Author – Clifford D. Simak
A review of Cemetery World
I first read this back when I was twelve or so and since then barely remembered any of it. I had to do a book report on it so I was in essence being forced to read it. Let’s face it book reports were always the worst and before the internet it was difficult to fake one that looked like you actually read it. That’s probably why I remember so little of it however it’s not all bad. For old time’s sake I decided to snatch this book from its safe confines on the shelf and bend open a half deteriorated bundle of pages. When paperbacks sit for awhile they go to the grave so to speak for sake of this title. Pages tore easily, the front cover wanted to fall away like an autumn leaf, it was awful. I did manage to prove too much for this tiny book and read it no matter how much it’d rather just die.
The idea for the book was better than the story. What I mean is that Earth is no longer what we know it as today but simply a gigantic graveyard. The universe uses our planet as a burial ground which is creepy and sad for us but it’s interesting enough for me. The groundskeepers (corporate raiders) of Earth run the planet while keeping their image as a sort of ‘preservation of mother Earth’ mentality. It’s a neat setup. The main character finds his way to Earth trying to make some sort of a record of what the real Earth is like but along the way it gets a tad confusing. It’s the kind of adventure where the main character gets paranoid of everyone he meets and assumes the corporation is out to get him. It’s not so bad but his main goal sidetracks so much that you get led around with other somewhat less interesting ordeals most of the time. By the end you’re basically glad it’s only 159 pages.
The one aspect I didn’t really go for was when the time travel entered into the story. It was a solid mini science fiction plot up until then but then I found myself not caring as much how the time travel worked because it was made to be confusing for the sake of being confusing. That’s annoying to me because if an author can’t nail it then try something else. It’s possible that I wanted the story to go another direction that caused me to be disappointed in the ending. Anyway it doesn’t get to that point until the final ten or so pages so it’s easy to plow through.
This is all I’ve read of the late Mr. Simak and I don’t plan on any further reading of his. If you’re into science fiction you’ll probably enjoy this short read, I did after all and it wasn’t the greatest. If not then skipping it wouldn’t be a bad idea. Oh, if you’re someone into the notion that people are like a disease and should be destroyed for ruining the planet you might like it too. Cemetery, oh yeah.