Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Galaxy magazine August 1953

Pretty nice issue with mostly good stories.

Mind Alone • novella by J. T. McIntosh
A young woman has been brainwashed to lose all her memories and she has been altered surgically to be completely unrecognizable, and them dumped to Venus. She is placed to an mental institute, and after she slowly regains some basic memories the intelligence officers start to investigate her. Has she been modified by rebellious colony world, Murrane, for some strange reason? Pretty good story, interesting. The ending doesn't really work, however. The ”end reveal” is illogical and not really interesting. ***½
We're Civilized! • shortstory by Mark Clifton and Alex Apostolides
The first human spaceship lands on Mars, and declares all Mars belonging for humankind. Even when there are intelligent Martians present. When there is the official reception for the heroes of Martian expedition, an alien space ship lands on Earth, and seems to annex the earth. Nice one. ***½
Diplomatic Immunity • novelette by Robert Sheckley
A classic story. The apparently unkillable ambassador of apparently hostile alien race is calling the colonizing team. How to get rid of him? Nice, not best of Sheckley, but good anyway. ***½
The Trap • shortstory by Betsy Curtis
A very old woman gets visited by a very persistent salesman, who has some very amazing beauty products. She is not at all interested, even though the products seem to make wonders. And the salesman seems to be strangely persistent... Not very surprising or logical premise, and the ending really sucks. (The old woman has invented with another scientist the secret of preventing aging – and they have a contract that when they die, the invention reverts to public domain, and the company wants them to live forever. After she has been renewed against her will she is perfectly happy with invasion of her privacy) **
Minimum Sentence • shortstory by Theodore R. Cogswell
Two criminals escape jail term by hijacking an alien space drive. They plan to escape by the faster than light ship, but everything doesn't go as planned. (The engine is just a time machine which can move back in time, so that long lived aliens get home in time. The actual travel takes decades) ***
Stamped Caution • novelette by Raymond Z. Gallun
A Martian spaceship crashes. An egg is salvaged from the wreck, and a Martian grows out of it. A few years later humans start an expedition to Mars, and they take to martian with them. Slowly the prejudices between two races are conquered. Pretty good story which preaches for tolerance. Pretty different in style than the stories which were common in Astoundings from the same time period, where the normal way was just to blow up everything alien. ****-

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