Saturday, March 7, 2009

Analog January 1977

One of the worst Analogs I have ever read. Very light, overlong, and badly written stories, with usually a single “amusing” plot point if any.

Christmas Eve • shortstory by Alan Skinner
Two american astronauts who apparently have defected to Soviet Union after US space program was closed watch from orbit the launch of the first interstellar space ship. Simple, boring story. **
Yes, Virginia • shortstory by Allison Tellure
Another very simple, but boring, thankfully short story about the Santa Cause following mother and daughter (in future?). What was the point of this piece - if there was, I didn’t get it. **-
The Man Responsible • novella by Stephen Robinett
Pretty long story telling about an eccentric widow who feels that she has been swindled in investment deal for 160$. As she likes good legal battles, she hires her lawyer to investigate the company in question. Story is very noirish detective story bordering on (probably) unintentional parody of that genre. The science fictional content is fairly slight, and for most part very unnecessary. Very overlong, a good amount of tightening would have been a good idea. **
Alba Krystal • shortstory by Bud Sparhawk
Snow white and seven dwarfs in science fictional setting. Far too long for something which is essentially one joke story. **
The Missionaries' Position • shortstory by Hayford Peirce
A galaxy wide culture might have some need for human byrocrats, and earth gets good revenue out of them. Not very interesting story, once again badly overlong of its’ slight content. **
The Mildews of Mars • shortstory by Arsen Darnay
Another noirish detective story, this time the “hero” is industrial spy. Happens in a world where completely human looking androids, “surrogates”, are very common. Told in first person narrative. The story takes several times asides for lengthy infodumps about society and technology of its world. The hero seems pretty unlikable, and the ending is hardly a surprise for anyone who has ever read any science fiction. The writing is fairly clumsy, also. *½
Stepson to Creation • novelette by Jack Williamson
Might have been the best story in this issue, but that is not saying much. A throwback to 40s (or maybe even 20s) style of science fiction. There are several human races, the original humans are dying out, are called “premen” who have earlier created (with genetic manipulation) “trumen“, “mumen” and ultimately extreme powerful beings calling themselves (and acting like) gods. And that is not all - the last remaining premen have a legend of “multiman”, who will rescue the premen from the evil rule of later forms of man and from false gods. The story is even worse than it sounds. At times I thought it might have been a parody of a really old style of storytelling, but I believe this story was meant to be taken “seriously”. Would have seemed very old fashionable even in Galaxy magazines from 1954 I have been reading. **½

No comments: