Monday, October 19, 2009

Galaxy December 1954




Not one of the better issues. Except for stories written by Sheckley all were very outdated stories.

Skulking Permit • novelette by Robert Sheckley
A small forgotten human colony is getting visitors from Earth for first time in centuries. Earth demands normal human behavior from all its' colonies. Unfortunately the colony world is really backward, and there aren't even any criminals, murders or any other things all civilized words are supposed to have, at least according to the few books which are available in the colony. So, one unfortunate man is ordered by the mayor to start a crime wave as soon as possible... Very good funny/ironic story. ****
Playback • shortstory by J. T. McIntosh
Discussion of time travel in a bar. One of patrons seems to a timetraveller. Not much happens, discussion isn't interesting. Boring and easily forgotten story. **
Uncle Tom's Planet • shortstory by Robert Sheckley
Slavery is permitted only if the enslaved race is clearly, demonstrably, inferior compared to enslaving race. Usually that is very hard thing to prove, but one arrogant species finds another, very inferior looking species. But everything might not be so constant always. Nice ironic story, rather short. ****-
Assignment's End • novelette by Roger Dee
A man has always has a peculiar effect to surrounding people, everyone seems to feel extremely nice around him. He starts to see hallucinations, and feel strange feelings. A story which has a bit paranoid feeling, but it ends up as being pretty much what you would be expecting, and not much else. Writing isn’t really special, either. **
Rough Translation • shortstory by Jean M. Janis
A scientist studies the lone returnee from Mars expedition who doesn't seem to be able to communicate anymore as he uses wrong strange words which seem to change meaning. Writing ok but plot is nothing very special. ***-
Joy Ride • shortstory by Mark Meadows
Everything is run by automatic machines. What happens if they start acting erratically?
Short, not surprising, mildly entertaining story. Storytelling from multiple viewpoints is fairly interesting. **½
Collector's Item • novelette by Evelyn E. Smith
The first expedition to Venus has landed – and straight away an alien captures the most good looking female. Luckily they are captured very fast, before anything indecent has time to happen, and the alien turns out to be telepathic and very helpful. But might he have some ulterior motive? Well, at least it doesn't occur to any member of expedition.
Very amusing (and not in any good way) story. Apparently one professor has single-handedly made the spaceship capable travelling to Venus, just by swindling a bit government resources and material. And that has pissed everyone so much that successful trip to Venus would not lessen the reaction. As a ship captain works a numbskull who has not even bothered to find out what is the length of the day on the planet he is travelling to. Other members of the expedition are at least as stupid, especially the women. The utmost stupidity and infantilism of the women is particularly strange as this piece was apparently written by a woman. But everyone is behaving like they would be on an expedition to Africa on the early 19th century. Everyone (even the alien) will get comeuppance, but that doesn't save the story. **-

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