Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Galaxy Science Fiction, March 1956

A vastly better issue than a couple earlier ones.

A Gun for Dinosaur • [Reginald Rivers] • novelette by L. Sprague de Camp
Time traveling hunting guides journey back in time to hunt dinosaurs (as all big game on contemporary Earth have already been killed). They don't travel to the Jurassic or Cretaceous periods. The guide tells a tale for a prospective client about a hunting trip with some stupid and trigger happy customers that didn’t go well. The trip included several gory deaths. It is a humorous story, a bit behind its time. ***
Flat Tiger • short story by Gordon R. Dickson
A flying saucer has landed on the lawn of a White House. Its rear tiger has inflated (a creature which looks very much like a tiger but is able to bloat from power and enable space flight.). The saucer is invisible and only the President can see it and its occupants. The aliens make an offer: humanity could join the galactic community and get free interstellar travel, along with solutions to all its problems, with little asked in return. There is just a small catch, though. As everything edible (drinkable) closely resembles an alien species, humans must give up eating (and drinking) anything and consume only pure energy.
It's a funny and ironic story that hasn’t lost anything in six decades. ***½
Tsylana • novelette by James E. Gunn
A statistician 1st class has worked in his job for years. He lives in a society where everyone is tested and goes to work at his perfect job. There is no crime, everyone is happy, no one is maladjusted. But the statistician has noticed an anomaly: a candy was stolen from a baby. The next day, a child’s walker was stolen. The crimes increased until ten million dollars was stolen from a bank. Those crimes shake the statistician to the core. But if the society is perfect, is there room for growth? It is a well-written story. ***+
Little Red Schoolhouse • short story by Robert F. Young
A young boy has escaped his home and left his parents. He wants to go to his REAL home, from where put to a “stork train” and said that now it is time to go home. All he can remember is a nice life in the countryside where a couple (who never claimed to be his parents) took good care of him. He is a bit hazy on details on where to find that place, but he starts looking. He finds it, but it isn't exactly what he expected. (It is a method of raising children with an idyllic simulated environment with a goal of producing less neurosis for adults. It should work fine but apparently doesn’t...) ***-

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