Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Galaxy Science Fiction October 1952

Uneven issue. The lead novella is excellent, other stories less so.

Baby Is Three • novella by Theodore Sturgeon
An adolescent boy comes to psychiatrist's office. He wants to remember what he has done and why. The main story is told in flashbacks. He turns out to belong to a very special group of very special children. They are a “gestalt” who is still growing up. Extremely good and well written story, which is basis for one of the best science fiction novels of all time, More Than Human. ****½
Zen • shortstory by Jerome Bixby
A research team finds a living alien from an asteroid. The asteroid is a remnant of the fifth plane which exploded thousands of years ago. The race is incredibly tough and is able to survive in the vacuum indefinitely. One surviving specimen - male - had been found earlier, and that one is traveling with the expedition. The newly discovered alien is a female. A pretty predictable outcome happens. ***-
Wait for Weight • shortstory by Jack McKenty
A research project is trying to find a perfect rocket fuel. There is a four dimensional answer. Pretty boring story, nothing really special in it. **+
Halo • novelette by Hal Clement
There are some sort of being living between the stars, who cultivate organic molecules on planet for food. A youngster has been responsible for taking care of solar systems, and has failed spectacularly: he managed to explode the fifth planet, and by doing that has created an obstacle that can not be passed. An average story that suffers from two dimensional thinking: if there is an asteroid belt in the plane of ecliptic, it should be extremely easy to approach from “up” or “down” direction. ***-
Tree, Spare That Woodman • shortstory by Dave Dryfoos
Extremely strange story. There are alien mind reading trees invading cabins on an alien planet. Not too well written and pretty confusing story. **+
Game for Blondes • shortstory by John D. MacDonald
An alcoholic has killed his wife by drunk driving. He continues to drink, but has some very strange delirious visions. Another confusing story with some time travel elements. **+
A Little Oil . . . • novelette by Eric Frank Russell 
The third extrasolar expedition is returning. The two earlier ones have disappeared without a trace. The third one has had some trouble, also. They have lost several crew members, and hardly have enough to run the ship on the way home. There are severe tensions among the crew when they are approaching the point they should be able to see the sun. Are they going to the right direction? And some of the crew are behaving pretty strangely...Ok story, nothing special, the end twist was fairly lame. (one crew member was a famous clown to keep the morale up). **½

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