Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Galaxy November 1954

Not too bad. Some very good stories, but also some fairly ridiculous ones when taken from a modern perspective.
How-2 • novelette by Clifford D. Simak
Everyone uses "do it yourself" kits for everything. A man who has ordered a "do it yourself" for a robotic dog kit gets by a mistake a robot kit. When he has finished assembling it, the robot starts make new robots. Parodic or ironic story which can't decide just what it is parodying. The aim drifts from hollowness of life to government byrocracy to courtroom drama. Story goes bit too much all over, and it might have been better if it had concentrated more on fewer things to make fun off.
The Nostalgia Gene • shortstory by Roy Hutchins
A man who feels he has born too late uses a time machine to get to the time he wants to live in. And he trusts his secret to his grandchild who has similar likes. Begins fairly well, but seems that that the author didn't really know how to end the story. ***
The Laxian Key • shortstory by Robert Sheckley
AAA interplanetary decontamination service gets its' hands on an device what makes something for free. Too bad that the stuff it makes turns out to be pretty much worthless and they can't turn off the machine. Nice humorous story, not too logical but isn't supposed to be. ***1/2
The Music Master of Babylon • novelette by Edgar Pangborn
One of last men in the earth has lived alone years or decades in an abandoned museum. Slow moving story mirroring the slow life of the lonely man. Well written, melancholy story. ****
Up for Renewal • shortstory by Lucius Daniel
Rejuvenation treatments which take twenty years out for appearance are commonplace. The bad part is that each treatment takes 5 years out of the lifetime, so redoing the treatments are increasingly risky. Really ridiculous premise, really ridiculous execution. **-
The Age of Kindness • shortstory by Arthur Sellings
Everyone in earth is beautiful and intelligent. Everyone except one man, who is a some kind of throwback of evolution. A trip to Venus is being planned, and the lonely “ape-man” wishes to take part on it. Pretty stupid story, not too well written. **-
Big Ancestor • novelette by F. L. Wallace
There are different species of man living on different planets. It is supposed that all those were colonized by some mythical species of man eons ago, and now an expedition consisting of different species is trying to find the origin planet. Some of the species of man are supposedly more advanced than the others, but with same intelligence level. There are some more than a bit racist, slightly disturbing, undertones in the story, and author's concept of evolution is fairly weird. Writing wasn't too good either, and story is pretty irritating (and not in good way). **+

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