Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Galaxy Science Fiction November 1950

The second issue of Galaxy. Clearly better that the first issue (and better than the third issue). Interesting fact article about the history of the continents on earth. Continental drift theory is dismissed as impossible. :-)

Honeymoon in Hell • novelette by Fredric Brown
No more male children are born in Earth. The officials suspect an alien plot, and they draft two spacepilots, one male from US, and another a female from USSR to fly to the moon and test if it would be possible to conceive a male child there. And the most important part of that plan is that they should get married as soon as possible. :-) And they get a case whiskey to make things smoother (!? was the author alcoholic? Only an alcoholic would think that a CASE of whiskey would be suitable dose of alcohol for two person for a week) Fairly simplistic but entertaining story. ***
Transfer Point • novelette by Anthony Boucher
A kind of meta-science fiction story. Some sort of alien attack is threatening earth, and most of the humans have died out, when the last man on earth finds a science fiction story which describes exactly the situation they are living up to names of the people. Really bad pulp writing, but it might be in part intentional. Not too good as a story anyway. **+
Misbegotten Missionary • shortstory by Isaac Asimov (aka Green Patches)
Expedition to another planet examines why an earlier expedition failed. The story is written from an interesting point of view. From a viewpoint which abhors all competition. Very good, above average Asimov story. ****
Coming Attraction • shortstory by Fritz Leiber
A future where all women have started to cover their faces as a fad, but that eventually has turned out to more or less compulsory. There has also been a third world war, and there are areas with high radiation. Nice mood piece which is well written. Not too much plot. ***
To Serve Man • shortstory by Damon Knight
Apparently very benevolent aliens have come to earth bearing gifts. Almost all of them have a copy of a book. Someone who doesn't entirely trust the aliens ultimately is able to translate the name of the book: “To Serve Man”. Eventually the contents of the book is also found out. All together now: “It's a cookbook”. ***½

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