Framing the Dialogue

City

“Now, maybe he told himself, they could move out into the country the way Betty wanted to. Maybe he could spend his evenings tramping land that belonged to him. A place with a stream. Definitely it had to have a stream he could stock with trout. He made a mental note to go up into the attic and check his fly equipment.”

Clifford Simak’s novel, City, traces humankind over the course of thousands of years from abandonment of the “City” for rural life to exploration of the solar system to the rise of robots.  This is not an “AI” novel where robots take over, but more of possible path where man no longer is the dominant species on Earth.  Again, this is not a Planet Of The Apes scenarios either.

“He leaned far back in the chair and thought how unrobot-like it was to be sitting in a chair. He never used to sit. It was the man in him, he thought. He allowed his head to settle back against the rest and let his optic filters down, shutting out the light. To sleep, he wondered—what would sleep be like? Perhaps the robot he had found beside the hill—but no, the robot had been dead, not sleeping. Everything was wrong, he told himself. Robots neither sleep nor die.”

The novel was interesting in a strange way.  The “chapters” had a sequential order, but some had generations of time between them.  If you like what I’d call old-school scify then this is for you.

 

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