The Visitors Epub å Mass Market Paperback

The Visitors Epub å Mass Market Paperback

10 thoughts on “The Visitors

  1. Kevin Kuhn Kevin Kuhn says:

    “The Visitors” was first released as a three part serialized story in Analog magazine in 1979 Clifford D Simak then released it as a full novel in 1980 If you’re unfamiliar with Simak he’s a Sci fi Grand Master and won several Hugo awards and one Nebula He grew up in Wisconsin and lived all his life in the Midwest His writing is rustic calm and largely non violent and this work is a fine example of his gentle style While written in late 1970’s it’ still came across to me as a 1950’s or 1960’s in terms of style and approach A primary theme near and dear to Simak’s heart he worked at newspapers is media ethics He argues for integrity and the resistance of sensationalism by the press Simak also lightly takes on racism and sexism and draws a parallel with the history of the displacement of the Native Americans However his depictions of Blacks are somewhat stereotypical and distant and female characters are few and far between I don’t think the novel passes the Bechdel test Still Kathy Foster is a main character and a smart savvy reporter and there is certainly no sexism or racism other than what is intentionally shown as weakness in a few charactersThe story begins with the arrival of a large black rectangle in rural Minnesota The objects sets down across a river destroying a bridge and a car The owner of the car Jerry Conklin closes we get to a MC is taken inside and later expelled harshly The story then follows the government a Minneapolis newspaper and the general population as they attempt to understand and deal with the arrival of these ‘Visitors’ The conflict in this story is low key – the Visitors kill one person and only in self defense Still Simak does well in building tension around the implications of the arrival of aliens and slowly revealing their nature and intentions I enjoy Simak’s ability to entertain largely using wonder and intrigue instead of aggression and bloodshed His depiction of the alien’s makeup and motivation is uniue and revealed with great pacing His characters are adeuately structured although we really don’t have a main character and I think the story suffers a little from this It also ends abruptly with many unanswered uestions which was a disappointment to me especially knowing there is no seuel A creative first contact story which drives the plot with intrigue and wonder with a sudden ending that leaves the reader wanting

  2. Jason Jason says:

    The Visitors is like a book out of time It feels for the life of me like a novel written in 1945 yet it was published in 1980 Was this a lost manuscript? I searched throughout the book for evidence that Simak was playing a kind of trick an ironic game writing an imitation 1940's alien encounter book replete with all the types and tropes of the genre in order to comment on it but there was none Simak apparently was in total earnest This is indeed 1980 seen through the eyes of a man who doesn't seem to understand that the world and literature had changed irrevocably over the previous 40 years It’s uite charming in its way And boy does it have all the standard elements You've got the stock characters absolutely interchangeable due to their absence of depth or even a set of discernible characteristics the student the Senator the Senator's daughter the President the newspaper editor the plucky female journalist her gentleman friend The dialogue is mostly simple and expositional straight out of a black and white TV show that used to play in the background at your grandfather's place The characters call movies the pictures The most recent cultural reference anyone can think of is World War II The gender politics are as dusty as a housewife’s rolling pin; one young woman tells her boyfriend Kiss me you big lug; the men apologize sheepishly for swearing in front of the women; each male hero has a wife at home sitting up late at night worrying begging to know when her husband will be home And Simak treats his subject the arrival of a fleet of mysterious alien spaceships to the United States as though it were something new something shocking and never before told The novel goes through each inevitable moment each hoary old step as if it were not the cliche of a genre already a century old The military general advises caution; the young woman intuits that the aliens are friendly; the President meets with his advisers; the student seeks to communicate with them This is all in the novel's view incredibly interesting and unexpected And you know gosh darn it it almost works There is a genuine sense of fascination and wonder about these aliens no uestion Some of the better scenes involve not the played out stock characters but the presentation of a wider view The aliens land in cornfields in potato patches in the middle of empty stadiums Farmers and other locals witness these landings and then tell stories The aliens land by a river in a small town and then take off and fly into the woods People stand outside their cars and watch as one of these ships lands in the middle of the highway Many of these scenes are reminiscent of Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind released only three years earlier and the obviously benevolent intentions of the aliens further emphasize the similarities One major subplot involves a character taken into one of the living spaceships and he spends the rest of the book trying to understand his experience even going so far as to seek the creature out again in an isolated farm in Iowa pursuing an intuition he doesn’t understand He doesn't uite sculpt the alien into his mashed potatoes but he gets pretty close Still there is powerful imagery here In that memorable scene inside the creature the man Jerry experiences a “coldness of the mind” He finds this feeling inexplicable Another character places her hand on the surface of a creature and feels that same “coldness” The creature's skin then suddenly reaches out and surrounds her hand gently like a handshake or a kiss This same character wakes up in a hotel room in the middle of the night worrying about the loneliness the aliens must have felt in the vast reaches of uncaring space The narrative returns again and again to this notion of loneliness of the cold distances the emptiness between the stars and the realization that these aliens must have come here seeking a new beginning a chance at survival for their race on a warm planet in an otherwise cold and unforgiving universe The aliens are merely looking for a home for security for belonging Here we have Simak’s regular theme played out the empathy of intelligent beings the need for companionship among all thinking creatures the realization that all sentient beings desire the same things The narrative follows two seemingly incompatible species coming to feel for one another even communicate with one another in an obliue way even if they can never comprehend each other If that sounds too sentimental and idealistic for you then check out these characters Just about everyone in this book with the exception of the bigoted barber who amusingly gets himself killed in the first three pages is studiously decent and reasonable The reporters discuss in detail how to avoid all hints of sensationalism in their reporting; the President’s advisers even the Military General are subdued and careful in their response to this visitation; the town drunk upon finding one of the creatures dead falls down on his haunches and weeps for the loss of a friend There are no villains not even any selfish ordinary people in this story which keeps the focus of the conflict whatever of it there is strictly on the attempts to understand on the breaching of the divide between human and alien Some of the plot mechanics are creaky The reliance on “cellulose” as the catch all explanation for every mysterious thing the creatures do “they’re made of cellulose” “they’re seeking cellulose” “they use cellulose to feed their young” feels shockingly amateur as if Simak had Googled “what’s in trees?” and had a eureka moment And as soon as it is discovered that the aliens are “making cars” cars are literally coming out of their stomachs you might feel the whole sombre thing has just tumbled over the cliff into silly land This silliness though is contrasted uite nicely when a character stumbles into the woods and finds the aliens are secretly learning how to build houses as well as cars; inside one of these “practice houses” hidden in the woods he swears he saw a shadow moving about the kitchen – are they practicing making people too? As the book nears its end there’s a halfhearted attempt to describe an economic collapse resulting from all these free cars and houses clearly a stab at criticizing how flimsy and untenable our global economic system is but this plot is unintegrated and superficial as if Simak didn’t know much about how economics works and oh fiddlesticks really didn’t care And there seems to be no climax either just a message tacked on to the last uarter of the book When Kathy says “The way we live is wrong” and follows up with “I don’t know enough history to guess where that particular time of going wrong might be” it’s as if she speaks for Simak – he doesn’t understand the world or how it works or why it’s changed from the hazy perfect world he remembers from his childhood but he just doesn’t like it knows it’s wrong Something to do with money and greed or something And by the very end it’s obvious that a satire of global economics is not where this book’s interests lie; the financial collapse is a red herring It’s the people the people in the kitchen the people the aliens are secretly making in their practice houses in the middle of the woods that are the real issue here and it’s on that haunting image that the novel cleverly ends Whether you like this book will depend greatly on how much you can stomach Simak’s refusal to perceive the passage of time or to try to understand the complexities of the modern world There is a gentle homey feel to the novel as if the entire world grew up on the same 1920’s farm in rural Wisconsin as well as some genuine emotion and mystery in the depiction of the aliens For me that was than enough to make this an enjoyable read

  3. Mawgojzeta Mawgojzeta says:

    I believe I am totally biased and therefore my review may not be worth a whole lot to anyone First I grew up in Minnesota and felt really comfortable with the setting of the book Second I read City as a young person later bought it and re read it over and over Finally I kept putting off reading this book It was on the library shelf at my small town library but the description of it just seemed too dumb I looked past that book for two years before breaking down and checking it out I think my relief that it was not terrible makes me like it a lot than it actually warrants I thought the pace was fine The aliens uite interesting The ending left me wanting to know but in a good wayIt was a fun read and I certainly would read it again

  4. Sheryl Tribble Sheryl Tribble says:

    I have to wonder if this was an earlier and rejected novel pulled out and dusted off and released after the huge success of Close Encounter of the Third Kind Or maybe an only half thought out plot that Simak rushed to write to take advantage of said movie's success Although both theories would have made sense if the book had been released a year or two earlier Every Simak novel I've read many of the main characters have a nice guy sameness to them and Simak doesn't have the best ear for dialogue especially for someone who uses dialogue to convey so much information but usually I don't care because the story carries me along But in this story the cadence of the dialogue was driving me nuts and it felt like a very few things actually happened with every event padded out with all kinda talking Once in a while an interesting scene or idea would pop up but they never went anywhere While some of his other books I have read certainly meandered there seemed to be an over all plan to them and they felt cohesive This one the closer you get to the end the you feel like he doesn't know what he's doing or where he's heading or what the point of it all is I don't expect Simak to offer me brilliant ideas and I don't expect his books to particularly challenge me and heaven knows his characters are never stand outs but usually I find his books a pleasant and reasonably entertaining exploration of some idea or concept This one not so much

  5. Tomislav Tomislav says:

    In the late 70s and early 80s I was reading through the backlog of Clifford Simak novels

  6. Joey V. Joey V. says:

    I've only read two books by Clifford Simak this one and Special Deliverance Either he is a remarkably mediocre author or I've simply read the two worst books in his bibliography Whereas Special Deliverance is at times amusing The Visitors struggles to find any redeeming value at all Which is sad because on the surface it has all the ingredients of a great story Alien invasion Political intrigue Romance Small town politics International politics Race relations Class warfare Religion Fishing How can anyone take all of that and making something boring? Somehow Simak manages to do it The basic premise is wonderful What would happen if aliens landed but they were so alien from us that communication was impossible? The answer sadly seems to be Not much They eat some trees Someone shoots at one and gets blasted to atoms They poop out some cars A newspaper story gets edited then printed Credits roll curtain drops This entire story could be told in a few pagesThe characters are all so flat and lifeless they may as well be interchangeable By the dialogue you cannot tell one from another Except for Stiffy who is the wacky town drunk so most of his dialogue concerns alcohol And the people described as living in a ghetto They say them instead of those Such a keen insight into regional dialogue has our Cliff SimakAnd the dialogue itself One comes away with the idea that Simak has never actually had a conversation but only heard legends about them I could almost believe he was writing a parody of bad writing Case in point For Yes the word for can be used in place of the word because in certain situations Which situations? you might as? When singing For he's a jolly good fellow Use it any other time and you sound like you're putting on airs I mentioned in a previous status update that he sounded like a gym coach who dreamed of being a playwright I'm not trying to insult his intelligence or that of the average gym coach but there's an important lesson to be learned here The thesaurus should be an acuaintance not a best friendFinally the Native American angle This had so much promise It's set up perfectly in the first few chapters Aliens come to Earth and settle it the way Europeans came to the New World Treat all of humanity the same way the white man treated Native Americans The parallels are perfect I had such hopes for this plotline Apart from one or two mentions in text nothing There are a few occurrences that you can draw your own parallels from but basically Simak just lets the whole idea trickle right down his leg And it was such a perfect set up that I had to assume this was the original idea behind the story in the first place Had to From his Goodreads Profile page apparently lifted from Wikipedia He was honored by fans with three Hugo awards and by colleagues with one Nebula award and was named the third Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America SFWA in 1977 How does that even work? I'm assuming that the list of potential Grandmasters for 1977 was abnormally short? I look further down the profile at his bibliography and almost everything he's written averages about four stars and some better than that Even this book gets nearly three and a half This is uite possibly the worst book I've not given up on And I kinda wish I hadAs I said once before Could I have done better? No Absolutely not Does that make this good? Again no Absolutely not I think I can safely say that this is the last Simak book I will ever read

  7. William Korn William Korn says:

    Having just recently been introduced to the works of this Golden Age of SF author I am beginning to detect a pattern What often makes an SF book is the creativity of the basic SF type idea that drives the plot In The Visitors and Way Station the basic ideas are very creative In this case we have a very different take on the first encounter between humanity and an alien race both in how the encounter develops and its conseuencesAnother feature of both books it that the plot moves along rather slowly for most of the book and finishes with a bang In Way Station that wasn't a problem since the side themes were all very interesting In The Visitors not so much Government secrecy as well as the responsibilities of a free press are both certainly as relevant today as they were when the book was written in 1980 but they had already been done to death even back thenAccordingly I give this book five stars for the main theme and two stars for its slow pace and side themes averaging out to something between 35 and 4

  8. Grant Spendlove Grant Spendlove says:

    Books and movies about alien visitation fall into one of two categories the ET variety or the Independence Day variety The alien or aliens are ALWAYS either hostile or benign; there's never any middle groundexcept in The Visitors If you're tired of looking at extraterrestrials as either vicious conuerors or innocent children then this is the book for you While the aliens in this book are truly alien their motives when revealed are totally understandable The book may be a bit dry and slow in spots but the climax of the story is thought provoking its theme is relatable and the final reveal is a whammer

  9. Denis Denis says:

    Though not of the caliber of Way Station and the fix upcollection City it has all the elements of the best of his early works A awesome premise though reminiscent of two AC Clarke novels 2001 and Childhood Endsa large strange and mysterious floating monoliths appear over the mid western United States They consume huge amounts of cellulose and produce something that can be utilized as vehicles and after that houses Some of the lead character are involved with the newspaper assigned to report on the phenomenon Simak himself was once a news reporterIt gets a little absurd as it moves along but somehow because of Simak's friendly writing style still enjoyable

  10. Brick Marlin Brick Marlin says:

    This was the first Clifford D Simak book i had read and found the story uite intriguing i dearly love these old sci fi tales

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The Visitors [BOOKS] ⚣ The Visitors By Clifford D. Simak – It looked like a big black box perhaps fifty feet high two hundred long And it had settled suarely on forestry student Jerry Conklin's car parked next to a fishing stream outside Lone Pine Minnesota It looked like a big black box perhaps fifty feet high two hundred long And it had settled suarely on forestry student Jerry Conklin's car parked next to a fishing stream outside Lone Pine Minnesota — The townspeople of Lone Pine were the first to see it and one of them was the first and only human to shoot at it He paid for his rashness with instant deathWithin hours the press the government and the public knew something strange had happened in Lone Pine and were beginning to face the incredible possibility that Earth now harbored SOMETHING from outer space A machine An intelligent being There was no way to knowBut Jerry Conklin knew The visitor had scooped him up held him prisoner for hours then let him go and he had sensed its thoughts and feelings Jerry knew the visitor was a living intelligent creatureThen of the giant black boxes descended to Earth almost all in the United States And they began eating and reproducing The Visitors seemed harmless if left alone but their powers of defense and their very existence threatened world stability The public the nation's allies and its enemies demanded information But there was noneThen Jerry followed up on a rumor and made one discovery The Visitors were paying for their food and lodging with fantastic gifts And that payment could destroy Earth's civilization.

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • 283 pages
  • The Visitors
  • Clifford D. Simak
  • English
  • 08 November 2015
  • 9780345283870

About the Author: Clifford D. Simak

He was honored by fans with three Hugo awards and by colleagues with one Nebula award and was named the third Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America SFWA in WikipediaSee.