Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Galaxy June 1954

Pretty nice issue, fairly good stories, especially that written by Sheckley. No real stinkers.

Gladiator at Law (Part 1 of 3) • serial by Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth
First part of a serial. I’ll write a complete review this when I have read all of the parts. Takes a while to start, in beginning changing viewpoints made it hard to grasp what character was what (I REALLY suck when I try to remember names of story characters - or real people)
Something for Nothing • shortstory by Robert Sheckley
A classic. A lazy man finds a machine which seems to make all whishes come true. It is pity that someone tries to get it away from him, so it’s best to make a lot of wishes very soon fast. But almost nothing comes without a price… ****½
High Man • shortstory by Jay Clarke
Rich British woman’s fiancée is journeying in America, and doesn’t answer her letters. When he finally answers he tells a preposterous tall tale of an English professor with an antigravity belt. Surely that is just a desperate way to get more money, especially as the said professor is in London. Ok, not too bad story, writing so and so, but main idea isn’t too bad, ending nice. ***½
Down Among the Dead Men • novelette by William Tenn
There has been a been war for several years or decades against alien bugs. The space fleet of earth needs a lot of new recruits, and there just doesn’t seem to enough men, even when all the women try to be pregnant all the time. But there is a new technology which is able to revitalize the flesh of the dead soldiers. The first few attempts, with very zombie-like appearance, were not exactly a success, but new models are starting to be look very nice…Good story, especially the beginning and middle. Those parts, especially the middle were humorous and good storytelling. Pity that the ending went to the direction of melodrama and pathos - and far too far in there. ****-
See? • shortstory by Edward G. Robles, Jr.
With a retrogressing gun you can wipe person’s memories and personality to the level of three to four year old. And they are very commonplace. The main protagonist is a man who has been retrogressed and tries to learn who he has been, and why someone has wiped away his memories. Retrogressing is also pretty common form of “suicide”, so he might even have done it himself. Pretty exiting, a bit overlong story, which happens in a strange, poorly rationalized world. Murder is very rare, and police takes it very seriously - but they couldn’t care less about retrogressed persons. I don’t think there would be much difference between murder or retrogressing in reality, at least from the point of view of an individual in question. ****-

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