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All The Traps of Earth

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  287 ratings  ·  21 reviews
A runaway robot gains the ability to telekinetically fix any problem, yet can't fix his own problem: the need to be needed...

First published in Fantasy & Science Fiction in March 1960.
39 pages
Published March 1960
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Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reread because I opine that Simak's shorts are even better than his novels and I cannot get satiated by them. If it's been a few years, an opportunity for a reread shall be grasped. Because the thing about Simak is that he always gives me that Sense of Wonder and that What If. Usually decent world-building (or world-describing, in his pastorals) and characters, too. Often beautiful writing and wise insights. And pretty much timeless... sure, they didn't have cellphones back on the farm, but that ...more
Oct 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection is a good introduction to Simak's work. He put out some fine work.
Glamor, he thought-it was the glamor that sucked in the kids when they were young and starry-eyed. The glamor of the far place, of the wilderness of space, of the white eyes of the stars watching in that wilderness - the glamor of the engine-song and of the chill white metal knifing through the blackness and the loneliness of the emptiness, and the few cubic feet of courage and defiance that thumbed its nose at
In the early 80s, I was reading through the backlog of Clifford Simak books.

This collection contains some of his earlier stories:
All the Traps of Earth (1960) novelette
Good Night, Mr James (1951) novelette
Drop Dead (1956) novelette
No Life of Their Own (1959) novella
The Sitters (1958) novelette
Crying Jag (1960) novelette by
Installment Plan (1959) novelette
Condition of Employment (1960) story
Project Mastodon (1955) novelette
Jim Mcclanahan
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great collection of Simak tales, including one of my old favorites, "Drop Dead" and a charming story of boyhood adventures in "No Life Of Their Own". All well worth a read, including the title story.
Clifford D. Simak is an uneven writer. The best of his stories belong in any collection of the best of science fiction, while the majority are read once and forget, and he has a few clunkers as well. The best story of this collection is the title story All the Traps of Earth, a story that includes robots, space travel, and self-determination. ("No Life of Their Own" is a close second -- space aliens in smalltown America!) Drop Dead and Crying Jag are good stories also. Installment Plan is ...more
Michael Tildsley
This was, overall, an average collection of sci-fi short stories. On par for what you can expect from the genre, but not collectively strong enough to warrant a second read.

The two stand-outs for me were "All the Traps of Earth," and "Drop Dead." I really like the suspense created in "Drop Dead." I don't think enough has been done in recent sci-fi on alien plant life and symbiosis.
Erik Wennermark
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This guy's stories remind me of the episode of DS9 when the Prophets send them back in time and all the crew work for a pulp sci-fi mag. The Chief O'Brien character, yeah that's Simak. Robots, robots, and more robots.
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simak, Clifford D. All the Traps of Earth and Other Stories. 1962. Avon, 1979.
Clifford Simak began publishing stories in the early 1930s and continued to write for 50 years. While writing short stories and novels in several genres, he kept his day job as a daily newspaperman in Minneapolis. He wrote two great novels, City and Way Station, but his real strength, I think, was short fiction. As a working journalist he was trained to write clean, efficient, transparent prose, and we find those
Nov 06, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah Newton
I enjoyed this, the first Simak I've read; I got a recommendation at EasterCon 2013, and jumped in. It's very much golden age / silver age sci-fi: atomic age themes, rocket ships, male heroes. But it also has a good bit of thought behind it, and the ideas have aged well. Stories about the weirdness of alien life and the multiple copy paradox stick in my mind particularly. Recommended for a good scifi yarn: I'll be picking up more Simak.
Stephen Goss
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent anthology of stories from a master SF writer - I found it impossible to not read each short story in one go! I can imagine some readers will find some of his ideas quaint (my copy is a second printing, so 50 years old) but I found it refreshing in it's lack of techno-babble.
Oct 06, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
Pretty weak stuff. A couple of good ideas but mostly repetitive and poorly written. And a couple of stories are riddled with basic grammar errors and clumsy syntax; where was the editor?
Scott Golden
Jan 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good stories by one of the old masters.
Stationary Traveller
ძაან საყვარლობა ...
Ralph McEwen
I enjoyed the stories. Please see "Cheryl in CC NV"'s review since we read it together.
Mar 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I must say Good Night Mr. James is a great story. I can't see you getting more out of 15 pages. If you read Simak, you will enjoy it even more.
Коста  Сивов
I enjoyed this collection very much. Simak is one of my favourite writers, and his stories are awesome!
Erik Graff
Jun 11, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Simak fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
A collection of Clifford D. Simak's short science fiction stories.
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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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