"In science fiction one can say a great many things that are unpalatable, … because it's expressed as science fiction you can slip it past their defenses."
There are conflicts at many levels in this story; between people, between groups here on earth and between other civilizations. The Talisman is a sacred object; only a very special person can make it work.
Simak does a remarkable job in putting into words what is needed in a contentious world. This great story won the Hugo award for best novel; it loses absolutely nothing in the years since it was published.
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'How about the steering wheel... I don't need one.'
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