Highway of Eternity by Clifford D. Simak
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I really don't know what to think about this one. I've become a fan of his works, but this last one, written two years before his death, neither feels like he's losing his spirit or a swan song.
Instead, it feels like a rather awesome adventure through time in the far past and the far future, relying on an average joe who's doomed to see the incorporeal spirits of what may well be fourth dimensional beings who are ourselves after being seduced by aliens in the far future after losing our drive in a perfectly conquered material universe.
It sounds pretty awesome, right? And it is, to a point, but the philosophical questions about who we are and why we gave up and then the single family who said no to the aliens comes back to ask another question... are we worthy to change our fate, or should we pass it on to our brothers?
Being in the deep past, and after interesting adventures with killer robots and translators with the wolves, the question then slides to our brothers... Will the wolves inherit the legacy we eschewed?
It's interesting and it's gratifying to dog lovers and it harkens beautifully to City, a novel about humans who've died, leaving robots and telepathic canines to ask what it was all for.
In this respect, it is a companion to that classic novel, but perhaps not fully satisfying on its own except if you don't mind open questions at the end. And maybe that's kind of the point. If the greatest members of humanity can't answer it, then can anyone?
I'm on the fence with this one. I think it is great and also not so great. It certainly left me very thoughtful.
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