Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Galaxy Science Fiction November 1952

Pretty varied issue – Asimov's novella was pretty good, but many of the shorter stories are pretty much past their due date.

The Martian Way • novella by Isaac Asimov
A Martian colony is threatened by a politician from earth who wants to stop space flight as it spends the water of earth. It would take only about million years to spend almost one percent of all water in the worst case scenario. The colony has its own approach. ****
Warrior Race • shortstory by Robert Sheckley
A spaceship has run out of fuel and must stop on a primitive planet to find reserve fuel left behind years ago. Too bad that the primitive aliens consider that fuel dump as a sacred site and are ready to fight to protect it. Their method of fighting is somewhat unnerving - they suicide until the enemy is unnerved. A nice story, about average for Sheckley. ****-
Sugar Plum • novelette by Reginald Bretnor 
The Victorian manners are in style. A man buys a planet and plans to bring his Property there. The planet has an strange effect - it relaxes inhibitions. For extremely small amount. A light story with not much of a point with fairly mediocre writing. **-
A Thought for Tomorrow • shortstory by Robert E. Gilbert
A man is in a mental hospital. He imagines that he can travel in time and space. His treatment is very brutal, and then the inevitable happens. Another boring and predictable story. **
The Altar at Midnight • shortstory by C. M. Kornbluth
A man is having a drink. Another with a face full of broken veins comes in. He takes him under his wing and treats him very well. There is a minor, very minor twist. Short, fairly pointless story. **-
The Misogynist • interior artwork by Karl Rogers
A man starts to suspect that women belong to an alien race. A story with one - not too good – joke. **+
Runaway • shortstory by William Morrison
A boy escapes from his school to stowaway on a spaceship. A very simplistic story which isn't saved by a fairly meaningless end twist: the boy isn't human, he is an android. **
Command Performance • novelette by Walter M. Miller, Jr.
A suburban housewife seems to have it all - a nice home, a well to do husband and a couple of beautiful children. When she starts to hear a voice in her head, she first thinks that she is losing her mind.
A mind reading / mutant story with unsurprising ending, but is pretty well written and entertaining. ***½

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