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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simak's lighthearted SF-fantasy murder mystery.
The Goblin Reservation is Clifford D. Simak's synthesis of science fiction and European faerie lore within a murder mystery, with a little historical revisionism on the side. It stands safely within both the SF and fantasy categories, and will be well-liked by readers fond of either genre. Although a serious and coherent storyline runs the length of the book, the focus is...
Published on July 24, 1997

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars What an omelette
Goblins. Trolls. Dragons. Banshees.

Ghosts. Neanderthals.

Artifacts. Aliens. Aliens on wheels. Aliens on wheels with bad odor. Post - singularity Aliens.

Time travel. Instantaneous travel.

Genetically modified felines. Flashy parties.

Shakespeare timeported.

Take these “raw” elements and try to...
Published 8 months ago by Adman


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simak's lighthearted SF-fantasy murder mystery., July 24, 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: The Goblin Reservation (Paperback)
The Goblin Reservation is Clifford D. Simak's synthesis of science fiction and European faerie lore within a murder mystery, with a little historical revisionism on the side. It stands safely within both the SF and fantasy categories, and will be well-liked by readers fond of either genre. Although a serious and coherent storyline runs the length of the book, the focus is on the way in which the characters relate to each other, which is often amusing even though the characters are not trying to be comical.

Peter Maxwell was a professor at the College of Supernatural Phenomena, a unit within the planetary university that had become Earth's largest industry in a multi-species galactic civilization. He was, that is, until he was killed. Maxwell had gone to a faraway planet in the Coonskin star system to investigate the report that a dragon had been sighted there. The rumor turned out to be false, however, and Maxwell came back to Earth, only to turn up suspiciously dead a few days later.

Imagine the surprise that Earth's security agency felt when Peter Maxwell showed up again, very much alive, at a matter transmission station in Wisconsin. Upon being questioned, this Peter Maxwell said that he had never arrived at the Coonskin system. His "pattern" had been copied enroute and diverted to a Crystal Planet containing information about a technology far surpassing that of any planet in the entire galaxy. The shadowy alien residents of that planet originated in a previous incarnation of the universe, before the latest Big Bang, and they were looking for a worthy species to receive the inheritance of their accumulated learning. Peter Maxwell was to be the one to arrange the transfer of that knowledge to Earth.

But there was a problem. Not only did Peter Maxwell have to be alert for the murderers who caused the demise of his other self, he also had to contend with unemployment. After his death, the university had filled his position at Supernatural, leaving him without a job.

Maxwell teams up with Carol Hampton, a member of the faculty at Time College (which, among other things, had brought William Shakespeare forward through time to explain why he did not write the plays), Alley Oop (a Neanderthal who had been headed for the cannibalistic stewpot when rescued by Time), and a Ghost who can't remember whom he is the ghost of, in order to unravel the mystery of the forces seeking to prevent Earth from inheriting the knowledge of the Crystal Planet.

The answer to the mystery will involve a dragon, and the dragon's relationship to the Little Folk (goblins, fairies, banshees, and trolls) who live on reservations on the campus of the College of Supernatural Phenomena, as well as a mysterious alien race of "Wheelers" who, it turns out, have been the enemies of the Little Folk races for millions of years.

The Goblin Reservation is written with rare wit, and perhaps the best scene is the bar fight at the Pig & Whistle Tavern, where Peter Maxwell, Alley Oop, Ghost, Carol Hampton, and Carol Hampton's sabertooth tiger get mixed up in a violent dispute between groups of students who were politically polarized over "the William Shakespeare issue."

Just one regret lingers in the reader's mind after finishing The Goblin Reservation. Simak did not see fit to include the recipe for making sweet October ale (the favorite drink of goblins and trolls, and much favored by humans who can rarely get a tankard of it). What a pity.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite Simak novel- just wish there was more., December 28, 2002
By 
OAKSHAMAN "oakshaman" (Algoma, WI United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
I love the idea of a university having a College of Supernatural Phenomenon, as well as, a College of Time travel. That's the sort of place I wish that I had attended- and he locates it right here in Wisconsin. Heck, I could commute....
There is also so much more that is pure Simak here- drinking moonshine with an educated neanderthal, a domesticated ghost, and a cloned saber-tooth tiger, for instance. Of course there is also the idea of reservations for the Little Folk (fairies, goblins, trolls, banshees, etc.) Then combine it all with commonplace instersteller travel by matter transmitter throughout a vast galactic community of intelligent aliens. All this is just the incidental setting for the main plot, which just happens to be very well crafted mystery story.
I believe that I have read just about everything that Clifford Simak ever published, and I would have to say that this little novel is probably my all time favorite. I just wish that he would have written a sequel or two.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Simak; a fun read, June 7, 2000
This review is from: The Goblin Reservation (Paperback)
Simak has written a lot of books and stories about the presence of the supernatural in mundane situations, but I can't recall one that does it so well -- nor so whole-heartedly -- as 'Reservation.' Ghosts, time travel, goblins, fćrie, dragons, politics, aliens, Neanderthals -- all intermix here on an University campus. This is another one of those books that draws you in and makes you feel welcome and part of the action. While not necessarily faithful to legend and myth, it's still grand tale.
Good for all ages; I'd say it's rated 'G.'
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's the Hobbit of Simak's fantasy lore, April 21, 1998
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This review is from: The Goblin Reservation (Paperback)
Goblin Reservation is one of the few examples of a happy marriage between SF and fantasy, that many strive for but only chosen achieve. This book because of its relatively small size and "classic" SF elements (like aliens, cybertigers and space travel) is a great introduction to a more Tolkienish side of Simak creativity, filled with dwarves, ogres and rafter goblins. It can ease a neophyte poisoned by the made-for-TV SF into reading of Fellowship of Talisman, Heritage of Stars and Where the Evil Dwells. Did I mention it's a good book? Well, then, don't just sit there...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sparkles with wit and good nature, April 24, 2005
By 
frumiousb "frumiousb" (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
The Goblin Reservation has joined Way Station at the top of my list of favorite Simak novels. It has all the wonderful Simak classical elements-- folksy heros, visitors from the stars, lost knowledge, and gentle good nature. Additionally, Goblin Reservation has some of the wittiest Simak moments that I have read. The pages are full of little touches that bring an unforced smile.

Peter Maxwell returns to Earth bearing a mission entrusted to him by a dying race. Once home, he discovers that another version of himself had already returned and died in a strange accident. The mystery of what really happened is linked with the mystery of an object known only as The Artifact. Peter must cope with unsympathetic aliens, academic politics, unfriendly banshees and his own strange mission before a resolution can be reached.

Recommended for any fans of intelligent science fiction or fantasy. Simak should also appeal to general readers who are not classic genre fans. Simak never confuses explicit scenes with maturity, and his books are safe for readers of any age.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite Simak novel- just wish there was more., September 21, 2005
By 
OAKSHAMAN "oakshaman" (Algoma, WI United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
_I love the idea of a university having a College of Supernatural Phenomenon, as well as, a College of Time travel. That's the sort of place I wish that I had attended- and he locates it right here in Wisconsin. Heck, I could commute....

_There is also so much more that is pure Simak here- drinking moonshine with an educated neanderthal, a domesticated ghost, and a cloned saber-tooth tiger, for instance. Of course there is also the idea of reservations for the Little Folk (fairies, goblins, trolls, banshees, etc.) Then combine it all with commonplace instersteller travel by matter transmitter throughout a vast galactic community of intelligent aliens. All this is just the incidental setting for the main plot, which just happens to be very well crafted mystery story.

_I believe that I have read just about everything that Clifford Simak ever published, and I would have to say that this little novel is probably my all time favorite. I just wish that he would have written a sequel or two.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simak in a Merry Mood, February 18, 2010
By 
Paul Camp (Chattanooga, TN United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Goblin Reservation (Paperback)
_The Goblin Reservation_ was first published as a two-part serial in _Galaxy_ back in 1968 and was published in book form that same year. It was nominated for a Hugo but was beaten by John Brunner's _Stand on Zanzibar_. I first read Simak's novel when I was a student at Birmingham-Southern College. I loved my days at B.S.C. But... who wouldn't want to be a student at the College of Supernatural Phenomena on Wisconsin Campus? Here you could patronize the Pig and Whistle or wander nearby woods and fields and rub shoulders with goblins, trolls, elves, the last banshee, a Neanderthal named Oop, a sabertoothed tiger named Sylvester, a ghost named Ghost, various aliens, and William Shakespeare.

As an English major, I took mild exception to Simak's treatment of Shakespeare. According to Simak, the Earl of Oxford actually wrote all the plays. But the stuffy old English department doesn't want to admit that Oxford is the author. Actually, there are good reasons for being skeptical of Oxford enthusiasts. Among other things, Oxford died well before the major plays were produced. But assuming that Simak's premise is true, why not have the university bring Oxford on campus by time machine? It would make more sense to have Oxford lecture on how he wrote the plays than to have Shakespeare lecture about why he didn't.

But Simak does a marvelous job of portraying his future Earth as a melting pot for all kinds of people. Here is a spaceport where the hero is leaving in a bemused fashion after receiving some upsetting news:

People-- alien and human-- were hurrying purposely or stood about in little knots and clusters. An old, white-bearded man dressed in stately black-- a professor by the look of him, thought Maxwell-- was surrounded by a group of students who had come to see him off. A family of reptilians sprawled in a group of loungers set aside for such people as they, not equipped for sitting. The two adults lay quietly, facing one another and talking softly, with much of the hissing overtones that marked reptilian speech, while the youngsters crawled over and under the loungers and sprawled on the floor in play. In one corner of a tiny alcove, a beer-barreled creature, lying on its side, rolled gently back and forth, from one wall to the other, rolling back and forth in the same spirit, and perhaps for the same purpose, a man would pace the floor. Two spidery creatures, their bodies more like grotesque matchstick creations than honest flesh and blood, squatted facing each other. They had marked off upon the floor, with a piece of chalk, some sort of crude gameboard and had placed about it a number of strangely shaped pieces, which they were moving rapidly about, squeaking in excitement as the game developed. (13)

Simak tosses off scenes like this throughout the novel by the dozen. It is clear that he is having great fun, and so do we as well. The story itself involves a professor named Peter Maxwell who intends to teleport to the Coonskin system. Instead, he is sidetracked onto a strange crystal world. In due course, he returns to Earth. But he learns that there was a second Peter Maxwell who did go to Coonskin, returned ahead of him, and died in a suspicious accident... The mystery is eventually resolved. But not before there are a lot of fights, brawls, chases, revelations, twists and turns. Fritz Leiber accurately described this novel as an example of Simak in a merry mood. It is indeed. I highly recommend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What a Wild Ride, December 21, 2013
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This review is from: The Goblin Reservation (Hardcover)
Aliens, beer drinking goblins, trolls, ghosts, time travel, teleportation, dragons, and a hard drinking neanderthal? Say what?

Yes, this story has all of that and more. I wasn't sure I would like this story, given the fantasy underpinnings mixed with SciFi. But you know what? I did like this book. It's a weird wild ride that is clever, fun, and has some interesting things to say about the common things among us and other creatures. If you can find a copy of this book, and you enjoy these subjects, you'll like it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars What an omelette, October 29, 2013
By 
Adman (Athens, Greece) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Goblin Reservation (Paperback)
Goblins. Trolls. Dragons. Banshees.

Ghosts. Neanderthals.

Artifacts. Aliens. Aliens on wheels. Aliens on wheels with bad odor. Post - singularity Aliens.

Time travel. Instantaneous travel.

Genetically modified felines. Flashy parties.

Shakespeare timeported.

Take these “raw” elements and try to make a SF omelette. You will find out that no, you can’t, this is impossible unless you are Clifford D. Simak, Writer Extraordinaire. Although I have come across more satisfying reads regarding the possibilities of time travel, I have never come across a more satisfying story with the following as its basic main themes: Goblins. Trolls. Dragons. Banshees…

Oh, and a vicious university dean.

Yes, it is the finest novel in a merry mood that Simak has yet given us, as Fritz Leiber is lobbying on the book cover.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great finction, June 5, 2013
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I like a stile of Simak. He is a great sci-fiction writer. I was pleasure to read this book once again.
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The Goblin Reservation
The Goblin Reservation by Clifford D. Simak (Paperback - Feb. 1993)
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