Posts tagged the big front yard
Review: "The Big Front Yard" 1959 Hugo Winner
While stories that want to be important are great sometimes you want something that is simply fun. A story that doesn’t try to be a lot more. "The Big Front Yard" by Clifford D. Simak is just that fun. It is the story of that guy that seems to be in every town who has lived there forever and can fix anything, as well as dickering so well that he can make a living trading and selling his stuff. Hiram Taine is just such a man. He repairs anything ad sells antiques and while he isn't rich he is making a living doing that, but one day while he is preparing to fix a TV he discovers that his basement suddenly has a roof that he didn't put there. What is more odd the glass like material under the wood appears to be almost indestructible. Over the next days he begins to have more things around his house repaired with no explanation and he begins to worry but whatever is here seems friendly enough. And then one day as he is returning to his home he sees that the entire front of his house is gone. Rushing inside he finds that whatever has been fixing things has connected his house to another world, and within hours the secret has slipped out and everyone in the world is clamoring to take over his home. The U.S.A. government is threatening emanate domain and the U.N. is arriving. First contact stories are common and in many ways the ideas of this story are not new. Aliens visit earth and give us a new way to connect with the universe, yet by grounding this story so fully in the time(the fifties) and place it makes it seem far more real than many of those stories. In addition this is not a story of war or aggression. The humans react relatively calmly to the news and the worst thing anyone does is try to hack open a bigger door in Hiram's house so they can get vehicles through it and one of the major conflicts is the loss of Hirum's dog and Hirum's sense of duty for the entire situation since it happened in his front yard. "The Big Front Yard" won the 1959 Hugo award for best Novelette. Clifford D. Simak won two other Hugo awards, one for "Way Station" in 1964 and in 1981 far "Grotto of the Dancing Deer". In addition to this he was named a grandmaster of science fiction by the science fiction and fantasy writers of America. You aren't likely to have any great revelations while reading "The Big Front Yard" but it is an enjoyable story and one that is so grounded in reality that you really feel as if you're hearing something that could actually happen even while much of it is quite absurd. Got the picture from This Website, a bunch of reviews there too.
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