This as a very uneven collection. Some of the stories are among Simak’s very best, and others are no more than adequate. To those who dropped in for Simak’s trademark good-hearted, pleasant heroes, the included WW II action story is shocking in its attitudes and language. Even allowing for its circumstances and time frame, it’s unpleasant to read. But some stories are terrific, so just skip that one. And one of them has an early use of the the word Google (as the name of an alien race). The best stories are:
- Dusty Zebra – a familiar ‘trade with aliens’ story, but with a wry sense of humor.
- Hobbies – part of the City sequence, this is a slow-moving, slow-building story with a strong ending.
- Retrograde Evolution – as with “Hobbies”, a story with a strong message about responsibility.
I received a free copy of this
book in exchange for an honest review.