Saturday, February 17, 2018

Galaxy Science Fiction, November 1955

The last Galaxy magazine I read was pretty good. This one was pretty bad. Only the story by Dick was somewhat readable. The others were pretty shite.

The Semantic War • short story by Bill Clothier
An argument breaks up, first in universities, soon spreading across the nation. After a while, the whole country is divided and a civil war breaks out, eventually destroying everything. But one man who took no sides still doesn’t know what either faction wanted. A rather undeveloped story. There were chances for so much more. **½
Autofac • novelette by Philip K. Dick
Apparently, there has been a war. The war has ended; everything is produced by huge autofactories. People would like to take the production into their own hands before the factories “use up the natural reserves” (I don’t exactly understand how they would use more reserves than the production done by humans, as the factories apparently are extremely good at recycling). The humans try to stop the factories, at first, they have little success and later there are some slight drawbacks. A fairly good story in spite of unbelievably stupid protagonists. It was easily the best in issue, but that doesn’t take a lot... ***
Cause of Death • short story by Max Tadlock
A man wants to experience death. He learns to control his heart rate and eventually stops it - with results to be expected. A stupid story, but the writing itself wasn’t the worst in this issue. **+
Warrior's Return • short story by Robert Sheckley
A man returns to his hometown. He apparently has almost superhuman talents: he can levitate, tell the future and destroy almost anything. A recent war has been fought mostly by his contributions. His old friends all seem to want something: stock tips, healing disease. Can he live a normal life? The story ends too soon and too simplistically. Worst story by Sheckley I have read. **½
With Redfern on Capella XII • novelette by Frederik Pohl [as by Charles Satterfield]
A man has lived on an alien planet and has some familiarity with the planet’s pretty strange aliens. A group of traders arrive and plan to use some extortion to get better trade terms. Not a very good idea, especially with aliens. A badly overlong, very talky and extremely stupid story and the writing is on the same level as the plotting. (This was by Pohl? No wonder he used a pseudonym) **

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