Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Galaxy Science Fiction January 1952

The first part of Demolished Man takes about half of the magazine. There are classics among the rest of the stories.

Dead End • shortstory by W. Macfarlane [as by Wallace Macfarlane ]
Consciousness can be transferred to a “pseudo-life” body, which is otherwise perfect, but has no creativity at all. And the real humans are becoming extinct…Also, eating in public is considered horribly indecent. I really didn’t get why those two totally unrelated ideas were combined in this story. The writing was average. **-
The Girls from Earth • novelette by Frank M. Robinson
The colonies have few women, as many of the men have left the earth in search of adventure. The earth has a surplus of women. As men can’t make food, wash clothes or clean houses, and the ultimate goal of all women is to get as good a man as possible (and if they don‘t succeed in that mission, they turn to bitter spinsters who will want to forbid everything), things aren’t going well. Laughably old fashionable attitudes. **½
The Furious Rose • shortstory by Dean Evans
A man is facing execution (or rather personality stripping). His wife is going has a compulsory divorce after that act. There is some pointless ritual of giving a red rose for the victim before the execution. I didn’t really get the point of the story if there was any. The writing wasn’t too good, either. *½
The Addicts • shortstory by William Morrison
A couple lives on an isolated asteroid tending an important space beacon. Rock eating creatures of some sort have invaded the asteroid and there seem to be no chance of long term survival. The husband is using a drug that removes all troubles (supposedly having no effect at all to rational brain functions), and is almost looking forward to his death. The wife tries to convince her husband that without the drug he might be able to find a way to get rid of the creatures. There is a way: they give the “happy pills” for the aliens, and they practically line up to be shot. Felt a little like something by Sheckley, but worse. ***-
Hallucination Orbit • novelette by J. T. McIntosh [as by J. T. M'Intosh ]
Being alone in space causes "solitosis". That is a kind of psychosis with clearly defined hallucinations of different sorts. Ord has spent months on an asteroid, and he has been visited by several beautiful women, and he has always been able to find out that those have been only hallucinations. The latest beauty‘s spaceship seems surprisingly real. Could she be real? (yeah, she is, but she isn’t beautiful, she is an elderly doctor, who has come to check Ord’s health - her looks was the hallucination). ***

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