Monday, July 20, 2015

Galaxy Science Fiction, May 1955

A pretty average or slightly above average stories for the time.

The Dreaming Wall • novelette by Gerald Pearce
The first man who has been evaluating new archeological findings on an unexplored planet has killed himself. For some strange reason it is customary that the first evaluation is done by one man. Now two men are trying to find out what happened. And then the dreams start... A pretty simple story which is badly overlong especially considering pretty lackluster payoff. A lot of space is used on discussions about psychological ratings. Every member of the space corps has a rating, and that is apparently public knowledge. The men spend a lot of time discussing those ratings and whose has gone down or up. ***
The Aggravation of Elmer • shortstory by Robert Arthur
A child genius has invented some extraordinarily inventions- it doesn't end well. A short and pretty stupid. **
The Middle of Nowhere • shortstory by Frederik Pohl
Humans have a few colonies on Mars. Martians wage a kind of guerrilla style war. The word comes that another town has been attacked. The main colony must send a rescue effort, but time is running out. Should they use the sandcars, which usually are attacked by the Martians? A readable story, but I was rooting for Martians who were fighting for their world and not for fairly stupid humans - I don't believe I was supposed to do that. ***
Sam, This Is You • novelette by Murray Leinster
A telephone repairman gets a call from his future self. He wishes to get rich, but he and his girlfriend seem to be morons without a slightest grasp of time. A light, but overlong, story with irritating and extremely childish characters who behave in baffling manner. ( for example, for the girl the fact that she once got a bug inside her dress is a huge secret and she gets very angry when her boyfriend’s future self knows about that. Really?)***
Competition • shortstory by James Causey
Explorers go to find out why a colony on a new planet failed. It seems everyone is dead after internal fighting. They start their studies, but don’t find any pathogens. They continue as it is imperative that there would be a new place for those who live in the overcrowded Earth. But somehow games start to take more and more of their times – but some members of the expedition seem to be cheating, which cause more and discord. And eventually fighting. And murders. The story is told as a diary, which makes the fairly worn idea work at some level. The writing wasn’t the best, though. ***-
A Woman's Place • novelette by Mark Clifton
A woman is travelling back to earth on a spaceship. The warp engine malfunctions and they end on an alternate earth with no human habitation. The men try to work towards returning home while the woman starts to prepare for living on the planet. She starts to plan for future generations, also. (and collects wild maize and tomatoes - both plants with no wild forms which would have anything to do with cultivated breeds) But they are able to return. The woman is dying from embarrassment as she already made a certain proposition to the men. It is SO horrible, what they must think! Luckily, she is able to explain that as a result of sickness, so everything is alright. But now she knows what the real purpose of women is! To bear as many children as possible at a new world! Pretty quaint little story. So dated it is pretty funny. The writing is fairly nice, as can be expected of Mark Clifton. ***

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