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Highway to Eternity [Hardcover]

Clifford D. Simak
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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From Publishers Weekly

One of the best-loved authors in SF, Simak has built an appealing private universe with his rural settings and Midwestern ethos. His new novel once again questions material progress that scants moral values. A family of refugees flees into the past to escape the Infinites, aliens who are seducing Earth people away from their apathetic utopia and toward a transformation to an immortal but incorporeal state. Two contemporary Americansa reporter and a secret agent who have enhanced abilitiesare swept up in the chase through time and space. They encounter diverse challenges, from confronting killer robots and sabertooth tigers to dealing with aliens and finally trying to understand the place of humanity in a complicated, populous galaxy. The pleasing adventure itself brings up many questions that are never explained, but it is an enjoyable ride, not the least for its strong evocation of the surviving natural world, as humans learn to converse with wolves and consider these as the probable successors to man on this Earth.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The road to Everywhen June 26 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It all began simply enough. A client had vanished and Jay Corcoran went to investigate the man's empty hotel suite. But Corcoran's trick vision spotted a room sized box stuck to the outside wall of the suite. There was no way to get into the box, so Corcoran cabled his long time pal Tom Boone.
Boone had a talent. When threatened he could "step around a corner" into some otherwhere. Boone stepped into the box, taking Corcoran with him.
The box turned out to be a time travel machine that transported them back to 1745 England, where they found a family of refugees from a million years in the future.
In that far future, alien Infinites were converting humanity to incorporal form. When the family had refused conversion, they had to flee. For more than a century, the family had lain hidden in their time bubble. Suddenly, the Infinites' killer monster broke through and things grew very complicated as the family fled to the distant past and the farther future.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The old magic never dimmed.... Jan. 7 2003
By OAKSHAMAN - Published on Amazon.com
This final book of the master was a joy to read. Here, he returns, one last time, to many of the favorite topics, characters, and settings of so many of his other books and stories. All in one book you have time travel, alternate dimensions, robots, a vast brotherhood of friendly aliens, a very dog-like wolf (ala City), not to mention many other familiar elements. It is all contained in a very complex, skillfully woven, unpredictable narrative.
It is fitting that that this book should address the issues of immortality, eternity, and the purpose of life. After all, it was written only two years before the author died (peacefully and in his sleep.) You find immortality achieved by means of fields that hold time at bay, by artificially becoming points of pure intellect, by evolutionary means, by intelligent machines, etc. There is also the understanding that mankind has infinite potential to grow in intellect and understanding. Indeed, it is clearly stated that without consciousness and understanding the universe would lack meaning. That is the ultimate purpose of all sentient beings- to give meaning to the universe.
This is a mature, thoughtful, science fiction novel. It is not an old style shoot-em-up space opera, though it does have some pretty good killer monsters in the pay of sinister aliens from the future.
All in all, I found this novel to be an excellent capstone to a distinguished career. The old magic never dimmed. I actually postponed reading this book, for I knew that there would be no more coming after I had finished this one....
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it! April 5 1999
By Kurt Foster - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Regardless of what the other reviewers said about this book, I guess you can't please everyone. I thought this book was wonderful, and as a matter of fact, one of my favorites from Clifford Simak! It has great characters, a very interesting story, and makes you feel good, and something I've not heard others say about him is that Cliff's stories are so descriptive that you feel the texture of the grass and smell the air in the story. Pick this book up, if you can find it! You won't be dissapointed!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The road to Everywhen June 26 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It all began simply enough. A client had vanished and Jay Corcoran went to investigate the man's empty hotel suite. But Corcoran's trick vision spotted a room sized box stuck to the outside wall of the suite. There was no way to get into the box, so Corcoran cabled his long time pal Tom Boone.
Boone had a talent. When threatened he could "step around a corner" into some otherwhere. Boone stepped into the box, taking Corcoran with him.
The box turned out to be a time travel machine that transported them back to 1745 England, where they found a family of refugees from a million years in the future.
In that far future, alien Infinites were converting humanity to incorporal form. When the family had refused conversion, they had to flee. For more than a century, the family had lain hidden in their time bubble. Suddenly, the Infinites' killer monster broke through and things grew very complicated as the family fled to the distant past and the farther future.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Meanders, but it does have a thoughtful plot Sept. 26 2002
By Charles Ashbacher - Published on Amazon.com
Immortality is an attractive concept and there is no doubt that most people would accept it in any form. However, there are some forms that are as much a prison as a life and that is a story that is not often told. In this tale, Simak describes a set of circumstances where an alien species offers the human race the opportunity for eternal life in an incorporeal form. While most take advantage of it, a small group rejects the offer and flees into time in an attempt to escape.
They are pursued and are assisted by many different species, from other aliens to robots to a domesticated wolf. The story is very convoluted at times, you must read with a great deal of care if you are to keep all of the characters organized in your mind. I enjoyed the story, but it is not one that will appeal to those who prefer their books end in a form of closure.
This is a story that expects a great deal of cerebral activity on the part of the reader, both administratively and philosophically. The philosophical aspects of eternal life in this form are similar to the tenets of many branches of religion, so there are points of thought that are also religious in nature. It is worth reading for many, but certainly not for those who prefer a great deal of intense action.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clifford Simak's Heritage! Feb. 7 2010
By Maximiliano F Yofre - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Clifford Simak (1904-1988) wrote a masterpiece, City (1952), two remarkable sci-fi novels Way Station (1963) and "Highway of Eternity" (1986) and many good short stories and novels.

Here we have his last published novel that is a compendium of the author's major themes. He packs in a single volume: robots, aliens, a gentle wolf, a unique family, time travel, irresistible temptations to humankind and parallel universes.
Some passages express, what I think, are Simak's deepest convictions regarding human evolution in a cosmic perspective.

The story starts showing a cluster of very different characters that will be coming across each other and giving a special dynamism to the novel.
Sceneries change from present to far future and far past; from ordinary space to "eternity"; from an English farm landscape to purple alien deserts.
All these traits force the reader to be attentive to shifting characters and landscapes in order not to loose track of what's going on.
The tale is constructed as a mosaic that will gain significance as the plot progresses to a coherent end.

I recommend this book to sci-fi lovers. Do not let it pass by!
Reviewed by Max Yofre.
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