Patti Abbott came up with this idea. She has a great gator photo on her blog, so naturally I went along with her suggestion that some bloggers write about "forgotten" books, books that influenced them but that seem in danger of disappearing. So I thought I'd start with City by Clifford Simak.
We're talking here about one of my favorite books by one of my favorite SF writers. Simak died 20 years ago, and while I don't know for sure, I suspect that few of his books remain in print in mass market editions. City is a "fix-up" book, composed of a series of chapters that originally appeared as short stories. Each story is a tale about the legendary creature known as "man" and what happened to him. It's about the end of the world, in a way, and it ends not with a bang, but a whimper, just as Eliot predicted. Except for the dogs, Jenkins, a robot, becomes the most human figure in the book, which contains as one of the chapters what is possibly my favorite SF story, "Desertion."
I really loved this book when I first read it more than 50 years ago. I've read it several times since, and I still feel the same way. "Desertion" never gets old, and that last line slays me every single time. I still think it's one of the best I ever read. Check it out.