Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Way Station” as Want to Read:
Way Station
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Way Station

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  13,934 Ratings  ·  641 Reviews
Enoch Wallace is an ageless hermit, striding across his untended farm as he has done for over a century, still carrying the gun with which he had served in the Civil War. But what his neighbors must never know is that, inside his unchanging house, he meets with a host of unimaginable friends from the farthest stars.

More than a hundred years before, an alien named Ulysses h
Paperback, 210 pages
Published 1992 by Collier Books (first published November 1963)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Posted at Shelf Inflicted

This spare little story is set in a small Wisconsin town. Despite the pastoral setting and the narrow-minded, clannish inhabitants of the town, Enoch Wallace, keeper of an intergalactic transport system known as the Way Station, is a very likeable and open character.

This wonderful, thought-provoking book is a fast and easy read. There is no action, no alien battles in the stars, no government agents surrounding the Way Station and bundling Enoch off in an unmarked van.
Jun 05, 2013 Lyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Way Station by Clifford Simak is a very good, classic science fiction yarn.

A bit dated, just a little and not hurtfully so, similar to a more modern language than that used by Edgar Rice Burroughs.


A great mix of hard science fiction and the softer social sciences cousin of the genre; like Heinlein, without the sexual aggression and with an almost Bradburyesque idyllic sentimentality. Way Station was first published in 1963 and won the Hugo Award for best Novel in 1964. This was certa
Apr 05, 2013 Evgeny rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi
I am going to cheat and give a picture of one of the book covers which summaries the main idea perfectly:
Way Station the book
Rarely do I see such a fitting cover picture on a book: it does not show any particular scene, but the plot itself.

There is a way station for intergalactic travelers somewhere deep in the rural USA. The following picture shows exactly what I think the inside of the said station looks like:
Way Station the place inside
And this is outside view:
Way Station the place outside

The book is interesting in the sense that it packed a lot of interesting idea
May 23, 2011 Apatt rated it it was amazing
The first science fiction book I have ever read was All Flesh Is Grass by Clifford D. Simak. I was so astonished and entertained that I immediately looked for more sf to read and to this day I still prefer reading sf than any other form of fiction. Yes, I should broaden my horizon and read more literary fiction or classics which I do from time to time but I will always favor sf. So I owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Simak for helping me find my reading comfort zone. Anyway, All Flesh Is Grass is n ...more
Feb 17, 2012 Carol. rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: classic sci-fi; gentle readers
Recommended to Carol. by: I have no idea, but thank you!

Four paragraphs:

"And there she sat, with the wild red and gold of the butterfly poised upon her finger, with the sense of alertness and expectancy and, perhaps, accomplishment shining on her face. She was alive, thought Enoch, as no other thing he knew had ever been alive. The butterfly spread its wings and floated off her finger and went fluttering, unconcerned, unfrightened, up across the wild grass and the goldenrod of the field."

"They would say he was a madman; that he had run them off at gu
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Teenage Tadiana: YES! Way Station! All the stars! I love this story of Enoch Wallace, a Civil War veteran whose home is being used as an interstellar way station, a stopping point for alien travelers journeying from one part of the galaxy to another. As part of the deal, Enoch never ages while he is inside his home. For 100 years Enoch isn't bothered by anyone--he lives in the backwoods and the local people leave him alone--but eventually the government becomes suspicious of Enoch's agelessness ...more
Jun 16, 2013 Stuart rated it really liked it
Way Station: A solitary Midwesterner holds the key to the stars
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature
Way Station is Clifford D. Simak’s 1964 Hugo Award-winning novel. By many readers it is considered his best, and it features some his favorite themes: a rugged Midwesterner who shuns society, human society flirting with nuclear disaster, a more enlightened galactic society that is wary of letting unruly humans join in, an appeal to common sense and condemnation of man’s penchant for violence.

Sep 18, 2014 Mimi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not quite 5 stars but rounding up for the humor and prose and overall otherworldly-ness of it all.

This is one book I will have to have on my shelf so that I can revisit at least once a year.
4.0 to 4.5 stars. Clifford Simak deserves to be remembered along side the giants of Science Fiction writers. His unique blend of pastoral settings, "middle America" characters and deeply emotional plots that explore important questions about the human condition is something special and places him firmly within the "must read" category. This is arguably his finest novel (along with the excellent City) and I highly recommend it.

Winner: Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1964)
Aug 16, 2015 Donna rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This novel, classified as pastoral science fiction, won the Hugo Award in 1964. Pastoral science fiction is pretty much just as it sounds, with a science fiction story taking place on Earth in a rural environment in which an alien presence intrudes. Simak's books aren't hard science fiction, but they take a hard look at what Mankind has done and will do to itself with technology and weaponry too advanced for it, ethically and morally speaking. This is because The Cold War had a big effect on Sim ...more
Nicole Pramik
Oct 03, 2013 Nicole Pramik rated it it was amazing
I found this novel while perusing a list of Hugo Award winners and decided it was a good place to start. The premise sounded simple enough - a Civil War veteran serves as the keeper of an alien way station. But the story itself results in a heartening portrait of Human curiosity and kindness.

Simply put, I love this book and it's one of my favorite books. And I don't say that lightly. It takes quite a bit to get me to love a book. But Way Station just strikes all of the right chords for me in ter
Dec 01, 2011 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
This was a perfect science fiction story. I loved the authors story telling. I only wish it was a little longer than 207 pages. At least in my e-copy it was. This is one I need to get a physical copy of the book. I would have enjoyed it more. (I don't enjoy reading on e-readers so much) I will and this is one I will re-read. I think the book blurb tells enough, nothing more to add. This did not read as dated to me. Off to find another Simak novel.

Apr 18, 2015 Daniel rated it it was amazing
Predivna knjiga puna finih ideja koje nisu često korišćene. Interesantni likovi, priča koja drži pažnju i što je najbitnije iako stara knjiga nema klišea ili sličnih gluposti i stvarno se nema ideja kako će se priča završiti ili šta će se sledeće desiti.

Po meni pravi klasik SF-a i nešto što bi trebalo svako da pročita.
Feb 19, 2011 Bill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
A thought provoking, Hugo award winning novel by a Grand Master of science fiction, this novels harkens to the Golden Age of SF. It is a terse, third person exploration of what to means to be human and alienated at the same time. Reading this for the 1st in my autumn years, it brings back the need to escape from Earth and from the adolescent that is mankind. I am left full of if onlys. Tis not your typical SF from any period.
Nov 24, 2016 Claudia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
My first read of Clifford D. Simak and what a pleasure this was!

Some of these old sci-fi books usually lose their flavor in time, because the new ones are simply amazing with all the new technology and concepts brought. Not the case with one.

Through the astounding ideas for those years (new type of teleportation, some truly strange alien species, the whole concept of the way station) it deals mainly with human nature and its inclination toward destruction. But it does not lack the bright side of
Nov 23, 2013 Andreas rated it liked it
Undying Enoch Wallace lives a solitary life in his ancestral Wisconsin home since the Civil War to the present day, somewhen in the 1960s. Some hundred years ago, Wallace was recruited by Ulysses, a friendly alien Galactican Commissioner, to operate Earth's first galactic way station, welcoming alien visitors and managing the transport. He has contact to only a few humans - post officer Winslowe, deaf-mute Lucy and a pair of virtual sentient holograms. But not all is happy as it seems - neighbor ...more
Sep 10, 2015 Ints rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, november-2015
Šoreiz lasīšanai izvēlējos grāmatu, kuru pārlasu regulāri. Saimaks ir viens no maniem visu laiku favorītiem. Esmu lasījis gandrīz visus viņa darbus, un tie man ir patikuši jau no bērnības. Iespējams, ka mans entuziasms par šī rakstnieka daiļradi nav pamatots un ir pilnīgi subjektīvs.

Enohs savu fermu nav atstājis vismaz gadsimtu. Viss, ko par viņu zina apkārtējie ļaudis, ir sekojošais. Regulāri viņš runā tikai ar pastnieku, katru rītu Enohs dodas pastaigā līdzi ņemdams šauteni, kura viņam ir kopš
Oct 10, 2010 Adam rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Adam by: Alex Hiatt
Shelves: science-fiction
Way Station is an exceedingly charming science fiction story. Enoch Wallace, the protagonist, is a very earnest, endearing character made eccentric and quite wise by years spent alone or in the company of traveling aliens. Finishing the book, I was left most strongly with this impression of Enoch's character. There are several other levels on which this book is brilliant. It is not, as I was led to believe by a miscommunication, a mere exposition of Enoch's unique character and situation. It is ...more
Mar 12, 2017 Chris rated it really liked it
I've been thinking about Way Station for a couple of days now - there's a review in here somewhere.

My expectations of Way Station were so, so strangely off from the novel itself. I recall having read or heard that it was filled with humor, as much as strange and novel sci-fi. One part of that statement is certainly true, but I didn't find it to be particularly humorous. Quite a lot of it, in fact, is fairly painful and bitter. Enoch, as a character, has quite a bit of depth - he has many regrets
Rachel (Kalanadi)

Way Station by Clifford D. Simak was originally serialized under the name Here Gather the Stars. It won the 1963 Hugo Award, and it's one of the first books I read in my renewed push to read all the Hugo and Nebula winners by the end of 2016. I am extremely glad I read this now. I am about to read many novels from the 50's, 60's, and 70's, and I have sometimes dismal expectations of the qualities of older science fiction. But Way Station was really, really good.

Enoch Wallace is a Civil War veter

Mar 29, 2012 Denis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hardcover, b-c
A true classic of the genre. This is the best Simak novel I have read so far. It has its faults, there were a few wonky items such as characters that ought been further developed and some hastily thought out solutions to crisis, but those aside, there is here some of the most beautifully passages ever written by Simak. The very idea of a civil war vet being selected by an alien to man a way station on earth for travellers traversing between the stars is as charming as it sounds.

"Way Station" won
Jan 03, 2010 Ben rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
The book is touted as a sci-fi classic, which is what initially drew my interest. It's important to take the date of authorship into consideration when reading the book, since sci-fi typically betrays the imprint of the author's own socio-cultural moment. But the book has aged well and hold its own fairly well against more recent works. Sci-fi at its best raises important questions about ethics and the nature and destiny of humankind, and Way Station is no exception. It's a hopeful book, not wit ...more
Julie Davis
Good Story #23. Julie and Scott agree to make coffee for Ulysses in return for a cube of deceased vegetation.

Here's what I said when I named it among my top fiction for 2009:
From SFFaudio's review: This story spans more than a century, but most of the ‘action’ takes place in the middle of the 20th century, over a couple of months. See, a friendly alien recruited Enoch Wallace to become something of a galactic station master shortly after the American Civil War. Now, with his neighbors
Amy Sturgis
What a beautifully wrought story. Simak's story about a U.S. Civil War veteran who seems to live a prolonged hermit's existence in the house his parents built in rural Wisconsin, but in fact manages a busy way station for intergalactic travelers, is deceptively cozy and simple on its surface. Yet in his gentle, pastoral narrative, Simak couches a serious meditation on war and human frailty. My tastes usually run darker, to the dystopian and apocalyptic, and yet I found myself welcoming Simak's q ...more
Mary Catelli
This opens with a Civil War battle, and then with a discussion of how a veteran of it is one hundred and twenty-four years old.

And then we come to him. He lives in a shack off his father's old home. This is because the home has been transformed into a way station. Aliens from all over transmit to it, to go on. Sometimes they bring him gifts, or they can talk.

Meanwhile, his human contacts are pretty much limited to the mailman. He ages only when he is not in the house, which is about an hour a da
Dec 18, 2014 Óscar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
Enoch Wallace es el guardián de una casa algo especial que permite el paso de viajeros de otras partes de la galaxia en dirección a sus destinos. Como muchas novelas de esta época (1963) tiene muy presente las tensiones generadas por la guerra fría y sus posibles consecuencias. A lo largo del texto encontramos reflexiones sobre la guerra, sobre el hombre y su posición en el Universo, lo insignificante de las diferencias humanas comparadas con ese algo superior que el autor denomina conocimi
Nov 03, 2016 Chrisl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sff, 1960s, toreread
While in the USAF in the early '60s, I discovered that the air force base libraries well were stocked, and some other barracks readers were also science fiction oriented. Simak became a favorite SF author. His "Way Station" created a long lasting emotional link. Had forgotten the plot but maintained that urge to reread. Likely felt a kinship with the main character.
Jerry Jose
Jan 30, 2017 Jerry Jose rated it liked it
Most of our contemporary science fiction rattles around a technologically advanced gone wrong future, which is obsessed over the imperfect past we never truly cared to live in. It is a contradiction considering the classics we started off from, like Way Station which envisioned a future of Intergalactic peace and confraternity among Stars.

This novel essentially represented a Space Opera during cold war, spatially confined within the private bulwark of a Man from the Earth civil war veteran, by A
Nov 30, 2011 Nathaniel rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
I consider myself an avid sci-fi fan, but I had never heard of Clifford D. Simak before I decided to read every novel to win the Hugo award. This novel took the prize in 1964, but it turns out Clifford had novels nominated for consideration in 1962, 1969, 1973 and 1988. He was the third Grand Master of science fiction. And yet: I'd never heard of him.

It's really sort of sad--and quite sobering as an aspiring author--to realize how quickly you can be forgotten even by those in your own genre and
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Digerati Buchgeme...: Enoch's Attitude Toward Earth 3 4 Jan 30, 2017 11:50AM  
Sci-fi and Heroic...: Way Station by Clifford Simak 66 76 Aug 13, 2015 05:06PM  
Non-SF Recommendations for Way Station? 3 43 Oct 27, 2012 04:45PM  
  • They'd Rather Be Right
  • A Case of Conscience (After Such Knowledge, #4)
  • The Wanderer
  • This Immortal
  • A Time of Changes
  • Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang
  • Dreamsnake
  • Cyteen (Cyteen, #1-3)
  • Rite of Passage
  • Double Star
  • The Snow Queen (The Snow Queen Cycle, #1)
  • Mission of Gravity (Mesklin, #1)
  • The Mule: From Foundation And Empire
  • Hominids (Neanderthal Parallax, #1)
  • Stand on Zanzibar
  • Man Plus (Man Plus #1)
  • To Your Scattered Bodies Go (Riverworld, #1)
  • On Wings of Song
"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...

Share This Book

“Here lies one from a distant star, but the soil is not alien to him, for in death he belongs to the universe.” 26 likes
“That was the way with Man; it had always been that way. He had carried terror with him. And the thing he was afraid of had always been himself.” 8 likes
More quotes…