Mining the Genre Asteroid: Way Station and the works of Clifford Simak
Enoch Wallace has a secret. Okay, he actually has two. Almost a century after the Civil War, this veteran of that divisive conflict has been quietly living in the Driftless Area of southwestern Wisconsin. He has some strange neighbors (including a family whose deaf-mute daughter has some rather strange abilities) and only uses his gun in a virtual reality simulator. His second secret, though is even bigger than the first. Enoch Wallace hides an interstellar transfer point for aliens to travel through the galaxy. It is his charge to keep this important facility safe, and secret. But now the U.S. government is very interested in Enoch, enough to go snooping around. Furthermore, the Galactic Council that set up the transfer point is fracturing and falling apart. Oh, and Enoch’s use of alien mathematics is leading him to conclude that nuclear war is coming, soon. All this means an uncertain future for both Enoch and his Way Station.