Monday, April 2, 2018

Galaxy Science Fiction, January 1956

A pretty bad issue, with mostly mediocre stories that were past their time.

Brightside Crossing • novelette by Alan E. Nourse
A group tries to cross to sun side of Mercurius while it is closest to the sun. An old-timer, who once attempted the same thing, tries to warn them and tell his story. It was very bad (and apparently there was on psychological screen or training whatsoever before the trip). But it is so glorious and manly and brave that he wants to take part in the next attempt, also. A pretty standard adventure story, with some stupid overtones. ***
The Dwindling Years • short story by Lester del Rey
Immortality treatments have been in used for a while. A man goes for his treatment and it turns out that there is a limit for how many treatments can be done for one person and he is one of the first people to reach the limit. A lot of discussion and pondering, but family (which had been partly forgotten) comes first. The writing was okay, but some condensing would have been welcome. ***-
Junior • short story by Robert Abernathy
Aliens who resemble sea anemones discus their son, who is still carefree and swimming around. They think that it is high time that he finds a nice rock, decorate it so that it would catch a nice girl and settle down on the rock for rest of his life. But he has a plan… He assembles a platform on wheels so that he isn’t confined to one place. A pretty stupid story, but I have read worse... ***-
The Body • short story by Robert Sheckley
A man who has been critically ill was transferred to a dog’s body. There are some adjustments needed for everyone involved. A pretty stupid and short story, but the idea couldn’t have carried anything longer, but there was some humor to be found. ***
The Gravity Business • novelette by James E. Gunn
A family of four generations (only men are counted, apparently there are no daughters in the family and wives apparently don’t count) is stranded on the planet. The spaceship runs on some sort of a gravity drive, which was invented by the grandfather of the family. Somehow, he managed to lose the family fortune and now the entire family is looking for metals for other solar systems. One planet looks very promising, but when they land on it, the gravity drive stops working. There is one very strange looking alien on the planet, though. A really, really bad story with vast, vast amount of discussion of the intricacies of the imaginary gravity drive. Who cares? *½
The Snare • short story by Richard R. Smith
A group of explorers finds an alien probe on the moon. It locks down, and leaves for the alien’s home planet. An AI informs them where they are heading and tells them that there is no way to reverse the course. For some reason, the humans are very reluctant to go to meet the aliens (what a chance that would be!). Is there a way to get back to the moon? The writing was at best average; the plot was on the same level than the writing.**½

No comments: