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Project Mastodon

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  211 ratings  ·  24 reviews
"Hudson lay in his sleeping bag, staring at the sky. It bothered him a lot. There was not one familiar constellation, not one star that he could name with any certainty. This juggling of the stars, he thought, emphasized more than anything else in this ancient land the vast gulf of years which lay between him and the Earth where he had been-or would be-born."
Paperback, 56 pages
Published January 10th 2008 by (first published March 1955)
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3.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  211 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-shelf, sci-fi
This old time-travel novella was quite cute. Definitely bare-bones, but it was light and breezy as a temperate day fifty-thousand-years ago.

Let's offer a foolproof bomb-shelter to the US government, shall we? We can just spirit away the president to the past! :) Don't believe us? Maybe 25 years from now, a new regime will believe. :)

What can I say? It was cute and almost poetical. It was definitely well written. :)

And it was also the kick-off to a full novel written almost 30 years later.

On to
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of fun. This librivox recording is about 1.5 hrs, iirc. (I listened to it on a rural road trip w/out internet access but w/ plenty of road noise.) I would have liked more development, as it does just end, but it's worth reading or listening to, anyway. I am already a big fan of Simak, and now I am a fan of this narrator, too.
Mar 16, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Project Mastodon was first published by Clifford Simak in 1955 and would later be the impetus for his 1978 novel Mastodonia. Like most of Simak’s works, this displays an inventive approach to a science fiction study, in this case time travel. Three associates have devised a way to go back in time and Simak describes a unique problem with the scheme. Vaguely reminiscent of Ray Bradbury’s classic 1952 short story “The Sound of Thunder” Project Mastodon is an easy but enjoyable science fiction shor ...more
Ralph McEwen
Jun 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Cheryl Anderson
I enjoyed listening to the story. It is a fun tale, with no violence and interesting characters. The narrator is easy to listen to and the recording is clear, with plenty of volume.
Manuel Alfonseca
May 12, 2017 rated it liked it
A short science-fiction story (about 40 pages), previously published in Galaxy magazine, with a simple story about time travel and its consequences for world politics (in a cold-war environment) plus the consequences for the travellers themselves when their time machine stops working and they get marooned in the past.
Jordan Harbour
Cool idea. The concept would make for a great novel. The one big downside of this story was the stilted dialogue. People don't talk like that. I would blame it on the 1950s, but I've seen other authors from that decade write good realistic dialogue, so no excuses.
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Janet R. Lincoln
Great story-telling!

Loved the premise and the execution. This started a little slowly but time travel is a great interest and this author painted it well.
Adam Smith
Oct 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A strange man approaches the US government claiming to be from the newly formed nation of Mastodonia. Nobody takes him serious, but it is not until after he leaves that they discover the truth about this fledgling nation. Mastodonia, population of three, is really a land 50,000 years in the past.

This was an interesting story. It had just the right level of humour and I’d love to see more of it. I’ve heard another book, Mastodonia, by this author is a longer retelling, but largely unrelated. Stil
Aditya Rallan
Sep 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Project Mastodon is one of those science fiction stories that have a solid scientific idea as their core, and a thin, but not necessarily uninteresting plot to cover it with. There are two definitely novel concepts here. One, how do you travel in time and yet make sure that the machine does not end up in a solid tree trunk or within a wall, and the political implications of time travel. I wish Simak had written a more voluminous book, because concepts apart, it is an engaging adventure story. Si ...more
Patrick Gibson
Short novella from the classic Sci-Fi era of the 50's. Time travelers return from the age of Mastodons to the present and claim their discovery as their own county. Washington politicians of course think they are nuts. The time travelers return to the past and get stuck there while the politicians change their minds; both sides spend years trying to find each other. Sound silly? It's actually not. It's a clever little treatise on the sovereignty of nations -- and, of course, the dangers and draw ...more
The novella upon which Mastodonia is based. Simak has always been one of my favorites, with his unique pastoral sci-fi tales. Like some of his other stories, this one was set where he grew up: in SE Wisconsin, in the area the glaciers missed. I'll have to pick up Mastodonia as this book had a neat premise but left me wanting more. Read the iBooks version.
Benjamin Chandler
A solid little time travel story that considers a few challenges that might arise from traveling into the ice age, from glacier positioning to erosion to the typical encounters with the fauna, as well as guessing how a modern, capitalist and military-strong society might want to use such a device. A pleasant surprise.
Nov 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
Lectura fácil, rápida y que engancha. A medida que iba leyendo me iban surgiendo dudas que a su vez iban siendo respondidas con un ritmo muy bueno. Eso sí, me he quedado con ganas de más. Creo que tras esta historia escribió una novela sobre Mastodonia; tendré que buscarla. A ver cómo soluciona ciertas paradojas temporales... Muy recomendable.
Jul 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
A clever time-travel story which focuses on the political and economic ramifications of a time machine. The characters and plot are sketched somewhat thinly (this is really a long short story or short novella) but the whole is well executed and entertaining.
Jun 10, 2010 rated it liked it
Quite decent to read while falling asleep or sick, which is an important category of book in my life! This turned out to be either a long short story or a short novella. Sturdy if undistinguished SF, good for downtime reading.
Aug 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
another reading by gregg margarite:
Feb 05, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Quick audiobook. Reader was pretty good, but the story wasn't overly interesting.
Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: historical, sf
Not very interesting time travel story, with some not terribly good (by modern standards) science.
An enjoyable and well read novella from Librivox audiobooks. I just wish the ending had been less abrupt and a little more fulfilling.
Michael Griffin
Sep 09, 2013 rated it liked it
This was a fun, quick read. I enjoyed this time travel story.
Arnon Moscona
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May 20, 2018
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Eddy Pelckmans
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Feb 18, 2013
Jack D.
rated it it was amazing
Jan 01, 2019
Samuel J. Tolmasoff
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Nov 02, 2015
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Dec 25, 2013
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Oct 14, 2018
rated it it was ok
Feb 24, 2012
jean marie
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Mar 05, 2017
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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)