Sunday, May 31, 2009

Analog Science Fiction and Fact August 1967

A little bit older issue this time. Surprising good stories, Mack Reynolds’ story screams for a reprint.
Starfog • novella by Poul Anderson
Previously unknown humans arrive from a previously unknown area of galaxy. The newcomers are physiologically a bit different, and they don't volunteer for genetic testing, so their human ancestry can not be verified. The area they claim to originate consists of stars which are very closely packed together, and with a lot of interplanetary dust, so navigation is next to impossible in that area. They would need some help to get home, but there is some suspicion, if they even are human. They are eventually able to join an expedition to that area, but is there some ulterior motive for that expedition? And are they able to find their way to home - and are they even human? Pretty good story, but some needless naive romance could have been toned down. ****-
Babel II • shortstory by Christopher Anvil
A bit fragmented, and even confusing story about how the language increasingly differentiates because the experts are experts in increasingly narrow subjects, and use more and more specialised vocabulary. Interesting idea, but for some reason the story didn't really impress me. ***-
The Featherbedders • novelette by Frank Herbert
Shape shifting aliens, who are thinking about invasion/colonization are exploring a small rural community, and there seems to be something very strange going on. Well written, amusing and even exiting story. Ending is the worst part and doesn't completely fulfil the expectations. ****-
Cows Can't Eat Grass • shortstory by Walt Richmond and Leigh Richmond
A single survivor of a space accident falls on a planet, where there are no edible plants. For their surprise the rescuers find an alive survivor. Is he an impostor? Or is he under alien influence? Pretty ok story, nothing surprising. ***½
Depression or Bust • shortstory by Mack Reynolds
Depression of all times has started - and everything the government does, seems just to make it worse. But maybe a very through study of the origins of depression might give some pointers, how it would be possible to turn the tide. Extremely timely story - someone should reprint this! Some shades of Probability Zero stories, but good anyway - might even be better now that in 1967. ****+

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