Simak, Clifford D.
WHY CALL THEM BACK FROM HEAVEN?
Ace (SF Special; H-42)
Leo & Diane Dillon
Clifford D. Simak: Why Call Them Back from Heaven? -
(Excerpts from a review from Magazine of F&SF May 1967 - parts of which were used as the back-cover copy): "Simak describes a rigid neo-puritan culture, a world of penny-pinching, body-saving, emotional isolationists, living as unremittingly for the Next Life as ever fundamentalist Christian did, because any man or woman who fails to provide an adequate investment sum to grow for him while he is frozen will be unable to compete in the re-awakened society... It is belief in the future that makes us capable of sacrifice; absolute belief in literal immortality, of whatever sort, makes us virtually incapable of non-sacrifice. The only free men in such a society are the outcasts. In the world of Forever Center, this means the rare criminals who have had a 'death sentence' and walk as living ghosts through the rest of their natural lives, aware that when they die, it will be for the last time, and forever; or those less finally cut off, who retain their right to a new life, but wear the brand of ostracism, so that they are unable to work in any way to prepare for the next world. From this base, Simak poses problems relevant to all concepts of immortality and the basic premises of most Western concepts of God." [-Judith Merril]