Greatest Literature banner

The Big Front Yard

Critique • Quotes

Ender's Game first edition1960 story collection
By Clifford D. Simak
Publication details ▽ Publication details △

First publication
1958 in American edition of magazine Astounding Science Fiction

First book publication
1960 in The Worlds of Clifford Simak collection

Literature form

Science fiction

Writing language

Author's country
United States

Approx. 25,000 words

Notable lines

Hiram Taine came awake and sat up in his bed.
Towser was barking and scratching at the floor.

— First lines

There was nothing wrong with the front of the house at all.
But if the front of the house was all right, that was all that was.
For the driveway was chopped off just a few feet beyond the tall end of the pickup and there was no yard of woods or road. There was just a desert—


He sat and watched them come and he thought of going in to get a rifle, but he didn't stir from his seat upon the steps. The rifle would do no good, he told himself. It would be a senseless thing to get it; more than that, a senseless attitude. The least that man could do, he thought, was to meet these creatures of another world with clean and empty hands.


"But," protested Henry, "you can't find a man who'll do a better dickering job than Hiram. When you dicker with him your back teeth aren't safe. Why don't you leave him be? He'll do a job for you."


Taine turned and looked out across the desert.
"It's a big front yard," he said.

— Last lines


Critique • Quotes