Thursday, January 3, 2013

Galaxy Science Fiction, October 1951

Perhaps a below average issue. Some of the stories were adequate, but none was really good.

The C-Chute • novelette by Isaac Asimov
The chlorine breathing aliens have captured a human space ship. The surviving humans are being held as prisoners in the only room of the ship still filled with oxygen. Is there a way to escape to recapture the ship? After seemingly endless discussion by stereotypical and stupid characters a way is found, of course. The writing seemed better than in the Foundation I just read, but plotting was pretty bad, and there was one huge error in the orbital mechanics of the space ship. It is hard to believe that Asimov would make such an error. It is apparently enough just to change the orientation of the space ship to change the direction where it is going.***
Pleasant Dreams • shortstory by Ralph Robin
A former school friend comes to visit one of the most important men of the state: the Chief Watcher. He is important official who is in charge of the ever present surveillance of the authoritarian state’s citizens. Even the dreams can be eavesdropped and the former friends spend the night watching the dreams of the leader of underground. Until they see some pretty embarrassing imagery…and the evening doesn’t end well for either of them. Too short, not very well written, too stupid. **
Ambition • novelette by William L. Bade
A man is snatched to the future. A psychologist evaluates him to find out why the people of the past wanted to do so strange things – like travel to other planets. An average story, the writing wasn’t the worst of its’ time. The plot was fairly simplistic, though. **½
Spacemen Die at Home • shortstory by Edward W. Ludwig
The course of space cadets is graduating. A young man gets an offer f a teaching job, but he dreams of adventure. What is a mature choice? Will he follow the way of his idol, a veteran space man who has managed to get 24 hour leave for the graduation? A pretty good story. Unusual as it felt too short - the most stories of the era are too prolonged. ***
The Celestial Hammerlock • shortstory by Donald Colvin
A series of letters a wrestling manger send to his boss as they are sent by accident to a planet where there have been only intellectual amusements for generations. Naturally all women fell for muscular wrestlers and the wrestling becomes extremely popular. This story is beyond stupid in all possible ways. *½

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