Clifford D. Simak quotes

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Clifford D. Simak

Birthdate: 3. August 1904
Date of death: 25. April 1988
Other names: 克利福德·D·西馬克, 克利福德·D·西马克, کلیفورد سیماک, Клиффорд Саймак

Clifford Donald Simak was an American science fiction writer. He won three Hugo Awards and one Nebula Award. The Science Fiction Writers of America made him its third SFWA Grand Master, and the Horror Writers Association made him one of three inaugural winners of the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Works

Way Station
Way Station
Clifford D. Simak
Highway of Eternity
Highway of Eternity
Clifford D. Simak
Time and Again
Time and Again
Clifford D. Simak
City
City
Clifford D. Simak
All Flesh is Grass
All Flesh is Grass
Clifford D. Simak
Cemetery World
Cemetery World
Clifford D. Simak
Ring Around the Sun
Ring Around the Sun
Clifford D. Simak
A Choice of Gods
A Choice of Gods
Clifford D. Simak
A Heritage of Stars
A Heritage of Stars
Clifford D. Simak
Shakespeare's Planet
Shakespeare's Planet
Clifford D. Simak

Quotes Clifford D. Simak

„I have become a student of the sky and know all the clouds there are and have firmly fixed in mind the various hues of blue that the sky can show“

—  Clifford D. Simak, book A Choice of Gods

the washed-out, almost invisible blue of a hot, summer noon; the soft robin's egg, sometimes almost greenish blue of a late springtime evening, the darker, almost violet blue of fall. I have become a connoisseur of the coloring that the leaves take on in autumn and I know all the voices and the moods of the woods and river valley. I have, in a measure, entered into communion with nature, and in this wise have followed in the footsteps of Red Cloud and his people, although I am sure that their understanding and their emotions are more fine-tuned than mine are. I have seen, however, the roll of seasons, the birth and death of leaves, the glitter of the stars on more nights than I can number and from all this as from nothing else I have gained a sense of a purpose and an orderliness which it does not seem to me can have stemmed from accident alone.
It seems to me, thinking of it, that there must be some universal plan which set in motion the orbiting of the electrons about the nucleus and the slower, more majestic orbit of the galaxies about one another to the very edge of space. There is a plan, it seems to me, that reaches out of the electron to the rim of the universe and what this plan may be or how it came about is beyond my feeble intellect. But if we are looking for something on which to pin our faith — and, indeed, our hope — the plan might well be it. I think we have thought too small and have been too afraid...
Ch 24
A Choice of Gods (1972)

„There is a plan, it seems to me, that reaches out of the electron to the rim of the universe and what this plan may be or how it came about is beyond my feeble intellect. But if we are looking for something on which to pin our faith — and, indeed, our hope — the plan might well be it. I think we have thought too small and have been too afraid…“

—  Clifford D. Simak, book A Choice of Gods

A Choice of Gods (1972)
Context: I have become a student of the sky and know all the clouds there are and have firmly fixed in mind the various hues of blue that the sky can show — the washed-out, almost invisible blue of a hot, summer noon; the soft robin's egg, sometimes almost greenish blue of a late springtime evening, the darker, almost violet blue of fall. I have become a connoisseur of the coloring that the leaves take on in autumn and I know all the voices and the moods of the woods and river valley. I have, in a measure, entered into communion with nature, and in this wise have followed in the footsteps of Red Cloud and his people, although I am sure that their understanding and their emotions are more fine-tuned than mine are. I have seen, however, the roll of seasons, the birth and death of leaves, the glitter of the stars on more nights than I can number and from all this as from nothing else I have gained a sense of a purpose and an orderliness which it does not seem to me can have stemmed from accident alone.
It seems to me, thinking of it, that there must be some universal plan which set in motion the orbiting of the electrons about the nucleus and the slower, more majestic orbit of the galaxies about one another to the very edge of space. There is a plan, it seems to me, that reaches out of the electron to the rim of the universe and what this plan may be or how it came about is beyond my feeble intellect. But if we are looking for something on which to pin our faith — and, indeed, our hope — the plan might well be it. I think we have thought too small and have been too afraid...

Ch 24

„What your friend told you of his seeing of the time wall is true, Henry said in Boone's mind. I know he saw it, although imperfectly.“

—  Clifford D. Simak, Highway of Eternity

Highway of Eternity (1986)
Context: What your friend told you of his seeing of the time wall is true, Henry said in Boone's mind. I know he saw it, although imperfectly. Your friend is most unusual. So far as I know, no other human actually can see it; although there are ways of detecting time. I tried to show him a sniffler. There are a number of snifflers, trying to sniff out the bubble. They know there's something strange, but don't know what it is.

„Ulysses, he thought, had not told him all the truth about the Talisman. He had told him that it had disappeared and that the galaxy was without it, but he had not told him that for many years its power and glory had been dimmed by the failure of its custodian to provide linkage between the people and the force.“

—  Clifford D. Simak, book Way Station

Source: Way Station (1963), Ch. 30
Context: Ulysses, he thought, had not told him all the truth about the Talisman. He had told him that it had disappeared and that the galaxy was without it, but he had not told him that for many years its power and glory had been dimmed by the failure of its custodian to provide linkage between the people and the force. And all that time the corrosion occasioned by that failure had eaten away at the bonds of the galactic cofraternity.

„His mind went back to that strange business of the spiritual force and the even stranger machine which had been built eons ago, by means of which the galactic people were able to establish contact with the force.“

—  Clifford D. Simak, book Way Station

Way Station (1963)
Context: His mind went back to that strange business of the spiritual force and the even stranger machine which had been built eons ago, by means of which the galactic people were able to establish contact with the force. There was a name for that machine, but there was no word in the English language which closely approximated it. "Talisman" was the closest, but Talisman was too crude a word. Although that had been the word that Ulysses had used when, some years ago, they had talked of it.

Ch. 12

„Perversity, she thought. Could that have been what happened to the human race — a willing perversity that set at naught all human values which had been so hardly won and structured in the light of reason for a span of more than a million years? Could the human race, quite out of hand and with no sufficient reason, have turned its back upon everything that had built humanity?“

—  Clifford D. Simak, Highway of Eternity

Highway of Eternity (1986)
Context: Perversity, she thought. Could that have been what happened to the human race — a willing perversity that set at naught all human values which had been so hardly won and structured in the light of reason for a span of more than a million years? Could the human race, quite out of hand and with no sufficient reason, have turned its back upon everything that had built humanity? Or was it, perhaps, no more than second childhood, a shifting of the burden off one's shoulders and going back to the selfishness of the child who romped and frolicked without thought of consequence or liability?

„Here was the very negation of life and motion, here was the stark, bald beginning when there was no life, nor even thought of life.“

—  Clifford D. Simak, book Time and Again

Source: Time and Again (1951), Chapter XIX (p. 99)
Context: As he looked, Sutton felt the cold hand of loneliness reach down with icy fingers to take him in its grip. For here was sheer, mad loneliness such as he had never dreamed. Here was the very negation of life and motion, here was the stark, bald beginning when there was no life, nor even thought of life. Here anything that knew or thought or moved was an alien thing, a disease, a cancer on the face of nothingness.

„He had acted on an impulse, with no thought at all. The girl had asked protection and here she had protection, here nothing in the world ever could get at her.“

—  Clifford D. Simak, book Way Station

Source: Way Station (1963), Ch. 16
Context: He had acted on an impulse, with no thought at all. The girl had asked protection and here she had protection, here nothing in the world ever could get at her. But she was a human being and no human being, other than himself, should have ever crossed the threshold.
But it was done and there was no way to change it. Once across the threshold, there was no way to change it.

„The wolf was smiling at him, and he had never known that a wolf could smile.“

—  Clifford D. Simak, Highway of Eternity

Highway of Eternity (1986)
Context: He stirred again, halfway between sleep and wakefulness, and he was not alone. Across the fire from him sat, or seemed to sit, a man wrapped in some all-enveloping covering that might have been a cloak, wearing on his head a conical hat that dropped down so far it hid his face. Beside him sat the wolf — the wolf, for Boone was certain that it was the same wolf with which he'd found himself sitting nose to nose when he had wakened the night before. The wolf was smiling at him, and he had never known that a wolf could smile.
He stared at the hat. Who are you? What is this about?
He spoke in his mind, talking to himself, not really to the hat. He had not spoken aloud for fear of startling the wolf.
The Hat replied. It is about the brotherhood of life. Who I am is of no consequence. I am only here to act as an interpreter.
An interpreter for whom?
For the wolf and you.
But the wolf does not talk.
No, he does not talk. But he thinks. He is greatly pleased and puzzled.
Puzzled I can understand. But pleased?
He feels a sameness with you. He senses something in you that reminds him of himself. He puzzles what you are.
In time to come, said Boone, he will be one with us. He will become a dog.
If he knew that, said The Hat, it would not impress him. He thinks now to be one with you. An equal. A dog is not your equal...

„How strange it is, he thought, how so many senseless things shape our destiny.“

—  Clifford D. Simak, book Way Station

Source: Way Station (1963), Ch. 32
Context: How strange it is, he thought, how so many senseless things shape our destiny. For the rifle range had been a senseless thing, as senseless as a billiard table or a game of cards — designed for one thing only, to please the keeper of the station. And yet the hours he'd spent there had shaped toward this hour and end, to this single instant on this restricted slope of ground.

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„Hank Fisher would tell how he'd tried to break into the house and couldn't and there'd be others who would try to break into the house and there'd be hell to pay.“

—  Clifford D. Simak, book Way Station

Source: Way Station (1963), Ch. 18
Context: Hank Fisher would tell how he'd tried to break into the house and couldn't and there'd be others who would try to break into the house and there'd be hell to pay.
Enoch sweated, thinking of it.
All the years of keeping out of people's way, all the years of being unobtrusive would be for nothing then. This strange house upon a lonely ridge would become a mystery for the world, and a challenge and a target for all the crackpots of the world.

„Out among the stars lay a massive body of knowledge, some of it an extension of what mankind knew, some of it concerning matters which Man had not yet suspected, and used in ways and for purposes that Man had not as yet imagined. And never might imagine, if left on his own.“

—  Clifford D. Simak, book Way Station

Source: Way Station (1963), Ch. 11
Context: There was so much knowledge in the galaxy and he knew so little of it, understood so little of the little that he knew.
There were men on Earth who could make sense of it. Men who would give anything short of their very lives to know the little that he knew, and could put it all to use.
Out among the stars lay a massive body of knowledge, some of it an extension of what mankind knew, some of it concerning matters which Man had not yet suspected, and used in ways and for purposes that Man had not as yet imagined. And never might imagine, if left on his own.

„You either obey a law or you forfeit it. You can’t forget it with one breath and invoke it with the next.“

—  Clifford D. Simak, book Time and Again

Source: Time and Again (1951), Chapter V (pp. 27-28)
Context: “You do not belong to any bona fide religion that prohibits killing?”
“I presume I could classify myself as a Christian,” said Sutton. “I believe there is a Commandment about killing.”
The robot shook his head. “It doesn’t count.”
“It is clear and specific,” Sutton argued. “It says, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’”
“It is all of that,” the robot told him. “But it has been discredited. You humans discredited it yourselves. You never obeyed it. You either obey a law or you forfeit it. You can’t forget it with one breath and invoke it with the next.”

„I had the feeling that this was a place, once seen, that could not be seen again. If I left and then came back, it would not be the same; no matter how many times I might return to this particular spot the place and feeling would never be the same, something would be lost or something would be added, and there never would exist again, through all eternity, all the integrated factors that made it what it was in this magic moment.“

—  Clifford D. Simak, book Cemetery World

Cemetery World (1973)
Context: The sun was setting, throwing a fog-like dusk across the stream and trees, and there was a coolness in the air. It was time, I knew, to be getting back to camp. But I did not want to move. For I had the feeling that this was a place, once seen, that could not be seen again. If I left and then came back, it would not be the same; no matter how many times I might return to this particular spot the place and feeling would never be the same, something would be lost or something would be added, and there never would exist again, through all eternity, all the integrated factors that made it what it was in this magic moment.

„All the years of keeping out of people's way, all the years of being unobtrusive would be for nothing then. This strange house upon a lonely ridge would become a mystery for the world, and a challenge and a target for all the crackpots of the world.“

—  Clifford D. Simak, book Way Station

Source: Way Station (1963), Ch. 18
Context: Hank Fisher would tell how he'd tried to break into the house and couldn't and there'd be others who would try to break into the house and there'd be hell to pay.
Enoch sweated, thinking of it.
All the years of keeping out of people's way, all the years of being unobtrusive would be for nothing then. This strange house upon a lonely ridge would become a mystery for the world, and a challenge and a target for all the crackpots of the world.

„One was tempted, Enoch thought, to say that this was as far as a tool could go, that it was the ultimate in the ingenuity possessed by any brain. But that would be a dangerous way of thinking, for perhaps there was no limit, there might, quite likely, be no such condition as the ultimate; there might be no time when any creature or any group of creatures could stop at any certain point and say, this is as far as we can go, there is no use of trying to go farther.“

—  Clifford D. Simak, book Way Station

Source: Way Station (1963), Ch. 33
Context: A machine, a mechanism, no more than a tool — technological brother to the hoe, the wrench, the hammer — and yet as far a cry from these as the human brain was from that first amino acid which had come into being on this planet when the Earth was very young. One was tempted, Enoch thought, to say that this was as far as a tool could go, that it was the ultimate in the ingenuity possessed by any brain. But that would be a dangerous way of thinking, for perhaps there was no limit, there might, quite likely, be no such condition as the ultimate; there might be no time when any creature or any group of creatures could stop at any certain point and say, this is as far as we can go, there is no use of trying to go farther. For each new development produced, as side effects, so many other possibilities, so many other roads to travel, that with each step one took down any given road there were more paths to follow. There'd never be an end, he thought — no end to anything.

„He had dabbled in a thing which he had not understood. And had, furthermore, committed that greater sin of thinking that he did understand.“

—  Clifford D. Simak, book Way Station

Source: Way Station (1963), Ch. 13
Context: He had dabbled in a thing which he had not understood. And had, furthermore, committed that greater sin of thinking that he did understand. And the fact of the matter was that he had just barely understood enough to make the concept work, but had not understood enough to be aware of its consequences.

„That had not been the first time nor had it been the last, but all the years of killing boiled down in essence to that single moment — not the time that came after, but that long and terrible instant when he had watched the lines of men purposefully striding up the slope to kill him.“

—  Clifford D. Simak, book Way Station

Source: Way Station (1963), Ch. 25
Context: That had not been the first time nor had it been the last, but all the years of killing boiled down in essence to that single moment — not the time that came after, but that long and terrible instant when he had watched the lines of men purposefully striding up the slope to kill him.
It had been in that moment that he had realized the insanity of war, the futile gesture that in time became all but meaningless, the unreasoning rage that must be nursed long beyond the memory of the incident that had caused the rage, the sheer illogic that one man, by death or misery, might prove a right or uphold a principle.
Somewhere, he thought, on the long backtrack of history, the human race had accepted an insanity for a principle and had persisted in it until today that insanity-turned-principle stood ready to wipe out, if not the race itself, at least all of those things, both material and immaterial, that had been fashioned as symbols of humanity through many hard-won centuries.

„That is not what I said. I said the Highway of Eternity.“

—  Clifford D. Simak, Highway of Eternity

Highway of Eternity (1986)
Context: Boone gulped and swallowed. He spoke to The Hat.
"You said the Highway to Eternity?"
That is not what I said. I said the Highway of Eternity.
"Small difference," Boone told him.
Not so small as you might think.

„There is a certain rapport, a sensitivity — I don't know how to say it — that forms a bridge between this strange machine and the cosmic spiritual force.“

—  Clifford D. Simak, book Way Station

Source: Way Station (1963), Ch. 33
Context: There is a certain rapport, a sensitivity — I don't know how to say it — that forms a bridge between this strange machine and the cosmic spiritual force. It is not the machine, itself, you understand, that reaches out and taps the spiritual force. It is the living creature's mind, aided by the mechanism, that brings the force to us.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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