- Publisher: Ballantine Books (Mm) (May 1988)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 034500762X
- ISBN-13: 978-0345007629
- Package Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.3 x 0.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,898,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Shakespeare's Planet Paperback – May, 1988
|New from||Used from|
Showing 1-8 of 13 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Shakespeare's Planet by Clifford D. Simak [1904-88], published in 1966, is a strangely mesmerizing novel. An interstellar exploration ship makes landfall on an "earth-like' planet after a thousand year space expedition. Carter Horton, one of three crewmembers, is awakened from "cold-sleep" only to find himself the only survivor, his crewmates having perished due to a malfunction during the long voyage. Upon being revived he is greeted by a robot whose first words are "I am Nicodemus". The robot with the particularly curious name has the bewildering ability to acquire specific skills - geology-physician-biochemist and others by utilization of various transmogs - biochemical brains. The ship itself is "guided' by three incorporeal entities who were, when "in the flesh" a scientist with limited social skills, an admired monk who lost his faith and a dizzy social climbing matron. The entities can communicate with Horton by some sort of "mind talk" which thankfully is not elaborated upon in the book. The entities engages in lively chats, deliberations and arguments "off stage" to the plot. Awaiting Horton at the ship's open door is a repulsive looking alien creature who speaks English and calls himself Carnivore. He arrived on the plant via a one way "time tunnel" along with a human, Shakespeare. Shakespeare, we are told by Carnivore, had an illness that took his life. He insisted that Carnivore eat him after he died - which he did. Around sunset of his first day Horton experiences the "god-hour" -a frightening out of body trance-like state. Carnivore informs him that it come to pass every day around the same time. Now, some very strange things start to happen.
This story has so many quirky embellishments piled seemingly one on top of the other I find myself at a lost to list them all. Suffice to say this is not a typical 1960's science-fiction novel.
Without sounding too pompous I can state that I have read all of Simak's 26 novels and, in my opinion, found this one among his better novels. Nonetheless I would not recommend it to readers new to Simak - just too "far out" and I suspect would turn off individuals from reading his other books. Then again I could be completely wrong on this point.
The internal dialogue of Ship is interesting to hear as it discusses immortality and as we are given a view of the personalities that went into making it.
The robot is the most likeable character in the book, showing some flashes of humour as well as intelligence.
The pace is good as there is a gradual revealing of different situations and motivations with everything coming to a head right at the end.
And the ending stays consistent and intelligent, not falling into soap opera.
There are two weaknesses in the book; one is Horton, the protagonist, he is a dull character and his comments about technology and his responses to some of the events he is informed of are stupid, this makes him hard to like or care about; the other problem is that the ending has and extra alien element thrown in that makes the action at the end harder to believe, it in fact makes the whole set up seem completely unnecessary.
These two weaknesses stop it from being a great book but it is still good, not one of Simak's best but worth a read..