Time Is the Simplest Thing

Clifford D. Simak
Time Is the Simplest Thing Cover

Time Is the Simplest Thing


Space exploration with the mind, good aliens, bad aliens, and a societal backlash against paranormal humans (and subsequent commentary on civil rights) - this once serialized book has all of this and more. It also felt a bit preachy, a bit scattered and lacked a solid conclusion.

So how did I really feel? This book was originally serialized, and at times it felt like short stories in that world. Most had their own conclusion; the book as a whole didn't seem to, and the solution chosen by the main character wasn't great. Also, why choose Mexico and South Dakota as locations - then ignore most of what comes between the two geographically?

Simak does describe locations beautifully, and these include both the past and the future. I really liked the handling of Time, though the main character could have used these solutions more. Time doesn't factor into the conclusion either, so the title piece is almost a red herring.

This novel was nominated for a 1962 Hugo and is on Harris' list of "Defining Science Fiction of the 1960s". Other than that it is mostly unrecognized.