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Time And Again Mass Market Paperback – May 5, 1955


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Ace (May 5, 1955)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441810039
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441810031
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,826,450 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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I have read twenty or so of Simak's novels and this is unquestionably the finest (even better than City).
Kullervo
It is remarkable that Simak could employe these inane plot elements to create a startling entertaining story with some poignant metaphysical ruminations.
Paul Brooks
Unfortunately the the characters are not adequately fleshed out for reader to understand or immerse in them them.
Jari Aalto

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By stigmata on May 4, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It is the future and Mankind has spread to the stars like seeds before the wind. One star system, though, shrouded in mystery, has defied Man's every attempt to visit it. Every expedition to 61 Cygni has found its path inexplicably deflected and has been forced to return home in frustration. In desperation, special agent Asher Sutton was sent on a solo mission, but unlike the others he did not return and 61 Cygni was quietly forgotten.
As the book begins, twenty years have passed and, against all odds, Asher Sutton has returned. The mystery only deepens when it is discovered that Asher's ship was damaged many years ago in a crash that left it completely disabled and ought to have killed its sole passenger. The conclusion becomes inescapable; Asher Sutton died but now he's back. As the story develops, we discover Asher is not alone and it's not clear that he's even entirely human. But most importantly, Asher returns bearing an idea that will shake Mankind's beliefs to their foundations.
In Time and Again, Mankind is spread thin across the stars and to help hold the frontier he has created biological androids. Created in the lab by chemical means, androids are sterile and cannot reproduce but in all other respects are as human as their creators. None the less, androids are treated as property and bear a mark on their foreheads to distinguish them from "true" humans.
Androids dream of one day being acknowledged and treated as the equals of the "humans" and Asher's idea is the key for which they have been searching.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Paul Weiss on May 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
Time and Again opens in a distant future on earth that includes androids, robots, interactive television, weather control, mentophones - an ingenious device that allows instantaneous interstellar communication, dramatically extended life spans, travel to distant star systems and a humanity that has conquered the galaxy and spread its seed far and wide. After a 20 year absence, Asher Sutton returns to earth from an expedition to 61 Cygni, a system that until now has defeated every attempt at landing and exploration. In the attempt, Sutton has miraculously survived a crash that left his ship disabled and, by all odds, should have killed him. His ship has somehow managed to return to earth apparently without the actual ability to do so and Sutton, through some extraordinary feat of bio-medical engineering, appears to have been modified into something that is considerably less than completely human. He is mentally linked to someone he refers to as "Johnny". The administration on earth wonder what all of this can possibly mean.

On the surface, Time and Again is a thrilling story of time travel. Sutton is carrying a book which he has not yet actually written - a summary of his philosphies that, in a not too distant future, will result in the achievement of the dreams of the Android Equality League, their right to be recognized as sentient beings and a release from their treatment as mere property. But, before the book can even be actually written, Sutton must survive assassination attempts by revisionists - humans from the future who are using time travel as the means to prevent its publication.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 28, 1997
Format: Paperback
This book is really about religion and time. About the power
of religion and about the cost one can pay for the knowing
the truth. The book deals with the personal sacrifice,
loneliness and betrayal that important historical
figures, past, present and future, often endure. Asher Sutton is
the ultimate imperfect, reluctant hero.

Those of you who love Heinlein will undoubtedly enjoy
this book - I couldn't recommend it any more thoroughly.
I read City (Simak's most acclaimed book) and thought
that "Time and Again" was easily a superior work
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 5, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's been nearly forty years since I first read Simak's "Time And Again" but I still remember it very clearly as I read it several times. It just blew me away! I was fifteen years old and in the hospital. It was 1963 and the civil rights movement was in full bloom. Whether or not Simak intended to create a story to parallel the issues of the civil rights movement, I do not know, but a thoughtful reading of the story certainly suggests them.
This is a book to read and think about beyond its riveting plot and subplots. The principal questions raised by the book are "Who has the right to be human?" and "What is humanity?"
Simak's story is still fresh and relevant after all this time and I would love to see it reissued so that I can buy another copy and read it again.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jari Aalto on May 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
Destiny. It lives in us, in all living, from amoebas, humans to androids. Destiny is a personal companion to everybody. It's also an abstract idea that lives and liberates; it bereaves the exclusivity of superiority from humanity. Asher Sutton has returned from dead, from 60 years back, from dark light years with no working engines in his ship. No one knows how and if he is a human any more. And he is destined to write the book about Destiny's presence. A book that will cause a fierce time war to eradicate, subvert or dispute his message. This is the story of Asher Sutton.

Asher got a new body by some enigmatic race and become more than human. The religious theme about Destiny and its power to liberate androids, to make then equals to their human masters, is a captivating idea. The android rebellion and a war in time circles around Asher, who does not know reasons for all the events. He is used by both sides as a pawn in this chess game to the very end. The story also reflects Simak's rural roots by placing the time paradox events near his birthplace Wisconson, Millville. In the story Simak refers to Bridgeport which is only 15km away. The fondness he feels for those familiar places comes through very clearly. The hero is an average people, with an average life, who experience something quite extraordinary which makes him only part human. Unfortunately the the characters are not adequately fleshed out for reader to understand or immerse in them them. The story dances high on an abstract wire and is not easily approachable.

Two (2) stars. Written in 1951 when Simak was 22 year old. There are a lot of coincidences in this novel. Only after 3/4th of the book the reader learns to understand all the vague remarks to time war that is going on around Asher.
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