"The science fiction method is dissection and reconstruction. You look at the world around you, and take it apart into its components. Then you take some of those components, throw them away, and plug in different ones, start it up and see what happens."
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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'I know kung-fu.'
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