Best 1944 Adventures (10)
June 29, 2019
One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 1944 adventure novels.
Clifford D. Simak’s City (1944–51; as a book, 1952)
This Stapleton-Like epic surveys a millennium or so of humankind’s future history — from our abandonment of cities in favor of a peaceful, pastoral way of life, to our increasing reliance on robots, to our singularity-ish abandonment of our human forms for one better suited to a blissful, creaturely life on Jupiter (or, for those who choose to remain on Earth, a virtual reality-like cryogenic hibernation). Along the way, we endow our faithful canine companions with the ability to communicate telepathically, they become the dominant species on Earth… and it is they who narrate the semi-mythical story of human (“webster,” in dog-speak) evolution. There’s so much more, too: ants evolve and threaten to take over the world; dogs develop the ability to perceive alternate dimensions; mutant geniuses who roam the wilderness; not to mention Martian philosophy.
Fun fact: The eight interconnected stories that form this “fix-up” novel were published between 1944 and 1951 in the pulp magazines Astounding and Fantastic Adventures.
JOSH GLENN’S *BEST ADVENTURES* LISTS: BEST 250 ADVENTURES OF THE 20TH CENTURY | 100 BEST OUGHTS ADVENTURES | 100 BEST RADIUM AGE (PROTO-)SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST TEENS ADVENTURES | 100 BEST TWENTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST THIRTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST GOLDEN AGE SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST FORTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST FIFTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST SIXTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST NEW WAVE SCI FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST SEVENTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST EIGHTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST DIAMOND AGE SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST NINETIES ADVENTURES (in progress) | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | NOTES ON 21st-CENTURY ADVENTURES.