Saturday, January 31, 2009

Analog October 1977

Unusual issue. Two serials, one concluding, one starting. I usually don’t read serials from old magazines if there isn’t some really special about them, and there doesn’t seem to be in neither of these. Only two stories, one very good, another so-and-so.

Dog Day Evening • shortstory by Spider Robinson
A bearded guy comes to Callahan’s bar with a dog, claiming that his dog can talk. Hilarity, bad puns, tall tales and so on ensues.
One of the better Callahan stories, really enjoyable and fun piece. ****
The Ultimate Arbiter • shortstory by Eric Vinicoff and Marcia Martin
A perfect treatment for cancer has been developed. The only catch is that the treatment needs a lot of clones which will suffer painful procedures. Is that ethical or not? The main point of story is legislatory wrangling and several politicians competing with each others. Boring! Really boring, especially as the premise in itself is fairly interesting, but however, the biological premise also doesn’t hold water from scientific viewpoint on many different levels. The writing in itself is average. **½

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