Clifford Simak was an American science fiction author and journalist. He won three Hugo Awards and one Nebula Award.
Clifford Donald Simak was born in Millville, Wisconsin. He attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Simak taught in public schools until 1929 before switching to journalism. A small-town newspaper hired him in 1929, and he eventually became news editor at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, writing fiction on the side. Besides the Minneapolis Star, he also worked for Tribune until he retired in 1976.
Simak married Agnes Kuchenberg in 1929. They had two children: Richard and Shelley. He enjoyed fishing, chess, stamp collecting, and growing roses. His writing was inspired by his wife, Kay, to whom he dedicated his book Time and Again (1951).
Simak's themes often revolved around quests, time travel, and a quest for meaning. His stories blend humour, horror, and contemplation. In Time and Again, he explores time travel with a spiritual perspective.
Simak's debut novel, The World of the Red Sun, was published in 1931. Astounding Stories and Gernsback's pulp magazines often feature his stories. His notable work, City (1952), is a collection of stories about humanity's departure from Earth. Simak's style, often pastoral, centred around rural settings and backwoods characters.
His accolades include three Hugo Awards, one Nebula Award, and the title of SFWA Grand Master. The Horror Writers Association recognized him with a Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Clifford Simak won the Hugo and Nebula Awards for Grotto of the Dancing Deer in 1981. In the story, an archaeologist discovers a comical ancient rock painting and meets its original creator, an immortal still living nearby.
Simak was also interested in the human condition, often using robots as characters to explore themes like existence and morality. In All the Traps of Earth (1962), he features a robot who gains extraordinary abilities.
Sinak is remembered for his gentle narrative style and humanistic themes in science fiction. He avoided grand space operas, focusing instead on quiet, often introspective journeys for his characters.
Throughout his career, Clifford Simak produced over 30 novels and numerous short stories. Asteroid 228883 Cliffsimak was named in his honour, cementing his legacy in the stars he so often wrote about.
Clifford Simak passed away in Minneapolis on April 25, 1988.