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Time and Again

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,611 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
'One of those complex and enormously inventive stories... based on some real, honest, practical ethical thinking. It is an idea book.'
- Groff Conklin in Galaxy Science Fiction

Asher Sutton has been lost in deepest space for twenty years. Suddenly arrives a warning from the future, that he will return- and that he must be killed. He is destined to write a book whose message
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Paperback, 250 pages
Published January 1st 1983 by Ace (first published December 1950)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,693)
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Ivan Bogdanov
Jan 22, 2015 Ivan Bogdanov rated it it was amazing
Тази книга излезе в серията "Галактика" когато бях студент. Четох я с ококорени очи и често си я препрочитам.
Поводът за последното прочитане беше разговор за обърканите прескачания във времето в Интерстелар и невероятната лекота, с която го прави Саймък. (А и малко да си измия вкуса в устата от блудкатава "Крива на щастието".)
Не знам какво да добавя повече за тази книга. Саймък е майстор от висота, която надали някой от съвремените автори скоро ще достигне. Комерсиализмът и идеите за многотомно
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Gerold Whittaker
While the first few chapters had the makings of a really good time-travel book, it just seemed to bog down later on - to the point where I simply skipped over some of the paragraphs. Most of the time travel in the book are just references to things which will happen in the future for example, the text of a book, not yet written, found in the burnt-out wreckage of a space-craft....

The book had so much promise but just didn't deliver.
Rasheed
Jul 30, 2011 Rasheed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Golden Age Science Fiction
What would you think if you found an old book signed with your name-and learned that it bore a date in the distant future? It happens to Asher Sutton, and upon setting out to investigate the incredible enigma, he finds that book a ticket to a galactic empire many thousands of years from now!

Definitely my favourite time-travel novel so far!
Jonathan Palfrey
May 10, 2015 Jonathan Palfrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has two themes run together, one of which works better than the other.

The first theme is about Asher Sutton and what he found on the seventh planet of 61 Cygni. This is classic, magnificent sense-of-wonder sf, told in Simak's unhurried, thoughtful prose.

The second theme is about the world Sutton came from: a far-future society of humans and their android servants, treated as inferiors although they're the same in almost every respect as humans made in the traditional way.

I don't believ
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Robert 'Rev. Bob'
I wanted to like this a lot more than I did, but it wasn't the sort of book I thought it would be.

The title and blurb imply that this is primarily a time travel adventure. It is not. True, there is some time travel and some adventure, but mainly this is a philosophical musing upon the nature of religious sects. The main character is perhaps most akin to the Buddha, in that he writes a book that describes a worldview and becomes quite influential. In fact, it is so important a text that a group o
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Gary
Feb 09, 2016 Gary rated it it was amazing
One I read repeatedly as a young person. I loved it.
David
Oh dear, this book is a bit of a mess. It's about time travel....no, it's about androids and Asimovian space cops... No, it's about biology and symbiotic life forms...no, it's about time travel again...no, it's a scathing critique of manifest destiny...no, it's about a war between androids and humanity...no, it's about mutant humans with special powers...no, I'm not sure what it's about.
Лиляна
Хареса ми. Ще се четат и другите.
Някои детайли тук там или не ги разбрах, или са недовършени и недоизяснени.
Cécile C.
Feb 03, 2013 Cécile C. rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Although this book had a somewhat confusing construction (the world where it is set uses time travel on a regular basis, so that was only to be expected), it's a satisfying read, with simple themes that are reasonably well developed. The main characters are on a quest to give androids and humans equal rights, and several factions fight to get hold of the hero; on the whole, the novel doesn't really have time to give every character, group or nation the depth of construction they might deserve, a ...more
Keith
Nov 12, 2013 Keith rated it really liked it
Should synthetic life (androids) have equal rights with humanity? Also at what point does an artificially enhanced person cease to be human? These are some of the questions at sake in this wacky and wild science-fiction novel. It includes such things as alien thought-beings, androids, resurrection, time travel, secondary body (and mind) back-up systems, the ability to inhabit the thoughts of others, the ability to power a space ship with pure thought, and more--including mundane space-travel, gu ...more
Dan
Jun 13, 2012 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars, but I'm rounding up. This book alternately confused me with where it was going and what it was about, amused me with the dated-ness of Simak's future (newspapers, cigarettes, film, phone books, inkwells, etc. in the year 7,990), and astounded me with the author's huge concepts and storytelling. Briefly, it is about a man named Asher Sutton who travels alone to a star system that man has never been to before and returns twenty years later in a broken ship that couldn't fly without food ...more
Jim Davis
Apr 25, 2016 Jim Davis rated it liked it
I'm usually a big Simak fan but this book fell flat for me. It seemed like it was padded and needed a good editor to trim about 20% of it. The concept of destiny being an actual living entity that was attached to all living things was an interesting concept but not well handled. I didn't feel that Sutton was very convincing as the person who was suppose to write a book and make us all aware of the fact that we carried our destiny along with us as a symbiotic being that would guide us if we could ...more
Christian Schwoerke
Oct 30, 2015 Christian Schwoerke rated it liked it
In this 1951 novel Simak proposes that in the 81st century Earth has extended its dominance throughout the galaxy, aided by androids, no different from humans except in their inability to reproduce. Ordinary exploratory astronaut Asher Sutton has died and been reborn, and he has a message for all the beings of the galaxy: all are brothers, all share a common spark (which is, in fact, a symbiotic being that inhabits all life). Four centuries in the future, rival factions are fighting over a funda ...more
Paul Fraser
Mar 23, 2015 Paul Fraser rated it did not like it
Sutton returns to Earth after twenty years in a spaceship whose engines don't work and with no food or air...
Kitchen sink novel with androids, robots, aliens, time travel, etc. all shovelled in to keep things on the boil.
Reasonably entertaining and fast paced for the first third or so, but then it becomes rather unconvincing and very, very talky.
I doubt this novel was considered noteworthy in 1950, and certainly does not hold up nowadays. If you want to try some Simak I would suggest 'City'.
PS
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Steve
Feb 14, 2014 Steve rated it really liked it
One of the underlying themes is the unity of all life. The androids and their relationship with humans are depicted very much like the relationship between Whites and Blacks in 1951, when the novel was written. I wish I knew more about Simak, so I could see if that statement makes sense. The style is a little convoluted. The intricacy of the plot and the way things are revealed to the reader makes it difficult to talk about without a spoiler alert. So, I'll just say that, not only must Sutton, t ...more
Roddy Williams
‘Asher Sutton has been lost in deepest space for twenty years. Suddenly arrives a warning from the future, that he will return – and that he must be killed. He is destined to write a book whose message may lead to the death of millions in centuries to come. For this reason Sutton is hounded by the sinister warring factions of the future who wish to influence or prevent the writing of this book he has not yet begun to write.

Yet already a copy has been found in the burnt-out wreckage of a space-c
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Stacy
May 08, 2016 Stacy rated it really liked it
It deserves a 5 for a 1951 publication.
Many stories of time from back in those days wouldn't be so impressive but Simak is one of the Golden Age authors and they stand out always.
That it can still be read and enjoyed in 2016 without multiple glaring technological disasters bumping in between the years of writing and reading, in my opinion, is a major & worthy accomplishment that I tend to find myself watching for, due to the years of superb authors the genre attracts, I suppose.
Classic
Mel
This was another fabulous book by Simak. A little like Philip K Dick in that there was a lot of travelling in time and trying to change the future. It also looked at racism in a very real way. The two sides of this book were between those who thought only the "natural" born humans were worthy of life and those who thought those born of artifical ways were only fit to be the slaves, even though they vastly outnumbered the "humans". It challenged a lot of assumptions and did so with an interesting ...more
Bertrand
Apr 14, 2016 Bertrand rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
J'ai tout simplement adoré ce livre. Malgré le fait que celui-ci ait été écrit au tout début des années 50, il m'a scotché par le dynamisme de son intrigue et le propos tenu. Bien sûr, certains éléments prêtent à sourire mais tout est tellement bien mené qu'on se laisse porter sans difficulté par la quête d'Ash Sutton. Après, il faut bien évidemment aimer les romans issus de l'Age d'or de la science-fiction !
TrumanCoyote
May 13, 2015 TrumanCoyote rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting that he doesn't really delve too deeply into the whole business of The Book (and what it says and so forth). Consists of a blend of Van Vogt (in the complexity and vacillations of the plot) and Dick (in the oft-humorous dialogue between characters, whether human or not). Not sure I really felt like it was worth all that to-do at the end, but on the whole it was well-written enough to at least come close. :)
Rod Hyatt
Jun 28, 2012 Rod Hyatt rated it liked it


I hope it makes sense to say that I enjoyed the simple complexities of this story. It is a tangled, complex story that has so many feeds. Clifford does a good job at making this a timeless book. Thought I might not like it when I looked up the date that it was written. Often books that were written in the 50's just don't fit with today's technology. There were a couple subjects that were a little dated like communication and how he used an android operator to access library material that was on
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Keith
Aug 29, 2014 Keith rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
A science fiction classic I spent time reading in the 1960's. In this novel a 'lost' spaceman returns to Earth after about 20 years. Result: the Earth and the returned spaceman experience difficulties. Intriguing ending.
Bluemoondog
Dec 25, 2014 Bluemoondog rated it really liked it
Not as interesting, to me, as City. But this is a very well written, thought provoking story. I am definitely a fan of Simak. If you enjoy true, classic science fiction, you should read this book.
Ralph Calhoun
May 30, 2012 Ralph Calhoun rated it liked it
I liked Time and Again. The parallels between the treatment Ash’s book gets in the future and the treatment the Bible has gotten over time are obvious but fun/interesting to read through. The book was written in 1951 so some of it seems almost quaint, to think of imagining a future, 6000 years hence, where an android makes sure his human master has enough paper for the typewriter. And there are other anachronisms such as that. The ironic twist at the end was not much of a surprise. However I thi ...more
Norman Howe
May 22, 2015 Norman Howe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
A man returns from a mysterious world to fulfil his destiny. He soon finds there is no one he can trust - not even himself. A story about free will and the nature of humanity.
Yoav Yair
Jul 05, 2015 Yoav Yair rated it really liked it
Surprising and completely unexpected ending.. fabulous and inventive narrative. Some of the ideas stuck in you mind
Bruce
Sep 03, 2015 Bruce rated it did not like it
A struggle to read from the start. Read something else.
Mikko Saari
Another old science fiction classic. This one was a bit confusing, but I suppose that is to expected from a novel featuring lots of time travel. Asher Sutton returns to Earth from a journey into space, but he has changed. For starters, he's not really alive anymore. It seems he is a very important man now, with an important message to humankind, and some people want to kill him because of that –turns out he's a key to a time war in distant future, actually. Interesting novel of great ideas, but ...more
John
May 07, 2015 John rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
1983 grade C-

aka First He Died
Robert
May 02, 2008 Robert rated it liked it
Another Simak book that enthralled me early on but slowed down and became too predictable towards the end. Still, the man was great at setting up thought-provoking sci-fi tales and outside characters you could really connect with. I'll give it three for how into it I was early on, even if a book involving space prophets, android rebellions and a war in time should have had me hooked a little more towards the end.
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"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)

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clifford...
More about Clifford D. Simak...

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