Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, October 1971

Hierarchies (Part 1 of 2) • [Interstellar Security] • serial by John T. Phillifent
I was reading this magazine from a kind of shady digital file which, for some strange reason, didn’t contain titles at all. This is the first part of a serial; if I had known that, I most likely would not have read it at all. Two agents are on a mission on an old planet which used to have high technology but has stagnated and most of the inventions have been forgotten. Now, Earth has contacted the planet, and things are changing. The monarch, who has absolute power, sees that things are changing and must change and work together with Earth’s representatives. It happens that the crown jewels are some sort of still functioning relics of extremely high technology and the monarch conspires with the agent for the jewels to be transported to Earth for careful study. In return, he gets a major program of financial and schooling aid for his planet. As a cover up, the duo gets another present: a rare breed of pet which formerly had been owned only by the royal family and they are supposed to take that to Earth as a gift. A human young woman who has a detailed knowledge of the animal joins them. She is very beautiful, but has a very plain speaking voice, so she must be very stupid and simple-minded. When they leave for the spaceport (a long surface travel), someone seems to follow them and eventually even manages to kidnap the woman. She is easily recovered with the use of modern weapons and armor though. Not bad, but the attitudes are pretty strange. I really, really hope that the arrogant and fairly stupid males will be shown their places by the woman. ***+
The Golden Halls of Hell • novelette by John Paul Henry
A woman, who is a neglected housewife and almost forgotten mother who had to abandon her studies when she got married is contemplating a suicide. She has planned everything very meticulously so that her death will look like an accident. Then a strange, very distraught man arrives to her doorstep babbling something strange. It almost seems as if he comes from past and claims to have been in hell after committing suicide. The next day, another man arrives, looking for the first one. And he comes from the future, and apparently knows the woman very well by her reputation. But, as she has no reputation whatsoever, not many people know her and even fewer seem to care about her, so how she could have a reputation in the future? A very good story with nice characters and good writing. ****
Moon Spore • short story by G. I. Morrison
A strange disease seems to be spreading. It seems to be related to the moon dust brought by a moon mission. People are getting sick and there might be mass panic. A lot of discussions, fairly little action, and a fairly stupid ending. (The sickness makes people smarter and the political leaders get themselves infected.) **½
The Crier of Crystal • [Conscience Interplanetary] • short story by Joseph Green
All of a planet’s animal and plant forms are based on silicon, not carbon. They form crystalline forms and are mostly very toxic to humans, and humans are toxic to all of the animals on the planet. That doesn’t stop the predators, however. They haven’t yet learned that humans are not edible. There are strange sounds coming from the woods at nighttime - almost like unclear speech. That is something that must be investigated. Might there be some sort of intelligent life on the silicon planet? Not bad, in spite of the total implausibility of silicon life at room temperature. ***
Mr. Winthrop Projects • short story by Stephen Robinett [as by Tak Hallus]
A man has created a machine which projects mind waves which would cause people to buy things. A shady politician kidnaps him and wants to use the invention in elections, with the presidency in his mind. The inventor finishes his invention (with very much soldering - pretty quaint) then tests it. Testing a machine that affects the mind might have some small possibilities if you are forced to work on it in threat of violence. A pretty nice story. ***
Motion Day at the Courthouse • short story by Theodore L. Thomas [aka Ted Thomas]
A mobster is facing a trial. The mob boss is convinced that someone was informing the police, but no one but him was even aware of the job. It turns out that a young woman who works for prosecutor's office is able to read minds. Is her testimony admissible? Mostly a courtroom drama. Not bad, but some very anti-science attitudes left an extremely bad taste to my mouth. ***

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