I have just finished reading The Goblin Reservation by Clifford D. Simak
Peter Maxwell, Professor of Supernatural Studies at Time University, takes a transport beam to another planet to try to investigate reports of a dragon, but he never arrives where he was going. Instead he is diverted to a strange crystal planet by some alien intelligence. When he finally returns home he is rather surprised to learn that a copy of himself did make it to his original destination and returned home to earth a month earlier, and was then killed in an accident under suspicious circumstances. His finds his belongings have been disposed of, his apartment rented to a new tenant and his position at the university filled by a new employee. He has little time to deal with these personal problems though as a mystery involving his trip and a strange prehistoric artifact being kept by the department of Time quickly develops. Accompanied by the woman now living in his apartment, her pet biomech saber tooth tiger, his Neanderthal friend Oop and their friend Ghost he sets out to unravel the mystery. Throw in William Shakespeare, aliens with wheels, a few goblins and trolls, and a time traveling painter, and the adventure takes off.
This a was a fast easy read, but still had an interesting story line worthy of some thought, and some fun characters and pretenses. Since this book lacks the ever present steamy sex scenes in all the John Varley books I have been reading lately, I was able to let my 10 year old son read and enjoy this book also, instead of just sharing the highlights as I have been with Varley. I decided to read this after after reading a good review on Dustyloft and I will keep my eyes open for more Simak books, although every time I say his name I think of some tall silver robed Star Trek alien. “I am am Simak! You have entered our space and we will now take your ship!”