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How do rate a story which is objectively well done, but which you just don't like?

We taught our daughter manners at a very early age. When she encountered a food she didn't enjoy, she was to say, "This is not to my taste," rather than something more forceful and potentially bruising of feelings. I recognize that my readers are turned on by different things than I am. One person's trash is another's treasure, and so on. But at the end of every review, I have to come up with a numerical score, and that score necessarily reflects my views on a piece.

This conundrum is particularly acute with the current issue of Galaxy, dated February 1961. None of the stories are bad. Many are well crafted, but I found the subject matter unpleasant. They may be the bees knees for you. Take my reviews with that disclaimer in mind, and you should be all right.

(see the rest at Galactic Journey!)
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If there's anything this month's IF, Science Fiction proves, it's that you get what you pay for.

Last year, Galaxy editor, H. L. Gold, cut story rates in half to 2 cents a word. Shortly thereafter, he took over the helm of the promising but unsuccessful digest, IF. Its quality has been in steady decline ever since, and I can only imagine that he pays IF writers even less.

IF's name is ironic. Under the stewardship of Damon Knight, it had a short-lived renaissance culminating in the February 1959 issue. Had this continued, IF might be the leader of the current, heavily winnowed, crop of science fiction digests. Alas, such a history can only be contemplated, never directly perceived.

Why all the doom and gloom? The May 1960 IF is definitely the worst issue I've read to date. While not unmitigatedly bad, it never rises above the passable. In detail:

(See the rest at Galactic Journey!>


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