Gateway Essentials: Time is the Simplest Thing

22 June 2016

For some time now, we have been singing the praises of the interpid Time Traveller from the excellent Galactic Journey site (he who reviews the SF of 55 years ago as if it were coming out new).

And just last week, we announced the Gateway Essentials programme, designed to help guide readers through the intimidating number of titles we have available.

So, imagine our pleasure to discover that that very same Time Traveller decided to review one of our Essentials just last week!  The story in question is a four-part Clifford D. Simak novel, serialised in Analog in the April – July 1961 issues. The story was called The Fisherman, but we know it better by its novel title: Time is the Simplest Thing.

Without setting foot on another planet, people like Shep Blaine were reaching out to the stars with their minds, telepathically contacting strange beings on other worlds. But even Blaine was unprepared for what happened when he communed with the soul of an utterly alien being light years from Earth. After recovering from his experience, he becomes a dangerous man: not only has he gained startling new powers – but he now understands that humankind must share the stars.

Hunted through time and space by those who he used to trust, Blaine undergoes a unique odyssey that takes him through a nightmarish version of small-town America as he seeks to find others who share his vision of a humane future. Blaine has mastered death and time. Now he must master the fear and ignorance that threatened to destroy him!

If you want to find out what Clifford D. Simak is all about, you could do a lot worse than read Time is the Simplest Thing, a book of which the Time Traveller said:

Still, it’s an unique book, one that I suspect will contend for a Hugo this year.

Was he right?

You can find more of Clifford D. Simak’s work via his Author page on the Gateway website and read about him in his entry in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.

And, of course, you should add Galactic Journey to your RSS reader for an as-it-happened eye’s view of the best (and, to be honest, worst) SFF of 55 years ago . . .

About Darren Nash

I’m Digital Publisher at Gollancz, responsible for the SF Gateway and SF Masterworks. Digitally, I can be found here, on Twitter at @SFGateway (officially) and @thenashmeister (unofficially). In meat space, I operate from a secret base inside a dormant volcano, on a remote pacific island that – mysteriously – doesn’t appear on any official maps. Possibly.

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