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Clifford D. Simak

Clifford D. SimakAKA Clifford Donald Simak

Born: 3-Aug-1904
Birthplace: Millville, WI
Died: 25-Apr-1988
Location of death: Minneapolis, MN [1]
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Novelist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: City and The Visitors

Author and journalist Clifford Simak is remembered for such award winning classics of science fiction as City (1952), A Heritage of Stars (1977), and Way Station (1963). The author of considerable short fiction as well, his "Grotto of the Dancing Deer" garnered the Nebula, the Hugo, the Analog, and the Locus Poll Awards for best short fiction. In 1977 the Science Fiction Writers of America acknowledged him as one of the genre’s Grand Masters. Although contemporaneous with Robert A. Heinlein, he is not considered as significant, yet he has added his own unique and distinct flavor to speculative fiction, one that is both pastoral and eerily mystical, with an edge of wry cynicism about the human race. He is especially known for his emphasis on the struggles of common people placed in extraordinary circumstances, for setting his tales in Wisconsin countryside, and for featuring dogs with unusual frequency.

Clifford Donald Simak was born August 3, 1904, in Millville, Wisconsin to John Lewis and Margaret (Wiseman) Simak. He studied journalism at the University of Wisconsin, and married Agnes Kuchenberg in April of 1929. In 1929 he also switched jobs, from school teacher to newspaper man. In 1931 his first science fiction story, "The World of the Red Sun" appeared in Hugo Gernsback's Wonder Stories, but it would be several more years before he would earnestly apply himself (at the urging of Astounding editor John W. Campbell) to writing fiction.

Instead he worked as Editor on a variety of Midwestern newspapers, including the Minneapolis Star and Tribune (1939-76), and he served as Coordinator of the Minneapolis Tribune's Science Reading Series from 1961 onwards. (He received the 1967 Minnesota Academy of Science Award for distinguished service to science.) Finally, upon his retirement from the newspaper in 1976, he was able to devote himself full time to novels and short fiction. Ironically, it has been said that his best work, and his most prolific period as an author, occurred in the 1950s and early 1960s.

Among his various awards and acknowledgements include: the 1953 International Fantasy Award for City; the 1959 Hugo Award for The Big Front Yard; the 1964 Hugo Award for Way Station. He also received the First Fandom Hall of Fame Award, in 1973, and the 1987 Bram Stoker Award for lifetime achievement. Simak died April 27, 1988. He was 83 years old.

[1] Riverside Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN.

Father: John L. Simak
Mother: Margaret Olivia Wiseman
Wife: Agnes (d. 1985, married 56 years, one daughter, one son)

    University: BA Journalism, University of Wisconsin

    Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame 1973
    International Fantasy Award

Author of books:
The Creator (1946)
Cosmic Engineers (1950)
Empire (1951)
Time and Again (1951)
City (1952, anthology)
Time Is the Simplest Thing (1961)
Trouble with Tycho (1961)
They Walked Like Men (1962)
Way Station (1963)
All Flesh Is Grass (1965)
The Werewolf Principle (1967)
Why Call Them Back from Heaven? (1967)
The Goblin Reservation (1968)
So Bright the Vision (1968)
The March of Science (1969)
Out of Their Minds (1969)
Destiny Doll (1971)
Prehistoric Man (1971)
A Choice of Gods (1972)
Cemetery World (1973)
Our Children's Children (1974)
Enchanted Pilgrimage (1975)
Shakespeare's Planet (1976)
A Heritage of Stars (1977)
The Fellowship of the Talisman (1978)
Mastodonia (1978)
Catface (1979)
The Visitors (1980)
Project Pope (1981)
Special Deliverance (1982)
Where the Evil Dwells (1982)
Highway of Eternity (1986)

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