A man's house gets altered by some rat-like creatures, so it is somewhat bent in on itself. It has become a portal to another part of the universe. He pokes around on the "other side" because he is after his dog that wandered off. He meets up with some aliens (seemingly friendly) moving around on some anti-gravity saddles. He tries to barter with them! Very weird and original story!

Anyone know what this is?

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    You have a nice start here but could you look at this guide and see if there is anything else you can edit in? – TheLethalCarrot May 4 '18 at 15:03

This would be The Big Front Yard by Clifford D. Simak.

In the story, a tinkerer and trader, Hiram Taine, finds out that his house contains peculiar creatures who repair and upgrade things in interesting ways and transform parts of his house to a substance impervious to harm. After unearthing a spaceship buried in the backyard, he discovers that the front part of his house is no longer on Earth but on a strange desert planet which is now accessible by merely passing through the front door. A little exploration in the desert reveals the existence of another similar house which opens to a rainy planet and some spaceships identical to the one unearthed in the backyard sitting in launch cradles next to some other empty launch cradles, implying several other similar houses. The story ends with the arrival of some aliens of either the desert planet or one of those connected to it, who are eager to trade ideas with the new member of the universal "planet-network".

While it probably shouldn't be, it's available on-line

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  • THANKS! That's IT! Altdude – Altdude May 4 '18 at 15:17
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    I often think that that Simak is underappreciated. His work is often more subtle that that of other greats from his era, but if you take a few minutes to dwell on it you realize that it has depth. – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten May 4 '18 at 15:49
  • @dmckee Agreed. This is probably the quintessential Simak story, but I've always liked "Way Station" as well. – Organic Marble May 4 '18 at 18:45

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