Aliens in the Heartland: Clifford D. Simak and the Emergence of Pastoral Science Fiction
MinneCulture | KFAI
Clifford D. Simak is part of Science Fiction’s Golden Age (1940s-50s), and the author of classics including “City,” “Way Station” and “Goblin Reservation.” He began his career in 1931 with the publication of “The World of the Red Sun” in Wonder Stories, a popular pulp magazine of the time. (That story would inspire a young junior high student, Isaac Asimov, to later try his hand at writing fiction.) Simak’s career spanned 50 years, and his prolific body of work included more than 100 stories and nearly 30 novels. He won three Hugo awards and one Nebula, and in 1977 was recognized by his peers as a Grand Master of Science Fiction—at the time, only the third author to receive such accolades. Through all the success and acclaim, Simak remained a small-town Wisconsin boy at heart, and maintained his reporter job at the Minneapolis Star newspaper. His Midwestern roots defined his fiction, in which regular folk in common settings confronted extraordinary circumstances—time paradoxes, immortals, aliens and parallel universes. Born in rural southwestern Wisconsin in 1904, Cifford Simak died of leukemia in Minneapolis in April 1988.