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Time and Again

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  2,202 Ratings  ·  72 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
Paperback, 303 pages
Published January 1st 1983 by Ace (first published December 1950)
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Rating details
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May 21, 2009 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!
Ivan Bogdanov
Jan 22, 2015 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
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.
Oh dear, this book is a bit of a mess. It's about time, it's about androids and Asimovian space cops... No, it's about biology and symbiotic life, it's about time travel, it's a scathing critique of manifest, it's about a war between androids and, it's about mutant humans with special, I'm not sure what it's about.
Glenn Younger
Sep 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This story was so multi-layered, I shake my head in utter amazement that it was written in 1951. If the author were still alive, I'd put it on my dream list to shake his hand and thank him for his talent with words. It's no wonder he won so many awards in his career.

This is a book of philosophy about the meaning of destiny hidden in the guise of Science Fiction. Amidst the requisite time travel theme, it touches on the nature of mankind with its illusion of superiority over all living things
Jonathan Palfrey
Feb 18, 2012 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
Svetlozara Kabaktchieva
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Лятото е времето, когато се връщам към изданията на "Галактика" от 80-те. Брилянтна фантастика, брилянтен Саймък. Повече от 60 години преди "Интерстелар" сме знаели как да пътуваме. И сме познавали своята съвест.
Feb 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One I read repeatedly as a young person. I loved it.
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I read an Open Road Media re-publication of this 1951 novel in kindle format because there was a short-term deep price cut for it on Amazon, and I have always liked Clifford Simak’s work. It is sad now to give this as low a rating as I have. I highly recommend his best novels – Way Station and City.

The problem with the book is that there are two plots. The novel first has Ash Sutton who has returned from a twenty-year first-contact mission to 61 Cygni. He died there, and was brought back to life
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
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
Jim Davis
Apr 25, 2016 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
Cécile C.
Feb 03, 2013 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
Sep 08, 2013 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
Jun 08, 2012 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
Paul Weiss
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
A true sci-fi classic winner!

Time and Again opens in a distant future on earth that includes androids, robots, interactive television, weather control, mentophones - an ingenious device that allows instantaneous interstellar communication, dramatically extended life spans, travel to distant star systems and a humanity that has conquered the galaxy and spread its seed far and wide. After a 20 year absence, Asher Sutton returns to earth from an expedition to 61 Cygni, a system that until now has
Aug 03, 2017 rated it liked it
So, its Clifford D. Simak's birthday today. Only a happy coincidence that I finished this novel today. I have been reading it for a few weeks. I got stuck at page 90. Because the novel starts OK, gets ridiculously awful - disjointed, confusing, and random - and then suddenly most of it straightens out and things make sense. The ending continues on too long and gets a little out of hand, honestly. But I thought I was going to have to abandon this novel around page 100. And I VERY RARELY abandon a ...more
Jul 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantascienza
Salti temporali

Leggere Simak è sempre un'esperienza particolare.
Come autore di fantascienza, la sua visione del mondo e della vita viene spesso e ingiustamente travisata e accostandola ad una visione ingenua.
Egli ha sempre anteposto gli aspetti umanistici a quelli tecnologici, sfruttando la lungimiranza della fantascienza per indagare le aspirazioni e i limiti dell'Uomo proponendo uno stile morbido, a tratti gentile, ma diretto.

Dietro molte delle sue parole c'è un grande rispetto e amore per la
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A visitor from the future warns that Asher Sutton, missing for 20 years, will be returning and must be killed. He does indeed return, but manages to avoid the would-be killers, since he is now something more than he was when he went to 61 Cygni 20 years ago. The future humans are afraid of a book that he has not yet published, that has caused a war with the androids in the future. But Asher is determined to get his message out. I'm not sure I completely understood all of this book - some of it w ...more
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
Time and Again started off with a strong premise. Sutton, an astronaut, returns to Earth after 20 years absence where he was on a mission to reach an unreachable planet. Upon his return he discovers that he's got some cool new alien powers and through some time travel (because why not!) he learns that he's apparently going to write a book that will cause a war between humans and the essentially enslaved androids.

Ok cool. Sounds promising and it is through the first hundred pages. But then it st
Dan Martin
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked it. A really good SyFy story that involves time travel, aliens, robots, androids, space travel/exploration with interesting, likable characters. On the surface a fun Sci-Fi romp, but peel back the layers and what you found is a story that warns against wars based on religion and points out the egocentric views of the human race.
"Before Man goes to the stars he should learn how to live on Earth."
Jordi Soriano-Fradera
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I truly enjoyed this book. Interesting science-fiction with a touch of philosophy, moral and religion. It is also an invitation to think about the selfishness of humanity and its obsession for supremacy above all the rest of living creatures.

The book was published in 1951, and I found quite interesting how different technological aspects treated in the book, most notably those concerning machines and consciousness, are under debate now.
Michal Puchovský
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Simak je frajer a jeden z mojich najobľúbenejších sci-fi autorov. "Předivo času", ako sa v českom preklade volá kniha, sa mojich očiach nevyrovnala Simakovmu majsterštychu "Město". Stále veľmi kvalitné čítanie ale mierne trpí tým, že chce povedať veľa vecí na jednej ploche. Jasnejšia štruktúra by knihe pomohla zvýrazniť jej brilantné časti. Možno tejto knihe prídem na chuť viac niekedy v budúcnosti.
Dave Butler
Apr 23, 2018 rated it liked it
i found this underwhelming - not much SF, just some familiar tropes to frame a philosophical debate about destiny? man's place in the universe? human vs. artificial life? it seemed unclear to me and both sides in this time battle seemed kind of dumb considering that the war appeared to hinge on something very simple and easy to deal with if you had a time machine.
Keso Shengelia
I continue to be amazed by this author. Simak does all that in one solid story line that doesn't let up until the last line that leaves you breathless. An interesting, thoughtful and unusual story with well crafted and likable characters.
Highly recomended!
David Stone

It just kinda ends, and it ends with a meh. The plot was interesting, but it feels like the book just ends.
Serazhutdin Khappalaev
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Проблематика и некоторые сюжетные детали удивительно сильно перекликаются со свежим «Бегущим по Лезвию 2049»
Chess Desalls
A philosophical and sinister future with twists and turns, asking the questions of today and yesterday. There are some fun plays on paradox, too.
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A time travel/space opera combo involving "androids" (robots indistinguishable from humans except for their inability to biologically reproduce).
Nicholas Bobbitt
As I tend to enjoy Simak's stories, I feel slightly disappointed in this book. It just doesn't seem to have the style his short stories had.
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The Big Front Yard: Lawrence's Review 2 3 Nov 12, 2013 07:02AM  
  • Pilgrimage to Earth
  • The Singers of Time
  • Sinister Barrier
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  • There Will Be Time
  • Supermind
  • The Flight of the Horse
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  • Хищные вещи века
  • Beyond This Horizon
  • Martians, Go Home
  • A Mirror for Observers
  • The Syndic
  • The Big Time
"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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“Man could not, by mere self-assertion, be a special being; understanding that it was his greater glory to take his place among the other things of life, as a simple thing of life, as a form of life that could lead and teach and be a friend rather than a thing that conquered and ruled and stood as one apart.” 0 likes
“You say a thing so often and so well that after a time everyone believes it. Even, finally, yourself.” 0 likes
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