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Cemetery World Paperback – June, 1993

3.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Paperback, June, 1993
$19.98 $4.88

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From Publishers Weekly

In Simak's work of science fiction, a brave team seeks to reclaim planet Earth, which, after a disastrous war, has become an elite graveyard.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 159 pages
  • Publisher: Carroll & Graf Pub (June 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881849855
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881849851
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 4.2 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,940,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Paul Camp on January 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
Clifford D. Simak's _Cemetery World_ was originally a three part serial in _Analog_ back in 1972 and was accompanied by some marvelous John Schoenherr illustrations. It was published in book form the following year. The novel is set mostly on a future Earth which-- after a bloody war-- has become the epitome of peace. It is now an expensive planetary graveyard to the galaxy, run by a smooth but sinister Organization.

The hero and heroine come to Earth in order to make a composition, a kind of multi-media documentary; and in no time at all, they have stirred up a peck of trouble. Added to the mix are a couple of robots, some mountain folk, two ancient war machines, several ghosts (well, shades, actually), a strange creature called the Census Taker, some grave robbers, a treasure, three mechanical wolves, and a time machine.

Simak tries to tie up all the loose ends in the final chapters, but the results are abrupt and not completely convincing. There are also stretches where the story seems unintentionally silly. And then there are the occasional small slips. At one point, for example, the Census Taker, who floats above the ground, is described as "clump[ing] on ahead" (114). _Cemetery World_, then, is not Simak at the top of his game.

And yet, the novel is a passable piece of entertainment. The characters are (for the most part) amiable and engaging. And there are several moments when Simak allows himself to give descriptive passages such as this:

I sat on a moss-grown boulder beside a brawling, dark-brown stream that carried on its surface the fairy boats of red and gold and yellow that were the fallen leaves.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you suppose, like I do, that Simak's seminal work is his novel "City," then you probably measure all of his other wok against it. This has the ancient fate of earth theme and a robot of incredible age. It has a house that endures the span of time. All of the elements are there, and this certtainly ranks second to the master work that is "City." On its own it has that noirish tone you expect from a journalist, and it is not at all a bad read.
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Format: Paperback
"Cemetery World", published in 1973 by Clifford D. Simak [1904-88] envisions a far future where a devastating war will render large portion of Earth uninhabitable. During the lead up to this war the "intellectual elite" exited Earth and have established flourishing outpost on earth-like planets. Eventually great numbers of colonist return their loved ones to the home planet for interment giving rise to a self-serving corporation that manages the vast expanse of the cemeteries Small-inbred communities of human inhabit the few wild lands remaining depending on odd jobs with the Cemetery Corporation for necessities. Fletcher Carlson, an artist, returns to Earth to create a multi-media composition with the help of two robots. The Cemetery Corporation is unhelpful suspecting that Carlson has other motives. Carlson eventually determines that the corporation has some dark secrets it does not want discovered at any cost. Complicating matters a young lady, Cynthia Lansing, joins Carlson and is convinced a mysterious alien race has secreted archaeological treasures somewhere on earth. As a science-fiction novel this is a well-crafted story with ample suspense and fleshed out characters.

The underlying premise and motivations of this story, as outlined above, are both engaging and creditable in the context of a science-fiction novel. I was taken back when the ghost, or shades as they preferred to be called, started showing up and then proceeded to send the human characters back and forth through time. In the context of this story these fantasy themes appeared to be completely out of place. But as the old sailor said on many occasions "It is what it is like it or not".

"Cemetery World" by Clifford D. Simak is a perplexing book to categorize.
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Format: Paperback
This is not a great novel, but it's one I have a lot of affection for. I first read it when I was young, and return to it every few years and immerse myself in the gentle characters and the beautiful landscapes. Simak clearly loves the people and places of the midwest in which he lived and this comes through, as it does in all of his novels. His later works are often disparaged, compared to City, but there is still a warmth and imagination there that is well worth indulging as a late work by a master.
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Format: Hardcover
If you want an optimistic view of man's future, I suggest this absorbing novel by Clifford Simak.

There's a great deal of dystopian SF out there. And that's why it's good to see a positive story that's holds your interest and compels you to think on some large questions.

Highly recommended.
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