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The Shipshape Miracle: And Other Stories

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Nine tales of imagination and wonder from one of the formative voices of science fiction and fantasy, the author of Way Station and City.   Named a Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America, Clifford D. Simak was a preeminent voice during the decades that established sci-fi as a genre to be reckoned with. Held in the same esteem as fellow luminaries Isaac Asi Nine tales of imagination and wonder from one of the formative voices of science fiction and fantasy, the author of Way Station and City.   Named a Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America, Clifford D. Simak was a preeminent voice during the decades that established sci-fi as a genre to be reckoned with. Held in the same esteem as fellow luminaries Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, and Ray Bradbury, his novels continue to enthrall today’s readers. And his short fiction is still as gripping and surprising now as when it first entertained an entire generation of fans.   The title story is just one example of this. Cheviot Sherwood doesn’t believe in miracles. They never seem to pay off. So when he’s marooned on a planet with no plan for escape and no working radio, he takes it in stride and prepares for a long stay gathering food, making shelter, and collecting all the diamonds the world has to offer. But when a ship like none he’s ever encountered lands, he sees his salvation—and an opportunity to take the priceless craft for himself. Unfortunately, his “rescuer” has the same idea . . .   This volume also includes the celebrated short works “Eternity Lost,” “Shotgun Cure,” and “Paradise,” among others.   Each story includes an introduction by David W. Wixon, literary executor of the Clifford D. Simak estate and editor of this ebook.    


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Nine tales of imagination and wonder from one of the formative voices of science fiction and fantasy, the author of Way Station and City.   Named a Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America, Clifford D. Simak was a preeminent voice during the decades that established sci-fi as a genre to be reckoned with. Held in the same esteem as fellow luminaries Isaac Asi Nine tales of imagination and wonder from one of the formative voices of science fiction and fantasy, the author of Way Station and City.   Named a Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America, Clifford D. Simak was a preeminent voice during the decades that established sci-fi as a genre to be reckoned with. Held in the same esteem as fellow luminaries Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, and Ray Bradbury, his novels continue to enthrall today’s readers. And his short fiction is still as gripping and surprising now as when it first entertained an entire generation of fans.   The title story is just one example of this. Cheviot Sherwood doesn’t believe in miracles. They never seem to pay off. So when he’s marooned on a planet with no plan for escape and no working radio, he takes it in stride and prepares for a long stay gathering food, making shelter, and collecting all the diamonds the world has to offer. But when a ship like none he’s ever encountered lands, he sees his salvation—and an opportunity to take the priceless craft for himself. Unfortunately, his “rescuer” has the same idea . . .   This volume also includes the celebrated short works “Eternity Lost,” “Shotgun Cure,” and “Paradise,” among others.   Each story includes an introduction by David W. Wixon, literary executor of the Clifford D. Simak estate and editor of this ebook.    

30 review for The Shipshape Miracle: And Other Stories

  1. 4 out of 5

    Metaphorosis

    Metaphorosis Reviews 3.5 stars As with each volume so far, there's a western included here. I once enjoyed westerns, but I'm sorry to say Simak's don't stand out in any way. They have his usual pleasant characters, but they're too formulaic to be very interesting. That said, the SFF stories in each collection make up for it. They're written with a traditional Simak style that somehow avoids formula and manifests as style. The collection here is an odd mix - some lighthearted stories, some more phil Metaphorosis Reviews 3.5 stars As with each volume so far, there's a western included here. I once enjoyed westerns, but I'm sorry to say Simak's don't stand out in any way. They have his usual pleasant characters, but they're too formulaic to be very interesting. That said, the SFF stories in each collection make up for it. They're written with a traditional Simak style that somehow avoids formula and manifests as style. The collection here is an odd mix - some lighthearted stories, some more philosophical. Several have fascinating premises that aren't quite seen through to the end, while others go beyond the intuitive stopping point to consider ethics and implications. Two of the stories are among Simak's best. The Money Tree - a fun story about just what it says; a not-very-scrupulous man happens across a money tree. Not all his choices are wise. Paradise - a top-notch story about perceptions and fears, though the ending doesn't quite live up to the rest. Eternity Lost - immortality is available, but rationed, and corruption, naturally sets in. The most fully realized of the stories in this set. Immigrant - when a superior culture gives some humans a chance at paradise, what do they do with it. A story that doesn't stop when it hits a resonant point, but goes on to think through the philosophy of the situation.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Donna Davis

    This is volume 10 of a complete collection of the writings of Clifford D. Simak, who won 3 Nebula awards, 1 Hugo Award, and was the third Grand Master of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 1977. It’s my sixth volume of Simak stories, and it’s my favorite so far, which is saying a good deal. Thanks go to Net Galley, Open Road Media, and David W. Wixon, whose brief, useful notes set context for each of these stories. Wixon and Open Road have republished Simak’s work digitally fo This is volume 10 of a complete collection of the writings of Clifford D. Simak, who won 3 Nebula awards, 1 Hugo Award, and was the third Grand Master of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 1977. It’s my sixth volume of Simak stories, and it’s my favorite so far, which is saying a good deal. Thanks go to Net Galley, Open Road Media, and David W. Wixon, whose brief, useful notes set context for each of these stories. Wixon and Open Road have republished Simak’s work digitally for new generations to enjoy; I received a DRC in exchange for this honest review. For those new to Simak’s work, here’s a thumbnail sketch. He began writing in the 1930's, submitting short stories to various magazines, and continued writing stories and novels into the early 1980's. He wrote a few war stories during the mid-1940's, then continued writing Westerns and science fiction. Both of these genres make it into this volume, and although when I began reading Simak, I questioned the choice to foist annoying cowboy stories on sci fi readers, I came to see that it’s not easy to tease them apart in every case. One of my favorite stories here, “Rim of the Deep”, is about a journalist named Grant who is given the dreaded assignment of chasing a story in an undersea city. Once he is down there, it becomes a tongue-in-cheek underwater cowboy story: ‘You think there’s a gang of robbers down in that deep?’ asked Grant. ‘That’s the only place they could be,’ said Gus. ‘It’s bad country and hard to get around in. Lots of caves and a couple of canyons that run down to the Big Deep. Dozens of places where a gang could hide.’ Gus sipped gustily at the coffee. ‘It used to be right peaceable down here,’ he mourned. ‘A man could find him a bed of clams and post the place and know it was his. Nobody would touch it. Or you could stake out a radium workings and know that your stakes wouldn’t be pulled up…But it ain’t that way no more. There’s been a lot of claim jumping and clam beds have been robbed. We kind of figure we’ll have to put a stop to it.” The story is chock full of whimsy, and includes a pet octopus named Butch that bounds after them like a dog and occasionally does something heroic. I love it. And this is the thing I love about old-school science fiction in general and Simak in particular: the reader doesn’t need a technical background to read and enjoy these stories. There are no jokes that only a programmer can understand; Simak writes fiction and writes it well, and so we liberal arts types can sit back and enjoy the stories. In addition, the period in which the writing was done actually adds to the whimsy. For example, another favorite in this collection, “How-2”, is about a man that orders a kit to make himself a mechanical pet dog and inadvertently ends up with a very valuable robot instead. I won’t give the rest of the story away other than to tell you it’s hilarious, and I can’t imagine the author wrote it without laughing himself silly, but there’s also the unintentional hilarity of having a robot that can do almost anything imaginable, asking for a paper and pencil so that he can make a list of the things the protagonist desires. A pencil! I love it. The collection contains 9 stories. One is a straight Western that I started and then gave myself permission to skip. That’s okay, though; the other 8 stories make this tasty collection worth the purchase price. (One story, “Paradise”, is a sequel to the story “Desertion”, which is included in an earlier collection, and if possible you should read it first.) I would not have named the collection for the story Wixon chose, but it’s also a strong story; it’s just a matter of taste. I happened to love at least 3 of these others more. Finally, the reader should know two things: first, Simak was a creature of his time. Although he is more progressive than most writers of the mid-20th century, there are a couple of baldly sexist moments. This reviewer grew up watching reruns of television shows and movies produced in the 1950's, and to hate Simak’s work, one would also have to hate every stinking one of those productions also. However, in the brief philosophical metaphors and other indirect allusions, Simak shows himself to have been unusually progressive where civil rights were concerned. Again, such references are oblique, since most of the featured characters aren’t actually even human. The other thing the reader should know is that these collections are only available digitally. They’re ridiculously cheap, so those that love great old-school science fiction should order this collection and read it. Those that want it on paper will have to hunt up some used books most likely, and they will be either single stories or different groups within a given volume. This collection is strongly recommended for all that love excellent science fiction.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dave C

    Top of the Collection I believe I am about halfway through these collections of the authors short fiction. This book stands apart as the best of the collection. The quality of the stories just keeps coming and coming and coming. It’s amazing how he can make the entire point of a short story with the turn of a phrase at the very end!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Cherri

    Very detailed good story.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rutledge Reviews

    Read this if you like a good suspenseful thriller.

  6. 5 out of 5

    raymond st-jean

  7. 4 out of 5

    Creadiv

  8. 5 out of 5

    Charles T. Wilkes

  9. 4 out of 5

    Maritina

  10. 5 out of 5

    Frederick S Stover

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tina Connell

  12. 5 out of 5

    Gabe

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dr. Rebecca

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mike Blyth

  15. 4 out of 5

    Michael Bartlett

  16. 5 out of 5

    Marlene Laskey

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rex

  18. 5 out of 5

    Eric

  19. 5 out of 5

    Robert Alexander

  20. 5 out of 5

    David Zachariason

  21. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia Cormier

  22. 4 out of 5

    Robert Heiniger

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ed Bear

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

  25. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Wooded

  26. 4 out of 5

    Paul Vittay

  27. 4 out of 5

    Joe Maybee

  28. 5 out of 5

    Brother Kevin M. Finnegan

  29. 4 out of 5

    Raymond G. Wright

  30. 4 out of 5

    jennet wheatstonelllsl

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