible ideas, most prominently, the way in which thought and perception varies between different species. His ideas are brilliant because of their abstraction and obscurity.

Some of this fee
Направо ме побиваха тръпки тук-там! Изключително дълбоки съждения за съществуването на човечеството. Лично на мен, една от най-интересните представени гледни точки ми се стори тази, отнасяща се до въпросът за посоката, която човечеството е поело. Дали наистина сме я избрали или е тя е просто нещо, което е генетично заложено?
В измисления бъдещ свят, Саймък представя индивидуализмът на хората като първоизточник на деградацията, която успява да надделее дори векове след като последният акт на наси
Zeb Kantrowitz
This is a collection of stories (nine in all) that follows man, dog and robot into the future. What would happen on Earth if Man was to go out to the stars, leaving the planet completely? In this evolving story, man helps Dog move along the evolutionary scale, and then leaves him as the primary species on the planet.
In the beginning, man revised dog so that he would be more than just a pet. Dog would be able to talk and walk on two legs. But, since a paw is a poor substitute for human digits, ma
Artur Coelho
Um livro intrigante, inquietante ao inverter as premissas humanistas da FC clássica. Em City, Simak entrega o planeta aos cães, num sentido muito literal. As espécies caninas vão-se tornar na forma dominante de vida inteligente numa Terra abandonada pelos humanos, partidos em busca de paraísos reais ou virtuais. As histórias, originalmente publicadas em diversas revistas de ficção científica, vão nos mostrar a evolução do planeta ao longo de milénios. O que é para nós um relato, é-nos apresentad ...more
Ted Mahsun
It's always wonderful when you discover a wonderful new author. But this author I've found is hardly new and he is hardly obscure, having won three Hugo awards as well as a Nebula. In 1977 he became the third Grand Master of the SFWA. No, far from obscure, Clifford D. Simak is one of the masters of science fiction who wrote and published his stories during the hallowed Golden Era of SF. And the book that I've discovered by him is the fantastic, far-reaching and truly epic novel, City.

Like many S
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Dreamlike Atmosphere 3 28 Jul 04, 2013 01:13AM  
  • Untouched By Human Hands
  • Odd John
  • The Humanoids
  • A Case of Conscience (After Such Knowledge, #4)
  • The Dreaming Jewels
  • Hothouse
  • R.U.R. & War with the Newts
  • The Space Merchants (The Space Merchants #1)
  • Dangerous Visions
  • Dark Benediction
  • The Big Time
  • Dying Inside
  • The Rediscovery of Man
  • Of Men and Monsters
  • Emphyrio
  • Mission of Gravity (Mesklin, #1)
  • The World of Null-A
  • Brain Wave
"He was honored by fans with three Hugo awards and by colleagues with one Nebula award and was named the third Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) in 1977." (Wikipedia)

More about Clifford D. Simak...
Way Station The Goblin Reservation Time and Again All Flesh is Grass Ring Around the Sun

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“Once there had been joy, but now there was only sadness, and it was not, he knew, alone the sadness of an empty house; it was the sadness of all else, the sadness of the Earth, the sadness of the failures and the empty triumphs.” 14 likes
“The need of one human being for the approval of his fellow humans, the need for a certain cult of fellowship - a psychological, almost physiological need for approval of one's thought and action. A force that kept men from going off at unsocial tangents, a force that made for social security and human solidarity, for the working together of the human family.

Men died for that approval, sacrificed for that approval, lived lives they loathed for that approval. For without it man was on his own, an outcast, an animal that had been driven from the pack.
It had led to terrible things, of course - to mob psychology, to racial persecution, to mass atrocities in the name of patriotism or religion. But likewise it had been the sizing that held the race together, the thing that from the very start had made human society possible.

And Joe didn't have it. Joe didn't give a damn. He didn't care what anyone thought of him. He didn't care whether anyone approved or not.”
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