Sunday, January 12, 2014

Galaxy Science Fiction, May 1951

Pretty average issue.

Bridge Crossing • shortstory by Dave Dryfoos
A young man lives in a ruined city. Several robots take care of him, feed him, change his diapers and protect him. He doesn’t remember ever seeing other humans. One day he meets a girl. At first he his confused: Can the new creature be taken apart as easily as the robots? A very basic and probable worn plot even in 1952. **
Hostess • novelette by Isaac Asimov
A visiting alien scientist comes as a guest to the family of a female scientist and her police officer husband. The husband isn’t very happy about an alien houseguest. It turns out that humans are the only intelligent species who stops growing. And the only species, which dies from the old age. The alien seems to have a special interest to some unusual details of human life; like the missing person's bureau. That’s apparently something which doesn’t happen on any of the alien planets, as everyone is instinctively aware where their loved ones are at any time. A fairly nice story, where the plot is told for most part by long discussions. Slightly overlong. ***+
Man of Destiny • shortstory by John Christopher
A man crash lands on an alien planet. He encounters friendly aliens and establishes himself as a god-ruler. He tries to introduce steam power and other inventions, but the aliens aren’t too enthusiastic about inventions. Finally the man comes to a realization: the sedentary lifestyle of the simple farmers is pretty nice, after all. ***
Ask Me Anything • novelette by Damon Knight
A powerful alien artifact ends up in a military training camp where young men are being transformed to powerful, android warriors who fear nothing. That is achieved by very rigid training where all information and knowledge is given in very calculated manner. So a device which answer all questions totally truthfully is kind of distractive. The leader of the training camp decides to use the device to created powerful weapons and FTL drive to get power for himself. Of course, there might be a catch somewhere. Ok story, a bit too detailed explanations of the tech involved, but otherwise tolerable story. The writing was average. ***

Btw, I have now read and reviewed every issue of the first four years of the Galaxy magazine.

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