Thursday, September 6, 2018
City, by Clifford D. Simak
The concept is an interesting one, much in the same vein as stories like Canticle for Leibowitz where we, the readers have knowledge about things in the distant past that other characters only vaguely know about. The dogs, for example, think that it's impossible to travel to another planet such as Jupiter, while we currently send probes to different planets on a regular basis and to forties and fifties readers travel to Jupiter seemed a real possibility. The result is an interesting conflict between the reader and the characters within the book and for whatever reason this is something that I enjoy in books.
There is a fairly melancholy tone throughout the novels and I'm not sure how I feel about it. The moral of the stories all seems to be that no matter how much we, or dogs or robots, advance, there will always be something to hold us back or something to distract us. There is an interesting contrast between the hope for the future and the obstacles that ultimately stumble us. The result is rather bittersweet and leaves the hope for the future in doubt. Which is a lot like real life in a way because our future is always in doubt.
Overall I thought this book was an interesting and short read. Even as a forties and fifties science-fiction anthology I feel like it hasn't aged as badly as some other sci-fi has. I think it's definitely worth taking a look for its unique nature.