Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Galaxy Science Fiction, July 1953

A fairly good novelette by Simak, otherwise a fairly average issue at best.

Kindergarten • novelette by Clifford D. Simak
A man has moved countryside after a diagnosis of terminal cancer. One day he finds a strange machine nearby his house. The machine gives him a statue made of jade. A young woman who lives nearby gets a small bottle of eloquent perfume. Soon other people stat to come and everyone gets something - something which they have hoped. Then the machine starts to build something, and military gets very interested in what is going on. At the same time the polio epidemic which has been going on disappears suddenly. The military starts to suspect that the man has something to do with the alien machine and captures him. After through study they are convinced that the man is human after all and relax so much that man is able to escape. He has a powerful compulsion to return to the site. He meets the young woman from the next door from his cottage, and she also has the compulsion to return. They return. Meanwhile the military has tried to attack the now gigantic building which has appeared without any success. The couple gets inside feel welcome, and start learning things - in "kindergarten".
A very good story, style is somewhat similar as in Wayststion. the writing especially in the beginning is excellent, towards to the end it seemed to decay somewhat and could have tighter. For example, the waning of the polio epidemic is mentioned over and over again and there are other places where writing could have tighter and things are repeated without a clear reason. But as a whole an excellent story. ****-
Caretaker • shortstory by James H. Schmitz
A man has been shipwrecked on a planet for years. He believes that there are humans living there, and there are being exterminated by aliens. He is crazy and sees one tribe of aliens as humans most of the time, when he is somewhat more lucid he has been killing members of the tribe as hostile aliens. And he wonders why the strange human tribe doesn't want have anything to do with him...A below average story. **½
Home Is the Hunter • shortstory by Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore
The measure of the man is how many heads he has hunted in the Central Park. And you also get all the heads the victim has managed to gather. A man who is fairly close to the top of the ranking gets upstaged has another competitor makes a valuable kill. But he has a clever plan to get to the top in one sweep. The writing is pretty good, the plot is average. ***
The Weather on Mercury • novelette by William Morrison
A rescue mission has landed on Mercury to find an eccentric scientist who has been prospecting there.
The crew takes potshots against supposedly sentient natives and behaves otherwise stupidly, then there is some rain and hail, some strange happenings and a fair amount empty talking. A very bad story on many levels. Overlong, badly written with stupid characters and even sillier plot. *½
A Bad Day for Sales • shortstory by Fritz Leiber
The first automatic robotic salesman has started operation. It sells things for women, men and children, and people a flocking it because it is a novelty. Then the city is hit by a missile and is almost destroyed, and partly destroyed robot still tries to push its merchandise. Wtf? What was the connection with the robot and bomb?. Writing as such was fairly nice, especially after the turd before this story. ***-
Green Grew the Lasses • shortstory by Ruth Laura Wainwright

Women from small community turn green. It is some sort of stupid Venusian plot which is eventually easily averted. Writing as itself is pretty nice, plot is rotten. **½
Soldier Boy • novelette by Michael Shaara
Human colonies have been attacked and destroyed, and the fail safe bomb implanted under all colonies has been disabled beforehand. The military has decayed after centuries of peace and men are untrained and the warships are old and rare. The setting sounds fairly nice, but the story is very bad and writing isn't much better and could have much tighter and less rambling. **-

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