Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Galaxy Science Fiction, March 1953

A very average issue with mainly very average and unsurprising stories.

The Old Die Rich • novella by H. L. Gold
Many old people die from hunger with a lot of money either on them or on banking account. Why are they not using their money to buy food? And their bank account books look very pristine and unused, but they are real - at least the deposits which have been made on them since the beginning of the century are on the banks. An actor who specializes in playing older people tries to find what is going on. Well, everyone who has ever read any science fiction naturally knows what is going on.
I had some qualms about this story before starting it: A story which is written by the editor of the magazine. In spite of this, the story was ok and didn’t suck. At least no more than an average story from the fifties. ***½
Games • shortstory by Katherine MacLean
A man who has imprisoned by the government as he doesn’t give up the secret of a super weapon he has developed somehow transfers his mind to a mind of a child. A pretty fragmentary and hard to follow story with not too good writing. **
Student Body • novelette by F. L. Wallace
A new colony has been established on a planet which according to the initial surveys was almost perfect. The planet is supposed to have a nice climate, fertile pastures and little animal life. Soon the colonists start to have a lot of trouble with different sorts of vermin which try eat food stores and edible plants. There is one (only ONE!?) scientist among the colonists who tries to find out what is going on, and tries to finds ways to fight against several sorts of animals the planet throws against the colony. A pretty ordinary story for fifties, average both in plot and writing. ***-
Secret of the House • shortstory by Anthony Boucher [as by H. H. Holmes ]
A young wife uses special spices to make impression to her gourmet husband. She uses exotic Venusian spices, but when she really wants to make an impression she has a secret: very well made food from good ingredients without any spices. Very, very fifties story in attitude, writing is standard quality. ***-
The Drop • shortstory by John Christopher
After a nuclear war a civilization has been established on other planets of the solar system and on asteroids. Earth is being used as a penal colony, from where no one returns. There is a conspiracy to overthrow authority, and a man gets sent to earth after he gets involved with the conspiracy partly unintentionally. But there is more to the conspiracy...it is a ploy to get the earth inhabited again. ***+
Horse Trader • novelette by Poul Anderson
Humans have established a “horse trading post” where different alien species can exchange ideas after negotiating what technologies or branch of sciences can be traded. The secrets of one species have been stolen and it demands retribution. The reputation of humans is at stake. A surprisingly boring story considering its fairly interesting premise, but it apparently strives for humor and doesn’t quite make it. **+

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