Thursday, January 29, 2009

Galaxy July 1954

Pretty average issue. Sheckley’s story is fine, other stories aren’t very good. I am reading the serial, and I am going the review it in a separate post when I have finished it.
A Thief in Time • novelette by Robert Sheckley
Nice time travel story. A professor of a technical high school from fifties is brought to justice in future for crimes he will do at a later time. And very strange crimes, stealing assorted low value artifacts. Why did he steal those things? A bit of paradox of a story (in many levels), but fine nevertheless. Not perhaps one of the best by Sheckley, but very fine anyway. ****
This Side Up • shortstory by Raymond E. Banks [as by R. E. Banks ]
Aliens have come to earth after an atomic war, and they have somehow slightly misunderstood the human life cycle. They themselves are born as old, and grow younger by the time, until they disappear to nothingness. So, they think that life is similar for humans, too. The aliens are supposed to think that humans are exactly similar to them, but they eat through their ear. Also, for some strange reason one lone human is alive in a respirator. One joke story, which really doesn’t have content for its’ length, there are just far too many really stupid implausibilities. **
Green Thumb • novelette by Clifford D. Simak
A man finds an intelligent alien plant which is able to move and communicate by transmitting and receiving feelings. Especially the beginning, where there is some mystery about what is going on is very good. Alas, the ending isn’t as fine, as the story is just too nice and comfortable. The alien plant turns out to be super benevolent, intelligent, but naïve being, who is just so sad when humans use and kill plants. ***
What Rough Beast? • shortstory by Jefferson Highe
Children are learning psi-powers like teleporting and mind-reading. At the same time flying saucer sightings are growing so common, that it is a bother to report them to military as it is expected. A bit clumsy story, not really enough content for even a shortish short story. **½
Felony • shortstory by James Causey
Unlikeable foreman hires a new worker, who is very quiet, but competent. For fairly obscure reasons he starts to suspect that the new worker is a Martian. Well, he just turns out to be a reject from another dimension who is trying to get back there. Not very good, no real surprises, the end “twist” is really stupid – not that the character wouldn’t have earned his fate. **½

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