Monday, March 14, 2011

Galaxy Science Fiction, December 1952

Homesick • shortstory by Lyn Venable
The first expedition to another star returns. The astronauts are really eager to escape their confined ship.It turns out that they have become allergic to almost everything. A simple nice story with some interesting structural tricks (which I spoiled with this review).
The Reluctant Weapon • shortstory by Howard L. Myers
An extremely powerful ancient civiliazation has abandoned a sentient weapon. Much much later another alien race wants to use it against humans. The weapon must first familiarize itself with someone who belongs to the enemy and a human male, who has been snatched at random from earth is brought to it. What is almost invitable happens. A fairly clumsy story.
The Leech • shortstory by Robert Sheckley [as by Phillips Barbee ]
A creature that is able to convert matter to energy and energy to matter at will threatens earth. No wonder Sheckley didn't use his own name on this. Pretty stupid and mediocre story. I wonder why the creature enjoyed “the rich energy” of attacks against it, as even the energy of nuclear weapons would be totally insignificant compared energy gained from even the smallest direct matter-to-energy conversion.
 Cost of Living • shortstory by Robert Sheckley
There are a lot of nice work saving machines available. And you can get them on credit on very affordable terms. You don't have to sign off more than thirty years of your children's future earnings for the dept. A minor Sheckley, but still good and timely.
The Deep • novelette by Isaac Asimov
All life on a planet which rotates a dead sun has retreated underground. When even the internal heat of the planet is dying, the inhabitants try to find a new world. They use a sort of mental projection to evaluate if Earth would be a suitable place and if the inhabitants are worth of co-operation. Unfortunately, the original inhabitants have some extremely disgusting habits: they take personally care of their children, they even know who they parents are and they have not even rudimentary telepathic skills. Clearly there can be no contact whatsoever with such creatures. An average Asimov.

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