Saturday, November 8, 2014

Galaxy Science Fiction, March 1955

An average issue, but not quite as bad as couple previous ones.

Project Mastodon • novelette by Clifford D. Simak
Three men have invented time travel and travelled to a distant past. They try to sell past to military as a source of raw materials and a refugee area in case of the war, but they are laughed away. They return to the past and have an accident. Meanwhile the military learns that there really is a way to get to the past and gets very interested. Fairly little happens in the story and what happens happens very slowly. A pretty overlong but readable story. ***+
The Candle Lighter • shortstory by Frederik Pohl
A man who has been fighting for the human rights of Martians is appointed as the emissary of the humanity. He is keen to making some changes but the first thing he is supposed to do is an execution of a Martian. As he hasn't bothered to learn anything about the Martian culture he faces some hard learning. A pretty stupid story with even stupider characters. ***-
Dulcie and Decorum • novelette by Damon Knight
Two friends start to suspect that spelling mistakes contain information. But what, from where and why? Overlong, but the ending is rushed and the "secret " is just told by the author - the protagonists themselves won't learn it.**
One Way • shortstory by Miriam Allen deFord (variant of One-Way Journey)
The only son of a couple is selected for a secret mission where only top 200 students of the world is selected. His girlfriend and mother have a plan. She will get a child by the son, so the family will have something. But the baby will be born out of marriage! Horrible! An elaborate plan is needed. Pity that the women have forgotten how the government keeps track of its citizens, but thankfully the husband is smart and is able to find a solution. A pretty stupid story with badly outdated attitudes. It is surprising that even in far future the attitudes are exactly similar that those on 1950s US. **+
Who? • novelette by Theodore Sturgeon (variant of Bulkhead)
A man is having the final test before getting the command of interstellar starship. He must endure a long lone space journey. There is another person on the same ship, but he is behind an impenetrable wall. He could contact him by a press of a button. For some poorly defined reason he is supposed to hold out as long as possible before making the contact. When he finally makes the contact he is due to surprise. Not bad, writing good for its’ era, but the story is overlong with too much psychological non sense. **½
Big Stupe • shortstory by Charles V. De Vet
A ship from Earth has arrived at an almost unknown planet. They are supposed to create good relations, as the planet contains some rare elements worth mining. The natives are little apprehensive, but they seem to warm up and even give earthmen a goofy and stupid monkeylike animal as a pet. A short, simple and pretty stupid story which depends on a stupid end “reveal”. **+

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