In this classic SF novella, Clifford D. Simak examines what is important to the advancement of a culture. In a choice between money and ideas, or between peaceful communion and violent confrontation, which would you pick? Does a slow pace mean boredom, or is there virtue in patience and deliberation? Mr. Simak presents quite a sophisticated view of a pastoral man, to whom personal integrity and honesty matter greatly despite an undemonstrative exterior notable nowadays for its lack of chest-beating. Would you or I be so sanguine, if confronted with utter alienness, as was Hiram Taine? Can we resist the (subconscious, involuntary, instinctive) urge to destroy what we fear, i.e., what we do not understand? The value of ideas is of paramount importance in this famous tale.
This report prepared by Hollis Evon Ramsey