Finished re-reading Simak's City
for the first time in over 20 years, and was again stunned at its power and depth. There are few future histories as simultaneously entrancing and disquieting as these tales of evolution and loss. Man leaving Earth to become aliens [or succumbing to ennui] and dogs striving to build a new world without killing and war -- and whether there is any hope for humanity to overcome its essential violence and inhumanity. Mutation, philosophical breakthroughs that can transform a society overnight, alternate universes, putting human [and canine] consciousness in alien bodies, robots of uncommon humanity and vision... this one has it all and more. Mournful, even elegiac at times, it reflects the postwar idea that perhaps humans had come about as far as their innate limitations and bloodlust would be able to take them.
I'd put it in my all-time top ten, you younger fry should check it out.
Note for those who have read the book: given that Juwain's philosophical breakthrough mainly resulted in most of the human race fleeing to become Jovian instead, should we judge Jerome Webster less harshly for not allowing it to flower centuries earlier? Or would the fact that the Jovian option wasn't there when it would have first been introduced given it time to develop into something else?
Next up: The Big Time
by Fritz Leiber. I've not read much FL beyond Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, looking forward to it.