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City Hardcover – Feb 1992

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Doubleday Books (February 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568650450
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568650456
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,002,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“To read science-fiction is to read Simak. The reader who does not like Simak stories does not like science-fiction at all.” —Robert A. Heinlein
“Just about any work by Simak deserves to be considered a classic and City is no exception. . . . A unique perspective on the race of man and a fantastic read.” —SFBook.com

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

During his fifty-five-year career, CLIFFORD D. SIMAK produced some of the most iconic science fiction stories ever written. Born in 1904 on a farm in southwestern Wisconsin, Simak got a job at a small-town newspaper in 1929 and eventually became news editor of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, writing fiction in his spare time.

Simak was best known for the book City, a reaction to the horrors of World War II, and for his novel Way Station. In 1953 City was awarded the International Fantasy Award, and in following years, Simak won three Hugo Awards and a Nebula Award. In 1977 he became the third Grand Master of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and before his death in 1988, he was named one of three inaugural winners of the Horror Writers Association’s Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement.
DAVID W. WIXON was a close friend of Clifford D. Simak’s. As Simak’s health declined, Wixon, already familiar with science fiction publishing, began more and more to handle such things as his friend’s business correspondence and contract matters. Named literary executor of the estate after Simak’s death, Wixon began a long-term project to secure the rights to all of Simak’s stories and find a way to make them available to readers who, given the fifty-five-year span of Simak’s writing career, might never have gotten the chance to enjoy all of his short fiction. Along the way, Wixon also read the author’s surviving journals and rejected manuscripts, which made him uniquely able to provide Simak’s readers with interesting and thought-provoking commentary that sheds new light on the work and thought of a great writer.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
City is great science fiction, a social commentary of sorts told in a unique and highly effective manner. The tales collected in this book are the myths that have been told by generation after generation of Dogs. Dog scholars debate their origin, and only Tige is so bold as to argue that Man ever truly existed. The majority argument makes sense--man was a highly illogical creature, too selfish and materialistic to ever survive long enough to form a lasting, advanced culture. These stories themselves basically tell the story of the Webster family, a remarkable family whose genealogical line was gifted with genius yet cursed with failures. As the story goes, humans abandoned the cities and sought a bucolic lifestyle, shedding the old tendencies to huddle together in cities for protection. They explored the solar system, and in time the majority of the population sought an alien bliss in the form of Jupiter's native life forms. One Webster had a vision of two civilizations, man and dog, working together to plot a new future--he utilized deft surgical means to enable dogs to speak, he designed special lenses to allow dogs to see as men do, and he designed robots to aid dogs by serving as their hands. Over the years, man's society continued to break down, and eventually a Webster manages to shut off man from the world at large, determined to let the dogs create a new earth free of man's dangerous ideas and influences. Jenkins, the faithful robot servant of the Websters, oversees the dogs' evolution. Unfortunately, the Dog world was not isolated from a handful of human beings after all, and eventually a man builds a bow and arrow and kills a fellow creature, thus upsetting the balance of life all over again.Read more ›
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By Rose TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 21 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
This story has been on my 'to read' list for at least a couple of years. I suppose I could have tried to find a dead tree edition but I enjoy reading ebooks so much more. Up until now, Simak's books were not available as an ebook but City and Way Station will be released in July in this format. I was lucky enough to get an early copy from the publisher.

City is a collection of short stories that Simak must have intended to eventually put together in one book. They are the story of man, his evolution, his demise, and the subsequent rise of the animals...with the assistance of robots. It spans thousands of years but mainly focuses on one family - the Websters. The Websters seem to have a hand in most major turning points in history (or in this case, the future). The story begins after the creation of easy-to-use atomic power and personal helicopters. This provides a way for people to leave the confines of the city and move to the countryside, but be able to take quick trips back for work. This brings about the collapse of the city structure and this sets the stage for the various things that happen and the evolutionary turns that are taken by all Earth's creatures.

This is a true classic and I am pleased to report that the writing isn't dated. It stood the test of time. I would recommend it for readers of science fiction and dystopian stories.
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By A Customer on Nov. 7 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read City back in the late 60's. I was captivated by the tale, or several tales actually, that make up the story. I realized that trying to explain it to someone unfamiliar with it just made it sound silly (talking dogs, lopers on Jupiter, robot butlers, etc.) so I would just recommend it to friends and let them discover the magic. Most did. Simak himself said he wrote the story to reassure himself, in the darkest days of the cold war, that there was a better world coming. And, in some ways the book is dated to that period. But in more important ways it's timeless. There is a poignancy to the stories that's difficult to describe, but which moves the reader more than at first realized. This is what keeps me coming back, these many years later, to re-read them. They seem to stimulate feelings associated with similar settings and activities in the reader's life, almost like prosaic haiku poetry. There is no hard science fiction here, and no high fantasy. There are wonderfully written, fanciful tales that will enchant and entertain readers of many different ages. I highly recommend City, now a fantasy sci-fi classic, and to this reader, Simak's best.
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