The Autumn Land

Story, first published: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Oct. 1971

Simak used the flashback technique to tell the story of an out-of-work engineer who has a vision of nuclear catastrophe. The engineer steps through a "thinness" to a magic place where it is always autumn and time stands still. The needs of the few inhabitants are supplied by the Milkman, who explains that the autumn land is a halfway house where people can stop out, let their brains catch up, and sit in their rocking chairs until they are ready to go on.

Ewald, Robert J.: When the Fires Burn High and the Wind is from the North, p.118