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"Science fiction is really sociological studies of the future, things that the writer believes are going to happen by putting two and two together."
- Ray Bradbury

Way Station  
  A device used to transport individuals across the galaxy.  

The way station is one of a series of stations that make travel across the galaxy possible. It was established on earth by an alien race. The station keeper is chosen from the indigenous sapient species of the planet.

Ulysses said, "We are a traveling people. We need a travel station here. We want to turn this house into a station and you to keep the station...

"We could not build a station, for then we'd have people asking who was building it and what it might be for. So we are forced to use an existing structure and change it for our needs. But inside only. We leave the outside as it is, in appearance, that is. For there must be no questions asked..."

"But traveling..."

"From star to star," said Ulysses. "Quicker than the thought of it... It will be no more than a switching and a resting point. No one on Earth can buy a ticket..."

From Way Station, by Clifford Simak.
Published by Doubleday in 1963
Additional resources -

Enoch Wallace, the station keeper for earth, fought in the Civil War. A field that surrounds the station cancels the effects of aging for those inside.

The machinery of the station allows travelers to materialize in special chambers (or tanks, for aquatic travelers). The keeper of the station prepares the necessary accomodations for travelers.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Way Station
  More Ideas and Technology by Clifford Simak
  Tech news articles related to Way Station
  Tech news articles related to works by Clifford Simak

Way Station-related news articles:
  - Cell Phone Tower Equipment Sheds Way Station-Style
  - Stellar Navigation Based On Network Analysis

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