Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Book cover: "The Night of Puudly"

  • Cover and spine title: The Night of Puudly
  • Cover page and table of contents title: "The Night of the Puudly" (italics are mine)
  • Level of annoyment those titles aren't in sync: 8/10
  • Author: Clifford D. Simak (1904-1988)
  • Cover illustrator: Unknown (which is a bummer)
  • Publisher: The New English Library (Four Square Science Fiction)
  • Year: February 1968
  • Pages: 143
  • Format: Paperback
  • Price: 3/6 (3 shillings, 6 pence)
  • Excerpt from back cover: "The puudly was a dangerous thing, not only because it was strong and quick, but because it was intelligent. ... Another brilliant world of fantasy created by the author of CITY and ALIENS FOR NEIGHBOURS."
  • Contents: Five short stories — The Night of the Puudly, Crying Jag, Instalment Plan, Condition of Employment, and Project Mastodon. (I believe all of these Simak stories had been previously published in different collections. "The Night of the Puudly" was previously titled "Good Night, Mr. James.")
  • First sentence: He came alive from nothing.
  • Last sentence: Project Mastodon was finally under way.
  • Random excerpt from middle #1: But with robots there was no shipping problem.
  • Random excerpt from middle #2: It was a cruelty that went beyond mere human cruelty.
  • Random excerpt from middle #3: The scared little government clerk, darting conspiratorial glances all about him, brought the portfolio to the FBI.
  • Rating on Goodreads: 3.69 stars (out of 5)
  • Excerpt from Goodreads review: In 2015, Joel wrote: "A quaint little collection of short stories by a great and massively overlooked writer."
  • Previously on Papergreat: My October 2017 post on Simak
  • More insight on Simak: There's a Simak reading group that started a thread in September 2014 on and continues to the present. In 2015, JoanDrake shared this take on the writer:
"Simak is great. He is one of those who writes about normal everyday people being faced by extraordinary things, and mainly just bumbling through, no Heinlein Heroes here. Even his aliens are sometimes found just sitting on the porch with the protagonist. A publisher's agent once told him he wrote about losers, 'I like losers' was his reply."

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