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Demain les chiens de Clifford D. Simak
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Demain les chiens (original: 1952; edição: 2000)

de Clifford D. Simak, Jean Rosenthal

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2,097625,619 (3.98)123
This award-winning science fiction classic explores a far-future world inhabited by intelligent canines who pass down the tales of their human forefathers. Thousands of years have passed since humankind abandoned the city--first for the countryside, then for the stars, and ultimately for oblivion--leaving their most loyal animal companions alone on Earth. Granted the power of speech centuries earlier by the revered Bruce Webster, the intelligent, pacifist dogs are the last keepers of human history, raising their pups with bedtime stories, passed down through generations, of the lost "websters" who gave them so much but will never return. With the aid of Jenkins, an ageless service robot, the dogs live in a world of harmony and peace. But they now face serious threats from their own and other dimensions, perhaps the most dangerous of all being the reawakened remnants of a warlike race called "Man."   In the Golden Age of Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein, Clifford D. Simak's writing blazed as brightly as anyone's in the science fiction firmament. Winner of the International Fantasy Award, City is a magnificent literary metropolis filled with an astonishing array of interlinked stories and structures--at once dystopian, transcendent, compassionate, and visionary.… (mais)
Membro:mtirel
Título:Demain les chiens
Autores:Clifford D. Simak
Outros autores:Jean Rosenthal
Informação:J'ai lu (2000), Poche, 310 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

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City de Clifford D. Simak (1952)

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This is a collection of connected short stories and novellas, recounting the decline of the civilization of Man and the rise of the civilization of Dogs. Obsolete usage intentional; these stories were written in the 1940s, with a couple of exceptions, and the underlying viewpoint is that of a midwestern American man of that era, born in 1904. In the case of Simak, that's a compassionate, kindly, humane, even in many ways progressive viewpoint, but it's not the viewpoint of someone whose formative years were the 1960s or later.

These stories chronicle thousands of years of history in relatively brief glimpses of a total of nine short stories and novellas, and the "notes" that tie them together and provide added context, to make them a novel. We follow the men of the Webster family; the Webster family's robot and household retainer, Jenkins; and the dogs. Or, as they start to become beginning in the third story, the Dogs, the uplifted species that will succeed Man.

The first two stories show the start of the unraveling of human civilization, due to, in fact, its success. Nuclear power as an energy source, creating wealth and independence from the need to gather in cities, combined with the existence of nuclear weapons, making cities fatal places to be if there's ever another war, leads to people dispersing into the countryside. Land is cheap outside the cities, and every man can buy acreage and build a luxury estate for his family. (And yes, the use of gender and possessive in that sentence is deliberate. As noted above, Simak's a good man, but not a man of even the late 20th century.) As technology develops (largely undescribed, but we see what are videophones more advanced than we have but entirely recognizable, as well as robots with AI that's still just a happy daydream for us), no one needs to leave home for any of the essentials or luxuries of life, and many don't. Agoraphobia becomes a significant and common problem, which has crucial plot implications in one of the stories, with consequences that reverberate down the centuries.

Seeing the flaws in human beings, one of the Websters, Bruce Webster, starts to work on the dogs, giving them the ability to speak, and the ability to read--including the physical modifications necessary to make these things physically possible for them, not just intellectually possible. We learn of, and encounter, the mutants, humans with far greater intelligence, and lacking the human instinct to gather and connect with each other. In each story we see the dogs on the road to becoming Dogs, advancing in intelligence and understanding. A crucial turning point is the story, "Desertion," where humans on Jupiter are sending out exploratory missions of humans transformed into lifeforms able to live on Jupiter outside the human domes--for the purpose of reporting back, with the awkward complication that none of them do. Finally the head of that project goes out himself, with just his dog, Towser, leading to the complete upending of the progress of humans toward dominating the solar system and expanding to the stars.

The notes frame these stories as the myths and fables of Doggish civilization, in a time when Dogs are pretty sure that Man is only a myth, a tribal legend from the early days of their race, before civilization developed. The one continuing character who ties all the stories together is Jenkins, the robot who served the Websters, and then inherited their responsibility to help the Dogs along their own path. There's an underlying sadness in these stories, a certain pessimism about humankind, intertwined with a love for both humans and dogs.

What's missing, almost entirely, is women. Women are mentioned from time to time, but there's only two women who become in any way real characters with their own personalities and views, and only one of them is outside of the roles of wife, girlfriend, daughter, secretary. I love these stories; I don't love that aspect of these stories. These are still fine and much-loved stories, but they are also period pieces, and should be approached with that in mind.

Still very much recommended.

I bought this audiobook. ( )
1 vote LisCarey | Mar 7, 2021 |
This is one of the classics of science fiction (from 1944-1951!). It's 8 ( 1) short stories, but unlike most collections, there's an over-arching theme, and it actually works better as 8 individual stories than one novel.

Pacing and themes are a bit different than modern SF, but the "deurbanization" and "man's relationship to sentient non-humans" seem more relevant now than in 1944. ( )
  octal | Jan 1, 2021 |
Some trips into the past do not go so well. You revisit old haunts and all that exists are the creaky ghosts. You see old friends, the memories don’t gibe, and you remember why you left in the first place. And you reread books you hold with fond memory (revisiting the old haunt and seeing old friends within) and the clunks and chains of old age drip from the page.

Put more simply, books remembered fondly do not often age well.

And then…and then…and then. Then there are those times when you are reminded why a book was a classic when it came out and why it should still be considered one. City is one of those books. Yes, there are a very few parts that creak, but they creak very softly. And that still makes it better than the majority of books that clunk upon the first reading. And the overall story (and storytelling) does more than hold up – they hold their own against anything else currently being written.

The story seems simple. Man helps dogs evolve, man runs off into the stars (kind of), and the dogs take control of the natural earth…for a while. But that is short shrift, a glancing blow at what is going on here. The novel shows us the evolution of multiple species in a series of eight tales – stories the dogs tell around the fire. And each story contains volumes of information, all plotted and played out simply, but containing deep concepts and idea – some pursued; some left for us to ponder on our own.

In a style Simak uses in many of his stories and novels, ideas are buried within ideas. Some are explored and some questions are left unanswered. What is really going on in Jupiter? Where did the mutants go, and why? What are the cobblies and how do they exist in the alternate worlds? What are the robots doing? And what about the ants?

All of the above would probably cause you to expect a 900-page doorstop of a book. But that is what is so amazing about this novel. It tells this broad, sweeping story in just 255 pages. There is much to explore. And each section could easily have been its own book. But that is not what Simak is doing here. (And, back when this was written, it couldn’t have been done.) Thousands of years pass, uncountable changes occur, and Simak holds it all together in the eight tales the dogs tell.

Yes, I know part of this is a function of the business side of science fiction in the 40s – serialization and writing short stories that could be brought together as a novel. But this is an example of how it can work to the good.

There is a good chance anyone actually reading this review already knows of City. But if you do not, or you’ve heard about it and always wondered, then do yourself the favor of visiting this City. And, if you have read it before and wonder if the old neighborhood is still the same, well, actually it is. The changes have all come from you. And that only makes it better. ( )
  figre | Dec 18, 2020 |
Now, in present day
Jupiter seems quite tempting
let the dogs rule Earth. ( )
1 vote Eggpants | Jun 25, 2020 |
I've heard about this novel (series of short stories that are related closely) for years, always referred to in terms of deep respect and honor, and now that I've finished reading it, I can add my own.

It was very clever to throw the viewpoint in from robots and dogs and see the lost civilization of man from their viewpoints, but I found it more interesting to see the complete eradication of so much of Earth's life, seen from Jenkin's point of view. Perhaps I'm just a cynical bastard and I love to see a great downfall, but the reasoning behind the downfall was doggone great. I found myself feeling ok, all around, with the eventuality of everything that happened. I might even say this was a feel-good book, and full of optimism. Seriously, it was a novel full of contradictions, and I was delighted to no end.
( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
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» Adicionar outros autores (33 possíveis)

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Clifford D. Simakautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Bing, JonPosfácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Bringsværd, Tor ÅgePosfácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Gabbert, JasonDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Ganim, PeterNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Giancola, DonatoArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Jones, GwynethIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Resnick, MikeIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Rosenthal, JeanAuteurautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Schjelderup, DaisyTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Valigursky, EdArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Westermayr, TonyTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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This award-winning science fiction classic explores a far-future world inhabited by intelligent canines who pass down the tales of their human forefathers. Thousands of years have passed since humankind abandoned the city--first for the countryside, then for the stars, and ultimately for oblivion--leaving their most loyal animal companions alone on Earth. Granted the power of speech centuries earlier by the revered Bruce Webster, the intelligent, pacifist dogs are the last keepers of human history, raising their pups with bedtime stories, passed down through generations, of the lost "websters" who gave them so much but will never return. With the aid of Jenkins, an ageless service robot, the dogs live in a world of harmony and peace. But they now face serious threats from their own and other dimensions, perhaps the most dangerous of all being the reawakened remnants of a warlike race called "Man."   In the Golden Age of Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein, Clifford D. Simak's writing blazed as brightly as anyone's in the science fiction firmament. Winner of the International Fantasy Award, City is a magnificent literary metropolis filled with an astonishing array of interlinked stories and structures--at once dystopian, transcendent, compassionate, and visionary.

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