I was introduced to Clifford Simak by the folks over at Dusty Loft, and after reading The Goblin Reservation I was looking for something else by him to read, and this is what I found first. It is collection of shorter stories gathered together in one book. I think that that often short story collections by science fiction writers are a way for them to do something with interesting pretenses that they have not quite developed into a full book. This book fits that pattern as a lot of the stories are not fully realized to their full potential, but are quite fun and thought provoking none the less. He seems to have a penchant for characters that are of the “simple country folk” variety. The inside front cover teases:

In the Worlds of Clifford Simak you will meet: Stinky, the beguiling, purring, tail-waving skunk who was a mechanical genius.

Lulu the lovelorn robot.

The Fivers, who turned war into a fun game in which no one gets hurt.

Captain, who thought he had no scruples but surprised himself with his own code of ethics.

Hiram Taine, whose back door suddenly opens to another planet.

And a host of attractive extra-terrestrials, aliens and just ordinary people caught in extraordinary circumstances.

A nice collection of good, fun “what if?” science fiction short stories.