Sunday, March 21, 2010

Astounding Science Fiction October 1954

Fairly oldfashionable stories. It seems that Analog's stories have aged less well than the stories from the Galaxy magazine.

The Big Rain • novella by Poul Anderson
An agent of Earth is sent to Venus to investigate the local conditions and human rights. Venus has seceded from Earth's influence and hardly any information concerning its conditions is known. The story starts as a fairly black and white scenario, where the main protagonist seems to be very arrogant. I thought that things would turn out to be less black and white eventually. Unfortunately, things turn out to be even more black and white, and the supposed ”hero” is a pretty irritating thug who beats up his wife before brainwashing her and kills loads of "evil" Venusians before escaping. The writing, especially in beginning, was pretty good and exiting, but the ending had too many long fight sequences. The characterization for most people was pretty bad, especially the main hero's spouse who has the character development of a badly drawn stick figure. ***½
The Deviant • short story by Everett B. Cole
A deviant has escaped to earth, and tries live here. Eventually, it turns out to be too hard and horrible, and he contacts the authority he is escaping from. And that's it. **
Training Aid • short story by Walter L. Kleine
The first space ship crew has gone through years worth of exercises. Then they must face the last and most realistic exercise ever. The ”exercise” is just what you would think, but the crew —consisting of apparent idiots— doesn't notice it. You would think that weightlessness would be a slight clue. **-
The Conners • short story by Edward Peattie
A scientist who is working for the army is always trailed by an armed guard. One day he clubs the guard on the head and escapes to his freedom. But he might not be so welcome in the civilian world. It is a story that is very much rooted in the cold war atmosphere and the fifties. And the scientist in question seems to be extremely dense.

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