Way Station by Clifford D. Simak
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Rereading this for A Good Story is Hard to Find podcast, where Scott and I will be discussing it next week.
Here's what I said when I named it among my top fiction for 2009:
From SFFaudio's review: This story spans more than a century, but most of the ‘action’ takes place in the middle of the 20th century, over a couple of months. See, a friendly alien recruited Enoch Wallace to become something of a galactic station master shortly after the American Civil War. Now, with his neighbors generally accepting his mysterious eternal youth, Enoch has a curious and unseen visitor watching him from the woods. Enoch is lonely, with his only friends being a completely deaf and mute young woman and his kindly mailman. Will the visitor in the trees learn the truth? Will Enoch help guide the Earth to its ultimate destiny?I'm looking forward to rereading this and discussing all these issues (and probably many more).
I really enjoyed this story which also sparked quite a debate about the nature of fiction and storytelling between Jesse from SFFaudio and me. (Dang, those comments were lost because I was using Haloscan at the time, which changed around became so complicated I switched to Blogger's commenting system.) This story makes you think of what it means to truly be human, the nature of conflict (and not just between Jesse and me), and also made me love and appreciate nature more than ever.