Science fiction (reread)
I mentioned this in my last review, so of course I had to go reread it. It's an old favorite, a book I first read in high school. Examining it with a mature eye, my reaction is: if you haven't read it, go read it; if you have, go read it again. It's that good.
There are no rocket ships, no ray guns, no scientific minutiae--none of the landmarks that are often associated with genre SF. Yet genre SF it certainly is; it could hardly be anything else. It's written in a haunting, elegiac tone that powerfully reinforces the central themes of loneliness and belonging, what it means to be human and what it means to be inhuman. It's a little bit hopeful, and a little bit heartbreaking. If you imagine that science fiction means exploding spaceships and/or technobabble, this book should convince you otherwise.
Way Station won a Hugo award in 1964, the year I was born. I have a feeling that the book and its author have faded slowly away from most readers' radar. That's their loss. Don't be among them.