Sunday, October 31, 2010

Galaxy Science Fiction May 1952

A below average issue where most stories are well past their time.

Category Phoenix • novella by Lyle G. Boyd and William C. Boyd
US ( or the whole earth?) is ruled by a dictator. All occupations are very strictly defined and it is illegal to study anything which isn't clearly useful. For some reason the dictator seems to have time to meddle with affairs of single people and sometimes grants "free choices" and the recipients can use them do something of their own choosing. A professor has invented a way to stop aging process. ( the method and theory are surprising valid: the author almost predicts telomers their function in the aging process, and a method of genetic modification with a viral vector). Writing is average. Some details are a bit funny: 25 years old woman is young, beautiful and very sexy. Her twin sister who is 35 (without the treatment) is an old and ugly hag, really past her prime. ***
Lost Memory • shortstory by Peter Phillips (1920-)
Robots find an unknown type of robot which apparently has fallen down from the sky. It seems to be hurt, and doesn't first answer to any hails. It has a very curios design, and finding the central processing unit isn't easy. And when it starts to communicate, all it transmits seems to be gibberish, and it is trying to forbid the opening its carapace. Fairly average mildly amusing story, the writing was somewhat below average. ***+
Lover When You're Near Me • novelette by Richard Matheson
A man is having a work shift on an alien planet. He is supposed to supervise a trading station. His shift is only for six months - usually the work shifts are much longer. He has a live-in alien housekeeper, and at first everything seems to work fine. But the housekeeper can read minds and might have some plans of her own. Writing was average, the attitudes old-fashionable - the worst imaginable thing for a man would be to be controlled by a female. And the solution for the troubles what all the the supervisors have had would be totally obvious - if the alien housemaids always cause so much trouble, why they must have one? ***-
Wheels Within • shortstory by Charles V. De Vet
A contractor starts to have severe headaches and hallucinations. They start to involve the psychiatrist who is treating him and a mystic who is supposed to be able to heal him. There are a few not too surprising and fairly stupid twists and turnabouts. Writing is below average. **-
Freudian Slip • shortstory by Franklin Abel
A psychiatrist starts to suspect he has gone mad, as the earth becomes transparent. Soon he finds himself in a strange place psychoanalyzing a being, who is supposed to to remember earth, and who is starting to have memory lapses. Pretty strange story where neither the writing or the plot didn't impress me. Strange end-twist. Why some a supernatural near-god would have that kind of neurosis? **-
Garden in the Void • novelette by Poul Anderson
A young couple is prospecting asteroids, when they run to one which seems to have splotches of vegetation. They also find a stranded space ship, and finally a sole survivor who has gone a bit savage. Pretty old fashionable story with fairly sub average writing. And it funny when they dig limestone from an asteroid without batting an eyelid. **+

No comments: