Sunday, September 12, 2010

Analog Science Fiction and Fact June 1974

I picked up this issue due to ben Bova's editorial, “Teaching Science Fiction", where he explores cluelessness among TV-producers and people who allegedly are teaching science fiction courses in universities without too much knowledge of the genre. One of the better editorials I have read. Otherwise fairly good issue, exellent serial, very good novella.

Aberrant • shortstory by Sydney J. Van Scyoc
Investigators arrive to evaluate a failed colony planet. Could it be used for a new colonization attempt? A real throwaway to fifties. Psi-powers, mutants persecuted for the genetic inferiority and so. The story wouldn't have really worked on 1952 and it didn't work now. Writing was fairly adequate, though. ***
The Four-Hour Fugue • shortstory by Alfred Bester
Mostly everything is pretty polluted and smelly. The most prosperous industry is the production of perfumes. (yeah, of course the best way the overcome toxic fumes is to add somewhat more to mask the smells.) The leading company is having trouble, as their most talented smell designer is having a dry spell. Their hire an investigator to find out why. Another fairly old fashionable story. Another with psi-powers in the same issue (?!). I have read better ones by Bester. Several, in fact. ***-
Death Sentence • shortstory by William T. Silent
A convict relives several murders from a victim's point of view. Very short, unsurprising story. **-
A Song for Lya • novella by George R. R. Martin
The native inhabitants have a religion which involves making a suicide by letting a parasite eat themselves alive. There are no other religions on the planet and every alien on the planet without any exceptions belong to that religion, and follows the same route. And every alien on the planet seems to be content and very happy. And now humans are turning to that religion in increasing numbers. A husband and wife team of telepaths arrive at a planet to investigate that problem. The husband is an empath, able to mainly feel emotions, Lyta, the wife is very sensitive telepath and is able to read minds. Events go to where you would be expecting, but writing is very good, and the story is really excellent. ****+

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