Monday, December 15, 2008
Galaxy May 1954
Average issue. Stories are average, with very non-surprising endings.
Granny Won't Knit • novella by Theodore Sturgeon
Far future story. A easy and cheap matter transplanter has changed society. Stability is valued more than anything, everyone is brainwashed to believe that all development has achieved its’ peak. For some reason body shapes and pare hands are something not to be shown publicly, and everything is covered. The main character seems to get a wrong number on his matter transplanter when going to work on morning, and meets an almost naked (not even wearing gloves) woman before hurriedly continuing to his original destination. Later the same woman seems to pop to his workplace out of nowhere without any kind of matter transplanter at all.
Overlong, loosely written story. It seems that the only piece of technology developed in in a few thousand years is the matter transplanter. There are no explanation why hands are considered indecent, or at least I didn’t notice any. I was more and more “speed reading” towards the end of the story…The society itself has very fifties-like patriarchal values, and even the titular “knitting” is something the titular granny remembers old ladies were doing in her youth. Remember, this is supposed to happen in the year 6000 or something. Condensing _a lot_ might have been a good idea. As such pretty boring stuff. **
Back to Julie • shortstory by Richard Wilson
A man is able to travel through dimensions, and he is finding a secret for his employer and using it for himself at the same time. And to get the girl, of course. Decent little story. ***
Mate in Two Moves • novelette by Winston K. Marks
A disease which makes yourself to fall deeply to love with someone is spreading around the world. Two doctors, a female and male, are trying to find the solution. Plot goes exactly like you would expect, no surprises anywhere. Writing is ok, was nice read, but there _really_ were no surprises of any kind. ***
Open Warfare • novelette by James E. Gunn
A professional golf player has fallen in love with rich man’s daughter. He is given ultimatum - if he is not able to earn 50000 dollars, he will not get the daughter. It seems almost like piece of cake - just win US open, but then a new, unknown, very quiet player who plays very mechanically and without making any mistakes enters the competition. Not too surprising story, either. The player is exactly what you think he is… Very fifties story in attitudes. However, entertainingly written. ***+
Chain of Command • shortstory by Stephen Arr
A mutated, intelligent mouse wants to move a mouse trap to somewhere away from his mouse hole. It isn’t so easy it could be… Simple little story, ok. ***+
Bedside Manner • novelette by William Morrison
Alien (unseen) doctor heals a married couple after disastrous (very disastrous, healing starts apparently about from cellular level) space accident. Story follows the wife, how has always been plain, and ponders if it would good or bad if she will be turned to beautiful due to regrowth process. Nice story, attitudes amusingly old-fashioned. Ending (true to form in this issue) is nothing surprising. ***½