Jay Vickers was an ordinary man, or so he thought. All he wanted was to be left in peace to finish his next book. However, strange things started happenin - from his discovery of a mouse that was not a mouse, to the visit of an old neighbor that was not a man. Or at least he was not an ordinary man.
For as it turned out, neither was Jay Vickers. This is the story of human mutation - the next step in the evolution of the species. What if mutants walked among us already? What if they were organized? What if they had unbelievable powers, such as the ability to cross between alternate worlds or dimensions at will, or to intuitively reach the absolutely correct answer by intuition or "hunch", or to telepathically reach out to the stars?
Such supermen would automatically try to conquer lesser men, would they not? Or would they do everything in their power to free the rest of humanity from slavery and suffering? Just what would the political and corporate powers-that-be do to keep their power and their slaves? How would mutants undermine the power of these bosses to set mankind free?
This is a story of unlimited freedom, of worlds without end, ready for the taking. It is also the story of powerful, benevolent beings that exist only to help those who need that help. This is a future of a lop-sided mechanical culture of technology that could provide creature comfort for a few, but not human justice or security for the many. It is a future of hate, and war, and worry. Nothing like the way the world really turned out - after all, there couldn't really be an underground of mutants working to free humanity . . . could there?
Clifford D. Simak (1904 -1988)
Clifford Donald Simak was born in Wisconsin, in 1904. He attended the University of Wisconsin and spent his working life in the newspaper business. He flirted briefly with science fiction in the early '30s but did not start to write seriously until John W. Campbell's Astounding Stories began to rejuvenate the field in 1937. Simak was a regular contributor to Astounding throughout the Godlen Age, producing a body of well regarded work. He won the Nebula and multiple Hugo Awards, and in 1977 was the third writer to be named a Grand Master by SFWA. He died in 1925.