Click here to skip to this page's main content.

New to the Open Library? — Learn how it works
Cover of: City by Clifford D. Simak
About the Book

Comment by John Clute:

We know better now, of course. But they still entrance us, the old page-turners from the glory days of American SF, half a century or so ago, when the world was full of futures we were never going to have. In the mid-1940s, when he began to publish the episodes that would be assembled as City in 1952, Clifford Simak, a Minneapolis-based journalist and author, could still carry us away with the dream that cars and pollution and even the great cities of the world – "Huddling Place", the title of one of these tales, is his own derisory term for them – would soon be brushed off the map by Progress, leaving nothing behind but tasteful exurbs filled with middle-class nuclear families living the good life, with fishing streams and greenswards sheltering each home from the stormy blast.

Fortunately, Simak soon gets past this demented vision of a near-future world saved by technological fixes, a dementia common then to SF writers and gurus and politicians alike, and launches into an astonishingly eventful narrative of the next 10,000 years as seen through the eyes of one family and the immortal robot Jenkins, and all told with a weird pastoral serenity that for a kid like me seemed near to godlike. In its course City touches on almost everything dear to 1940s SF, and to me remembering. Robots. Genetic Engineering. Space. Jupiter. Domed cities. Keeps. Hiveminds. Matter transmission. Telepathy. Parallel worlds. Paranormal empathy. Mutants. Supermen. It's all there, and, thanks to Simak's skilled hand at the wheel, it's all in place: suave, sibylline, swift. The whole is framed as a series of legends told by the uplifted Dogs who have replaced the human race, now gone for ever. They have been bred not to kill. At the end, only Jenkins remains to keep them from learning how to repeat history and die.

It all seemed immensely sad and wise then, but fun. It still does.

20 editions First published in 1952

Edition Read Borrow Buy
Cover of: City
1952, ACE Books
City
in English
Cover of: City.
1952, Gnome Press
City.
in English - [1st ed.
Cover of: City.
1952, Ace Books
City.
in English
Cover of: City
1952, N. Doubleday
City
- Book club ed.
Cover of: City
1954, Permabooks
City
in English
Cover of: City
1960, Ace Books
City
in English
Cover of: City.
1961, Science Fiction Book Club
City.
in English
Cover of: City
1971, Sphere
City
Paperback in English
Cover of: City
1976, Ace Books
City
in English
Cover of: City
1976, Ace Books
City
in English
Cover of: City
October 1981, Ace Books
City
Paperback in English
Cover of: City
1982, Magnum
City
Paperback in English
Cover of: City
December 1983, Ace Books
City
Paperback in English
Cover of: City
1988, Methuen Paperback
City
Paperback in English
Cover of: City
1991, Macmillan
City
Paperback in English
Cover of: City
1991, Macmillan Pub. Co., Maxwell Macmillan Canada, Maxwell Macmillan International
City
in English - 1st Collier Books ed.
Cover of: City
1991, Mandarin
City
Paperback in English
Cover of: City
February 1992, Doubleday Books
City
Hardcover in English
Cover of: City
June 1993, Lightyear Pr
City
Hardcover
Cover of: City
November 2004, Old Earth Books
City
Hardcover in English - Centennial edition

History Created December 10, 2009 · 8 revisions Download catalog record: RDF / JSON

November 23, 2012 Edited by Anand Chitipothu Reverted spam
November 22, 2012 Edited by 188.190.124.73 Edited without comment.
May 17, 2011 Edited by George Linked comment in description
May 17, 2011 Edited by George Added some subjects and a link to the comment here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/may/14/science-fiction-authors-choice
December 10, 2009 Created by WorkBot add works page