Monday, April 13, 2009

Galaxy September 1954

Pretty good issue, all stories were entertaining at least, none irritatingly childish or old-fashionable.

The Man Who Was Six • novelette by F. L. Wallace
A man wakes up in a hospital without any clear memories, later he somehow finds himself to a house, where there is a woman who feels like his wife. But then he gets memories of an another wife, and other memories which seem to belong to several different people. It turns out that he has been on a severe accident where several people were killed, and he is partly a composite of them.
The premise is ok, but the story is a bit overlong. The end is worse than the first part. Also, some qualities he is supposed to have acquired are a bit implausible and even irritatingly stupid. ***
A Start in Life • novelette by Arthur Sellings
A small group of children is taught by robots. There seems to be no adults around. Naturally the children ask a lot of questions, and the robots are not necessarily answering all of them, at least not with complete honesty. Ending is pretty obvious, nothing really surprising or special. ***-
Dusty Zebra • novelette by Clifford D. Simak
Have you ever lost something you just put down? Have you ever found something strange- something you don’t have any clue how to use, or even what the item is? A man finds a way to swap small items with a another dimension or planet - he doesn’t know which - he just puts a small item on his table, and it is swapped to something. Nice, simple story. The worst part is ending- there really isn’t one. ****-
Milk Run • shortstory by Robert Sheckley
Small space transport company gets a job transporting animals from one colony to an another. There are some slight difficulties, however…
Small, humorous story. Not on par with Sheckley’s best. ***½
Shell Game • shortstory by Philip K. Dick
A group of survivors of space ship crash is living on planet. The secret unseen forces seem to haunt them with poisons and other unseen attacks. No wonder that the victims are starting to be a bit paranoid. Pretty typical Dick story, ending is a bit unsatisfying. ***½
Satan's Shrine • novelette by Daniel F. Galouye
An apparently immortal despot who rules the world lives in impregnable fortress and punishes any kind of attacks against him by missile attacks against guilty nations. A group of guerillas are making an attempt against his life - nor for the first time - in fact this is 93rd such attack. But will this one be finally a success? Pretty good story - not surprising - but interestingly told. ****

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