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

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  21,797 ratings  ·  1,232 reviews
Enoch Wallace Looked Like Any Other Man On Earth!

Except That:
-Time (about 100 years) had passed, and he showed no signs of aging.
-His house was invulnerable against destruction from any weapon known to man.
-In his family cemetery a tombstone inscribed in an unknown language guarded the grave of an alien horror.

For years no one had invaded the solitude of his lonely farm. B
...more
Paperback, 190 pages
Published April 1969 by Macfadden Books (first published 1963)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

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

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Way Station, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Kevin Kuhn *Spoiler* My take is that it shows growth in the character. He comes to learn that creating the shadow people is selfish and cruel. In the end, despit…more*Spoiler* My take is that it shows growth in the character. He comes to learn that creating the shadow people is selfish and cruel. In the end, despite the loneliness, he chooses to release Mary. I think I understand what Simak was intending, but it's my least favorite part of the novel.(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  21,797 ratings  ·  1,232 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Way Station
Kevin Kuhn
I may have a new favorite classic sci-fi author – Clifford D. Simak. It’s a tragedy that I’m just discovering him now – a glitch that quickly needs to be rectified. I loved Way Station and Simak’s writing. I found it to be warm, unpretentious, and distinctly midwestern. Lately, I’ve been rereading Heinlein, Clarke, and Asimov and some of the luster of my youthful idolization has worn away. Simak might be just the one to restore the patina of my love of the golden age of Science Fiction.

Way Stati
...more
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
Lyn
Jun 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charming.

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
...more
Evgeny
Apr 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ide
...more
Nancy
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.
...more
Apatt
May 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
carol.
Feb 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
Q:
He needed sun and soil and wind to remain a man. (c)
Q:
We realized that among us, among all the races, we had a staggering fund of knowledge and of techniques - that working together, by putting together all this knowledge and capability, we could arrive at something that would be far greater and more significant than any race, alone, could hope of accomplishing. (c)
Q:
A man... must belong to something, must have some loyalty and some identity. (c)
Q:
A million years ago there had been no river he
...more
mark monday
the fool known as Man is too slow to learn, too fast on the draw, too committed to staying still. the man known as Enoch Wallace stays to watch and mind the way, to live and so learn, to dream beyond those fools known as Men. but he is a man still, and a loyal one, to Men. he'll learn and he'll fight for them, his fellows, living beside them but always aside from them, in his lonely way station, his alien friends coming and going and seldom returning. he'll mind that way and he'll chart the fall ...more
Manuel Antão
Jun 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013

description

I've been reading this book on and off for several years (first time I read it in Portuguese...). Once in a while I get the urge to pick it up again. It happened again... lol

Storytelling, movie making, painting are all art forms. There is no right or wrong way to make art. There's no inherently proper or improper, no right or wrong, no appropriate or inappropriate way to craft artistic expression. Simak had his way. Heinlein had his way. Bach had his way. Eça de Queiroz had his way. Nick Ray had
...more
Stuart
Jun 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

Ha
...more
Mimi
Sep 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  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.
Claudia
Nov 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, a-hugo
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
...more
Stephen
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)
...more
Efka
Oct 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I'll be brief, because there's really not much to say - despite a couple of interesting ideas, this book left an impression of repetitive, monotonous read, with quite too much pacifism for my taste and generally a sense of a kind of failed utopia. I know, complaining that a sci-fi is not "real" enough seems awkward, but that's what I felt. This book seemed too naive, too... artificial, too fake or at least not genuine enough. And all that Galaxy Central's politics reminds me current wave of mult ...more
Richard Derus
Sep 13, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindled
2019 UPDATE
An adaptation is underway for genre powerhouse Netflix! Now may this be the one that breaks the Netflix-Original Curse of Crappiness (eg, Another Life, the mediocre reboot of Lost in Space).
...more
Donna
Aug 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Ashley
"And yet he had learned to submerge that sense of horror, to disregard the outward appearance of it, to regard all life as brother life, to meet all things as people."

I was very surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. "Golden Age Sci-Fi" isn't always something that personally resonates with me. A lot of it is very dated, or rooted in the time period it was written in, or focuses on ideas and themes that aren't as interesting to me as more modern sci-fi. But this book feels almost timeless, an
...more
Nicole Pramik
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 te ...more
Bill
Feb 19, 2011 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.
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

...more
Bryan Alexander
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american-history, sf
I read this when I was a kid, and reread it this year because a low-cost ebook version crossed my screen.

Since I've spent almost two decades living in the woods, the novel now strikes me as enormously powerful and moving. I've been reading some out loud to my wife and fellow homesteader.

Way Station's core idea is that a man lives in a remote house, but the house is actually a disguised node in a galactic travel and communication network. Simak sets up quite a stage around this core idea, with a
...more
Andreas
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
Jennifer
Dec 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.

Michael Jandrok
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve always been a somewhat slow reader, plodding along my happy way and thumbing back to reread various sections of my books, taking my sweet time. But even by my standards, “Way Station” took an enormous amount of time to read. I spent 12 days reading a 190 page paperback. Slower than a sleeping snail in a bucket of glue. Why, Mike, why?

I’ll start with the language. I’m a sucker for a writer who knows how to use words to do more than just tell a tale. Clifford D. Simak is one of those authors
...more
Lena
Sep 17, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lena by: Science Fiction Aficionados

The book started out with the protagonist executing two horses in anger over his father’s death. The horses had nothing to do with it. It was dark and petty and predisposed me to disliking this book.

The raccoon torture scene described sealed my dislike.

Then I started thinking about the way the women were portrayed.

There's Mary, the sentient hologram created solely for the protagonists pleasure.

“She had been an ideal and perfection. She had been his perfect woman, created in his mind.”

Instead
...more
Jim
Apr 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
There is a possibility that I read this book years ago, but I remembered nothing of it but the name of its author and the title of the book. Way Station by Clifford D. Simak is a strange work of sci-fi, and at the same time an intensely imaginative one.

Enoch Wallace is a Civil War veteran, and he is still alive, looking to be in his thirties, a hundred years later. He lives in a house his father built, but that cannot be entered by its doors or windows, even with the application of force. Only E
...more
Chris
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Julie Davis
Interestingly, this is one of the few books where audio does not enhance the book. It is perfectly good narration but I find I enjoy reading the book much more than listening.

==========
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 centu
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • A Case of Conscience (After Such Knowledge, #4)
  • This Immortal
  • The High Crusade
  • The Wanderer
  • Double Star
  • The Big Time
  • They'd Rather Be Right
  • To Your Scattered Bodies Go (Riverworld, #1)
  • The Demolished Man
  • Across a Billion Years
  • Nightwings
  • Lord of Light
  • Tau Zero
  • Brain Wave
  • The Forever War (The Forever War, #1)
  • Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang
  • Gateway (Heechee Saga, #1)
  • More Than Human
See similar books…
718 followers
"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

Related Articles

Myths and mayhem, the fantastical and the scientifically plausible, these are readers’ most popular sci-fi and fantasy novels published in the ...
142 likes · 28 comments
“Here lies one from a distant star, but the soil is not alien to him, for in death he belongs to the universe.” 51 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.” 13 likes
More quotes…