Sunday, June 19, 2011

Analog Science Fiction and Fact June 1971

A fairly nice issue. A serial takes a lot of space. Read from iPhone during lunch-breaks.

Glory Day • [Telzey Amberdon] • novelette by James H. Schmitz
A telepathic woman is kidnapped with some of her friends and other people who happened to be on the same spaceship. A potential ruler of one planet was on the same ship, and the kidnappers what him to delinguish his power. Felt pretty similar that an earlier "Telzey Amberdon" story I have read. Telzey is kept as a prisoner in a large house with extensive gardens around it. Fairly ok, but there wasn't really much of suspence as Telseys psi-powers are so formidable that there apparently isn't anything she coudn't face. ****+
The Swan Song of Dame Horse • shortstory by Theodore L. Thomas 
A drug addict doesn't get high with his dose as he is supposed to. He goes after his pusher, but that doesn't really help. A scientist has developed something that might stop drug addiction once and for all. There are problems with the story, there were a few very jarring changes of viewpoint. And the plan the scientist had was in part fairly impressive for something in a story this early (genetic engineering), but how he was implementing it wasn't really logical (not to mention unethical). ***
The Habitat Manager • novelette by William E. Cochrane
A spaceprobe lands on another planet (to Mars apparently, sent by humans). All life of the planet works in unison to evaluate the probe, and to prevent it from finding the abundance of life on the planet. The idea is fairly good, but the alien characters are somewhat too human in spite of the external differences and the story is very badly overlong. **
With Friends Like These . . . • shortstory by Alan Dean Foster
This story was the reason I picked up this issue: I read a description of it from rec.arts.sf.written.
It is a pretty much ultimate Campbellian story where humans are by far better in everything than any alien race. Humans very narrowly lost a war thousands of years ago and they were confined to earth beyond an impenetrable barrier. But now a new very savage race has risen which is threatening all civilized planets of the galaxy and an expedition has been sent to find out if the very savage human race still exists and if it would be able to help in the fight. The landing party finds a very pastoral place where simple folk are tending farms with horses. Of course, appearances can be deceiving...Pretty fun story. I am fairly certain that it was written purposefully to press John W. Capbell's buttons. ****+

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