Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Galaxy Science Fiction January 1953

Not too bad issue, amusing tales which are quaintly old fashionable.

The Defenders • novelette by Philip K. Dick
The ultimate war has been going on for seven years. Americans have retreated to subterranean habitants while very intelligent and sophisticated robots wage the war above on the earth which has turned to an inhabitable wasteland. A group of soldiers would like to see the earth by their own eyes. The robots are very reluctant to allow that as the radioactivity is very lethal for humans. Or so they say. If I say that the story ends with very positive and optimistic way, it is easy to guess what is happening in the world above the caves. ***+
Teething Ring • shortstory by James Causey
An alien anthropologist who is doing field work on an American suburb makes a mistake and thinks that earth is much more advanced than it is. He leaves a neural amplifier behind him and an infant uses it. It is a pretty ineffective model though, it only cubes the iq score… nice little amusing simple tale reminiscent of Sheckley. ***
Life Sentence • shortstory by James V. McConnell [as by James McConnell ]
A man has murdered his wife and her lover. It was first murder for years and society finds a new way to punish him: it won't let him die. As frail and old, he has one more new year’s day without even knowing how long he has spent in a hospital. A fairly good story which strives for literate writing - doesn't quite make it – but is not bad. ***
The Inhabited • novelette by Richard Wilson
An alien invader inhabits minds of different people and likes it a lot. Until it goes to the mind of a schizophrenic and finds it is not able to get out and such people would trap his people if they were to invade. A fairly good story, very “oldstyle” but still entertaining. ***+
Prott • shortstory by Margaret St. Clair
A man is studying strange creatures resembling a poached egg. They appear in the space when the space ship travels at a certain speed. He manages to make telepathic contact with them, and they send strong messages about “-ing the –“, without really specifying what that means. The story is presented as a diary which has been recovered from space. The man has decided never to return to earth so that the aliens won't find the way there. Of course he doesn't manage. Not much point in this story, or I wasn't able to find it. **½

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