Way Station Quotes

quotes from Way Station (1963) by Clifford D. Simak

TitleRating# of Ratings
Andromedan Shape Changers3.423
Citizen of Earth3.134
Earthman's Viewpoint3.218
Galactic Sign Language3.618
Here Lies One From a Distant Star3.432
Insanity of War3.935
Man Would Have to Learn and Unlearn3.523
No Place Escapes Atomic War3.421
No Strangers3.332
Once, the Races Were Bound Together3.528
People of Earth3.726
Quickly Deciding3.527

Review of Way Station

Way Station (1963) by Clifford D. Simak

Way Station is the most under-rated science fiction novel that I know of. The first hundred pages or so are a bit slow, but the story and the themes of the book are intriguing and enlightening.

Way Station revolves around a man named Enoch Wallace who runs a station for aliens to stop at during interstellar travel. He lives in a rural area in Wisconsin and is the only man on Earth that has regular contact with the aliens. The aliens come from all sorts of planets and have different needs and personalities. Way Station discusses some of Enoch's interactions with beings from other planets and also his relationship with other people on Earth who have no idea what his job is.

What makes Way Station great is its overall theme: the brotherhood that can exist between different races. In the story, the "brotherhood" is mostly discussed with respect to alien races; however, the message is easily applicable to races, countries, or any group of people in the world we live in. Way Station delves into the self-destructive behavior of the human race as a whole. Enoch has determined, using math developed by a different race on another planet, that the human race will eventually destroy itself in nuclear war. Knowing what he does, it pains him that humans haven't risen to a higher plane. The book also discusses the gentle behavior of some people in contrast to the course behavior of others. This topic largely revolves around a deaf and mute woman that lives in a farm nearby Enoch's property. While he cannot communicate with her verbally, he can sense her emotions and personality. (Refreshingly, what I expected to turn into a predictable romance did nothing of the sort.) On the other hand, other neighbors are course and cruel even though they are not handicapped like the deaf-mute woman.

Way Station also delves into humans as individuals and humans' need for sociality. As the book follows the life of Enoch Wallace, we learn about his interaction with other humans and with aliens (strangers). While on the one hand he has plenty of contact with others, he still yearns for friendship and embraces the friends he has.

Way Station includes many of Enoch's thoughts and reflections on life and the human race, which are enlightening and make the reader think. This is what makes Way Station enjoyable -- it gives new perspective and is not a typical science fiction story. It has enough excitement and ideas to make allow the reader to really enjoy the novel, and its originality sets the book apart from other science fiction.

Way Station