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The Werewolf Principle

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  1,067 ratings  ·  78 reviews
Andrew Blake is found in a space capsule on a distant planet and is brought back to an unfamiliar Earth, where antigravity devices have replaced the wheel, and houses talk and even fly!
Yet nothing is as strange as Blake's own feelings. Tormented by eerie sensations and loss of memory, he doesn't know who he really is or exactly where he has come from. His destiny only begi
Paperback, 189 pages
Published June 22nd 1994 by Carroll & Graf Publ. (first published 1967)
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Average rating 3.74  · 
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 ·  1,067 ratings  ·  78 reviews

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Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Second (or third?) read. My previous review still stands. This time I want to add that the poetry of the writing surprised me. Lots of beautiful imagery and stylings... not purple prose, and easy to overlook in one's quest to figure out what's going on in the plot and with the characters, but definitely well-crafted.
Deborah Ideiosepius
This was actually a much more enjoyable book on this re-read than it was on the first reading. A lot of that is a mood thing, I know, but The Werewolf Principle is an odd sort of book in a lot of ways.

This classic sci-fi novel has an elegant old-school writing style that is philosophical and in a way insular; it is very much a first person point of view and that person is a synthetic man. The goals of the book seem more philosophical and exploratory than thrilling, so the title ends up feeling a
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi
I am beginning to like Clifford D. Simak more and more. His Way Station was magnificent, and The Werewolf Principle, while not so good, has moments of sheer brilliance -- plus a brilliant ending.

Two hundred years before, man created an android for space exploration. It was not according to plan, but this android became three creatures in one: the human, called Changer, who contained a mind transfer of a brilliant earth scientist; a kind of wolf with arms, called Quester; and a somewhat amorphous
May 22, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: science-fiction
Simak has written some of the best science fiction out there. Way Station and City were both fantastic. The Werewolf Principle was not.

It takes place in the future. Scientists had created a humanoid being with the ability to morph into something else so we could send it out into space and if it found a planet with life, it could morph to match it. Which is what happened but it ended up coming back to Earth as three beings all living within the same body. Werewolf...get the comparison? Anyhow, a
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the more universally appealing Simak, perhaps. Many of the ideas could have been conceived by other writers. But only Simak's House would have offered not-wallpaper that's a collage of thousands of eyes, when requested to change it from a woodland scene featuring a bunny, and only Simak's Kitchen would have pouted because the resident asked for ham'n'eggs instead of lobster thermidor. And only in a Simak novel would our hero go (trout?) fishing and wind up feeding most of his picnic to a ...more
Sep 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, top-ten-2016
Back in my university days, I took a Science Fiction novel course. One of the books we read was City, a story of the future where all that remains on Earth are dogs and robots. A beautiful, engaging, touching story. For some reason, I've never read another Simak book, until this past week. The Werewolf Principle, written in 1968, was a lovely surprise. In the future, mankind sent ships into space to search the universe for habitable planets. Along with the ships were two unique humans (maybe tel ...more
Tom Loock
Was it just to surprise myself when I chose to re-read The Werewolf Principle by Clifford D. Simak?
I have pleasant memories of reading a couple of Simaks at the same time in the 70s and picked this one at random for a revisit.

Though published in the 1960s, it reads more like a 1950s novel when it comes to multiple predictions about the future (yes, the ever-popular flying cars and space travel, though people still have to walk across the room to answer a phone with optional visuals) and the the
Roddy Williams
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paul Weiss
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
40 years old and more current than ever!

Upon turning the final page of this powerful novel, 21st century readers of The Werewolf Principle will likely set the book down slack-jawed with amazement at Simak's thoughtful, prescient exploration of genetic engineering, a scientific field of endeavour that, unheard of a scant 40 years ago, now reaches front page headlines on a regular basis.

Space travel as technology is now several hundred years old. But, currently debate is raging in the Senate over
Nov 07, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My favourite thing about this book was probably the cover. However, i did also enjoy the talking houses and the brownies, who were super cute. It had a lot going for it, some good ideas, but lacked style, and the love story was defo forced, c'mon the guy's part-wolf or whatever and not one item of clothing gets ripped off, shame. I'd still read others by Simak, but i'm an idiot so that's not a glowing recommendation.
Nov 14, 2008 rated it liked it
Simak pens good sci-fi adventure stories. This one was much more cerebral, and there was a lot to digest and think about when reading this one. The end could have used more expansion. It feels like he ended it too quickly. Still, I am a Simak fan and this was worth my time.
Ryan Southworth
Jul 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
“The creature halted, crouched low against the ground, staring at the tiny points of light that lay ahead, burning softly through the darkness.”

So begins, "The Werewolf Principle" by Clifford D. Simak. Another recommendation from the C. J. Cherryh site, this author and title were new to me as well. The trajectory of my experiences with this method of finding new books to read is a good one: "Forerunner" was terrible, "The Ginger Star," better, and this one better still!

In brief, this is the stor
Altivo Overo
Read many years ago, but well worth this second trip through. The writing is superb, both in terms of character development and detailed settings. The plot concept is fascinating and complex, fraught with social and ethical issues. If you don't already know the context, it may take you a while to figure out just what is happening. You'll get it in a while, so stick to it.

As is often the case with science fiction, even though Simak was writing this in the 1960s, he successfully predicts elements
Jan 31, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: do-not-own
I especially liked the philosophical bits at the end, but, as I expected, overall, not one of Simak's finest efforts.
Lindsey Grundyson
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is my second Simak read and I’m more delighted with him all the time! He’s a smart guy exploring interesting questions using various consciousness and the book is just a delight. Four stars for some heavy abstraction, especially at the end, but a really lovely read.
Kelly McCubbin
Apr 06, 2015 rated it liked it
I love Simak. City and Way Station are absolute gems and I think he doesn't get enough attention. His voice is so strong and unique and is funnier than most of his level peers (with the possible exception of Robert Sheckley). That said, this is a minor piece straining to be a bigger one. Philosophical to a fault in a way that, unless your last name is Bradbury, you ought to leave a little less wrought.
Still, it's intriguing and very funny in parts. There is often an almost Looney Tunes-ish mania
Cécile C.
Sep 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
The story of an extraterrestrial schizophrenia... The main interest of this book lies in the dialogue between the three distinct entities that share the body of the hero, a former space explorer. The three include one human that has not been back to the Earth for centuries, and two alien beings from very primitive planets, that are suddenly thrown into an entirely mechanised society, in which houses fly and play nanny to their inhabitants. A fun read.
Aug 06, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
He has the most engaging style, you could wallow in it like a herd of hippos. Oh yes, what is the book like... Romance between machines on a future earth.
May 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
1977 grade A+
1995 grade B+
2012 grade A-
Robert Gelms
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I See a Bad Moon Risin'
By Bob Gelms

Cue music: William Tell Overture

Cue Announcer: CLIFFORD SIMAK!!!!!…A fiery rocket, with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty CLIFFORD SIMAK AWAY!!!!!!! Return with me now to those thrilling days of yesteryear, CLIFFORD SIMAK RIDES AGAIN!!!!!!

I have no problem admitting that I’m a nerd and I like to have nerdy fun. When I was in high school I read a number of Clifford Simak’s novels. I truly enjoyed them. They were stand-outs. I admit that some of
Joachim Boaz
Jun 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Full review:


"“Have you ever thought that I was frozen and thrown off the ship because they didn’t want me aboard, because I’d done something or they were afraid of me or something of the sort?” (49)

Andrew Blake, with memories of an earlier Earth, is discovered by asteroid miners frozen in a capsule. Is he the crew of a lost vessel? Was he the victim of a catastrophic accident? Or, something far more sinister? A claustrophobic and violent mission unf
Chris Fox
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fifty years later, still a great book.

In 1967 I signed up for the Science Fiction Book Club and The Werewolf Principle was on of the trio I chose. I remembered it fondly but it was lost many moves ago.

This is a great story, with terrific narration about life and what it means to be human.

Simak was the pastoralist of science fiction and his love of simple virtues is radiant in this book. Scene after scene remained in my mind after half a century. Do read this one.
Jul 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Not as good, in my opinion, as Simak's best novel, Way Station, but having a flavour of that story that raises it above what it would otherwise have been. Three beings, one body, and a purpose not revealed until the end of the book, that left me with a smile on my face. Dated, at times long-winded and preachy yes, but warm and humane too, it rambles philosophically a bit rather than keeping the story moving forward. Enjoyable, yet a bit slow, but still worth the read.
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It's been awhile since I read a Simak novel, the first few I read I loved, then read a couple blah ones. This was definitely one of the better ones. It was a nice bizarre story. A man who was three people, but didn't realise it at first. His discovery and the random world he lived in made for a very pleasant and different read. I'm glad I came across this, wonderfully bizarre science fiction.
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another fabulous sci-fi novel by Simak. It's difficult to describe without giving away too much of the plot. Simak does a great job of exploring what it means to be human, and is highly original in his portrayals of other kinds of intelligent life. The ethics of government sponsored science figure significantly as well.
Edward Amato
Full of recurring Simak Themes: fusing of personalities into one being, genetically engineering man for life elsewhere in place of Terraforming planets; evolution of other species, artificially made humans; etc. Fun read.
Tessa in North Florida
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: scifi, dnf, boring, aliens
Meh. Stilted writing. Not much to the story. Too convenient. Skip it.
Otis Doss III
Man is unfrozen, finds out he has 2 minds residing with him. Okay, not great.
Dec 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is a sadness and beauty to this book. A story of a man, though not alone, that doesn't belong anywhere.
Though it would be greatly improved if the last chapter were omitted.
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
My rating: ★★★★
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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)


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