Friday, August 19, 2016

FFB: The Goblin Reservation -- Clifford Simak

In the far future, Earth has become a university planet with Time University and Supernatural University among the schools.  Time travel is a simple matter, as is instantaneous transportation between the stars.  There's a slight problem for a professor at Supernatural, however.  When he returns from a trip to a distant galaxy, he discovers that he's already returned a couple of weeks earlier and been killed.  And if that's not complication enough, the planet to which he traveled isn't the one he'd been sent to.  It's a strange crystal world that is offering to sell knowledge far in advance of that which Earth has already, for a price.  But what's the price?

All this is happening on an Earth where fairies, goblins, trolls, neanderthals, ghosts, banshees, and humans all live and interact together.  It's all told in Simak's trademark bucolic style.

The novel was nominated for a Hugo long ago, and I enjoyed it, but it's not one of my favorites of Simak's work.  I can't recommend that you run out and buy a copy, but if you like Simak and haven't read it, it's certainly worth a look.


George said...

I read THE GOBLIN RESERVATION long ago. You're right, it's no WAY STATION. But even lesser Clifford Simak is enjoyable.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Sounds like fun. I've read other books with similar themes more recently, as time travel is always a good place to start for me.

Richard Robinson said...

I read this at least a decade after it was available in paperback, but didn't think much of it. It's clever, but not that good.

You will note that Kelley read everything "long ago".

Steve Oerkfitz said...

Have to agree with Richard. I first read it a couple of years ago and was not impressed. For the most part I think Simak was a better short story writer than novelist. There are a few exceptions such as Way Station.