Thursday, November 24, 2011

Galaxy science fiction February 1953

A pretty average issue.

Four in One • novelette by Damon Knight
Four individuals who have been exploring an alien planet are digested by a strange creature, which absorbs everything but the brains. They are able to communicate with each other, and they are eventually able to take control of the creature. But as all characters are very different (a scientist, a secretary, a military man and a "moral officer" of an apparently more or less fascist style earth empire) it seems it is impossible to find a common goal? A pretty nice and entertaining story. ***½
Protective Mimicry • shortstory by Algis Budrys
The currency should be completely counterfeit proof. But how there can be several exactly similar banknotes including all stains on them? A fairly stupid story which has below average writing which depends on a stupid final twist. **
Saucer of Loneliness • shortstory by Theodore Sturgeon
A flying saucer touches a young woman and then disappears. Everyone tries to find out if the saucer sent her some sort of message. People suspect her, FBI interrogates her and puts a tail on her. She starts to send messages in the bottles on the shore. The story strives for poetic and beautiful writing and even succeeds in it at least for a measure. Pity that the “plot” doesn’t carry the writing – there hardly is any. **
Watchbird • novelette by Robert Sheckley
Thousands of robot planes which are able to generalize and learn are launched to prevent murder. Not only they are self-learning, they are able spread information between every unit, and soon they generalize the concept of "murder" a bit too much…Ok story, clearly below average for Sheckley. ***-
Know Thy Neighbor • shortstory by Elisabeth R. Lewis
A single girl who lives alone in an apartment and worries of not getting married - after all, she is already 27 - starts to suspect her neighbor is an alien. Well, she is right, she just is wrong about which neighbor. A pretty well and fluently written story, but the plot has holes and isn't very creative. ***-

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