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A heritage of stars Paperback – 1979

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Paperback, 1979

Product details

  • Paperback: 219 pages
  • Publisher: Magnum Books (1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0417028407
  • ISBN-13: 978-0417028408
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.9 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,045,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

This is an apocalyptic scenario were humans are forced to confront their past before being allowed to move forward into the future. an excellent example of Simaks work.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An easy book to read while travelling. a little simplistic at times and ends rather abruptly, as if it should have a sequel
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 9 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
The Long Twilight of Man 4 May 2003
By OAKSHAMAN - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've always been drawn to post-apocalypse stories, and this is one of the best. It takes place more than a thousand years after technological civilization has collapsed, not from global war, but from it's own internal contradictions and injustices. In several of Simak's novels he mentions this theme of mankind having taken the "wrong turn" long ago in it's development, and thereby containing the unrecognised seeds of its own destruction. Here, the mass of the people themselves apparently tore down their own civilization because it's "over-civilised", "over-organsed", and "over-technological" nature had become a hell to them. The creation of pyramids of robot brain cases (like the pyramids of skulls left by the Mongols as they sacked more ancient civilizations) was a nice touch.
This story takes place long after this collapse. The tiny remnant of mankind that survives has settled in to a more traditional tribal pattern. The hero of the tale lives in a monastic-like walled university, where the last books, and readers, preserve the tales of mankind's lost heritage. While browsing the in the ancient university library a young scholar finds a lost manuscript that tells of a "Place of Going to the Stars" far to the West. He then takes up his bow and his pack and leaves the safety of the universitiy walls to confirm the truth of the old myths and legends for himself. His travels are through a forgotten, wild, and savage America and read more like a tale of the frontier than of the far future.
This is classic Simak and contains many of the classic elements and settings found in his other works, such as _A Choice of Gods_ and _Enchanted Pilgrimage_. A very enjoyable read.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Another philosophical adventure from Clifford Simak 26 Nov 1999
By frumiousb - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am a huge fan of Clifford Simak and this book contains all the elements that make his books what they are: wandering robots, witches, strange tag-a-long creatures, and legends about distant places.

A Heritage of Stars is an apocolyptic scenario where humans are forced to confront their past before being allowed to move forward into the future. If this particular book has a flaw, it is only that perhaps it contains a few too many of the familiar Simak elements. The plot is also possibly a little lopsided-- a little too much here, and not quite enough there. It does not really detract from the reading experience, but is not quite up to his own high standard.

Simak is an interesting writer. He is often pastoral, but not really romantic. He never mistakes folksy for virtuous. His view on human nature is often unflinchingly bad, but he holds to the hope that it can be better. But still, there can be a bitter taste in his writing and A Heritage of Stars has quite a bit of that flavor.

As always with Simak, highly recommended. If this is your first Simak, I might recommend beginning with Way Station or Enchanted Pilgrimage.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Classic Journey 13 Aug 2008
By themarsman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Thomas Cushing has lived within the confines of the University of Minnesota for the last five years. But this is not the University of Minnesota of the present day, this is the walled-in University of Minnesota some 1,500 years after the Collapse. The Collapse was a time when society as we know it crumbled due to their fear and consequent destruction of modern technology and all information that related to it.

Cushing, while at the University, finds the notes of a historian who lived some 500 years after the Collapse. These notes hint at what the author calls a Place of Going to the Stars. This place is somewhere far to the west and managed to survive the upheaval that occurred during the Collapse. Cushing takes it upon himself to find this place in a classic journey of discovery.

During Cushing's travels, he encounters several kindred spirits, and they wind up joining him on his journey as he seeks out the Place of Going to the Stars.

A Heritage of Stars is the first work of Simak I have read. His style of writing is interesting. In some ways, he reminds me of other contemporary authors, with a tale that is direct and to the point, keeping the length of the book to a minimum. And other ways... When he is writing character dialogue, there is a certain repetitiveness that frequently pops up. Being unfamiliar with Simak's other works (and therefore his style of character development), I do not know if it was a quirk of the character or something else entirely.

A Heritage of Stars is pretty easy going most of the way. There were points when it, without giving away too much, got a bit mystical for my tastes. Also, the reasons for the Collapse were only hinted at and discussed in broad strokes. And while the tale takes place centuries after the Collapse, it would have been nice if Simak had gone into a bit more depth about what actually happened.

None of this detracts from a story that is, fundamentally (despite stretches here and there), believable and entertaining. Given the correct mood, I would enjoy picking up a Simak story again in the future.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A look into the future! 9 Jan 2003
By Matthew - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was an amazing read. this book told a tale in a time far far into the future. Where most of technologie has been completely wiped out by the poeple who have created it. It starts with the main character, a man named Cushing. He was a normal man who lived in a walled in university. he leaves the university only to find a world totaly differnet than when he once roamed them many years ago. Cushing finds some very interesting people. first a witch; who is very friendly and helpful. also with the witch is a horse, a horse as kind as its witch owner. Later he finds a robot named rollo. these three people and a horse go on a journey to find a place,...a place of going to the stars. Many things happen and the road even they knew was long and arduous.
The author of this book, Clifford D. Stimak, was a very interesting and distinguished wrighter. Mostly Science fiction short storys and novels, he won many awards. Some of these awards include International Fantasy Award for best science fiction novel, 1953, for City; Hugo Award for best science fiction novelette, 1958, for "The Big Front Yard," for best science fiction novel, 1963, for Way Station. He had many years of wrighting back ground since he worked with many newspapers. some of these papers include Worked with various newspapers in Midwest during the 1930's; Minneapolis Star and Tribune, Minneapolis, MN, 1939-76, news editor of the Minneapolis Star, beginning 1949, coordinator of Minneapolis Tribune's Science Reading Series, beginning 1961.He was born August 4 1904, and sadly died on April 25 1988. He will be missed.
After reading such a book it left me with many thoughts. Thoughs about society, the future, and friends. An adventure such as this one has such magnitude that it leaves something inside of you for a very long time. the way the author describes how our society had reacted to some events, are so plausable that it's scary. Hopefully our future is a brighter better future. I will continue reading Clifford D. Stimak, and more then liekly ill read heritage to the stars many more times just for the shrill thrill it gave me the first time i read the book. At the end i recomend this title to anyone who is interested in life, reading, science, society, and of course adventure. You wont regret it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By D. Blankenship - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Being retired now I have a bit of time on my hands which means that my wife has and endless list of "things the need done," and among those "things" is organizing my life which means "cleaning up some of the messes I have made over the past several decades. One of these "little clean up job" is going through boxes upon boxes of books that are not on our shelves, but rather stored in various areas of the house including the attic; I started the chore.

Good grief, the first box I dusted off, pealed the dry and cracking tape from and opened contained nothing but older SiFi books. Oh my! Old, old friends indeed! Right on top of the first box I found this one, A Heritage of Stars by Clifford D. Simak. I did the only logical thing. I took a break; a reading break that lasted two days.

When it comes to SiFi or fantasies my favorite theme is either post apocalypse tales or those involving a quest. `A Heritage of Stars' sort of gives me a two for one in this sense. Far, far in the future, after the world as we know it has collapsed over 1,500 years ago, a young researcher at the University of Minnesota, which is a walled in bastion of what is sort of left of civilization, runs across ancient documents referencing a "Place of Going to the Stars." This place is known to be in the west. Our hero, Tom Cushing decides to trek across what was the United States in ordered to find this fables place.

On his journey he encounters a number of "people" who follow him. We have a somewhat changed robot, a witch with her less than energetic horse, and a fellow who talks to flowers and has an extremely strange granddaughter. The story tells of this groups travels both going and returning.

We find that the world has sunk to the level of the stone age and beyond. Strangely enough, for Simak, a bit of mysticism has been thrown into the mix. We of course find Simak's normal rather pessimistic and jaded outlook on the human condition - twisted and pragmatic irony could well describe this - the same that can be found in his Time Is the Simplest Thing. The author never does tell us how the world got in the shape it is in at the present time but we are led to believe that we simply "over did" everything and technology ran amok and I suppose people just got sick of it.

I am somewhat reminded on Starling Lanier's classic Hiero's Journey but it would be unfair to compare the two.

I love the straight forward writing of Simak; the non nonsense plotting and his story telling abilities. We seem no to be in an era of never ending works such as "The Wheel of Time," and more recently "The Game of Thrones" series - all fine works I suppose but due to the multiple volumes I tend to get side tracked a lot and less involved in the stories.

This is a good read. It has been around for a number of years but is certainly no worse for the wear.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks
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