By Clifford D Simak
Shakespeare's Planet is a science fiction novel by Clifford D Simak.
The plot of the novel lacks overall action. There is some exploration of the ruins, pond and hill by Carter Horton but this come to very little information or help to solve the problems the characters face. Most of the time the characters are sitting around waiting and hoping the robot can fix the space travel tunnel so they can leave.
The greatest amount of action occurs when the monster emerges from under the hill and the creature from the time cube. Even this is over in a moment and everything quiets down quickly. Many themes come out in various character discussions verses the character actions or reactions to each other or their surroundings. Ideas are presented by the spaceship’s three minds / personalities in their own private discourses. Horton’s reading of Shakespeare’s margin writings scattered throughout a copy of the Complete Works of Shakespeare reveal other ideas. This leads to a less exciting read and could have been presented in as character reaction to different events for greater effect and reading pleasure. The climatic scene of the novel is unsatisfying and leaves many questions unanswered. There is no real answer as to who built the travel tunnels. What was the monster under the hill? There are some guesses by characters but no definite resolution. We are left asking who was Shakespeare and how and why did he end up on the planet?
Written on 27th November 2005 by TC .