Thursday, November 21, 2013

Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, September 1971

An ok issue with stories which are readable in spite of somewhat conservative attitudes at places. The editorial is in the same vein, telling among other things how horrible it is that environmentalists demand unleaded gasoline.

Wheels Within Wheels • [LaNague Federation] • novelette by F. Paul Wilson
The most of the story is told by a flashback: a man who had inherited a successful enterprise takes a sabbatical and journeys to little known planet. It is inhabited by hybrid humans who have a very fatalistic view of life. They are subjected to racial prejudice by fully human colonists who have arrived the planet centuries after the first colony, but due to their view of life, they really don’t care. The ex-businessman decides to make the situation better. He seems to be on the verge of succeeding when he is found dead. Apparently, the aboriginals have killed him, and they even admit it. They have never before been violent, but they have never lied about anything, either. When asked for a reason for the homicide the just answer “wheels within wheels” which is the catchphrase of their philosophy/religion. The daughter of the man arrives at the planet much later to find out what happened. A pretty good story, well written and interesting. The ending was perhaps too simple and straightforward. ***½
The Fine Print • novelette by John T. Phillifent
An alien ship from a planet who sells some extremely valuable medical supplies to humans makes a landing on a space station. Usually all trade between humans and that race of aliens is only by proxy. It turns out that the aliens have very interesting but dangerous pets. Animals, which look just like beautiful women. The bulk of the story is about a trial following an unfortunate incident. The premise is preposterous, but story works fairly well. The trial takes too much time, however. ***+
To Make a New Neanderthal • shortstory by W. Macfarlane
A secret group of people who want to spread pollution (as it increases brain activity) takes a group of environmentalists where they probably want: to a planet with no pollution, no other people, no hardwood and no metals. ***-
Knight Arrant • shortstory by Jack Wodhams
A very sedentary planet is invaded by space pirates who steal all valuables, demand for the return of a mythical item which probably doesn’t even exist and start to round the better looking women for slavery. The “space police” finally arrives and the bandits withdraw. Unfortunately, they can’t spare any troops or ships and can’t leave any forces to uphold the peace. But they can leave training materials for combat training…it was a ploy all along. Some interesting attitudes here, but otherwise readable story. ***

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