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Good old Galaxy magazine. Dependable, occasionally brilliant, very thick.

So thick, that I traditionally break down my review of each bi-month's issue into two articles, and who am I to buck tradition? Without further ado, the April 1960 Galaxy.



First up is Earl Goodale's Success Story, a surprisingly entertaining satire on an interstellar soldier's life and career. It's sort of a cynical answer to Heinlein's Starship Troopers. I don't know much about Mr. Goodale—this is only his second story, as far as I can tell.

Clifford Simak must have a number of expensive bills to pay, for he's published quite a number of stories this year already. His latest, Condition of Employment, about a down-on-his luck engineer who is desperate to make one last flight home to Mars, is not as good as All the Traps of Earth, but better than The Gleaners, both of which came out last month (in F&SF and IF, respectively). I particularly liked the disdain which the story's protagonist felt for the ominpresent, oppressive greenery of Earth. I feel some empathy—I grew up in the desert, and I find an unbridled environment of foliage (and its attendant insect populations) unsettling rather than attractive.

The Nuse Man is back, compliments of author Margaret St. Clair. The Airy Servitor, about a thought-activated invisible butler much akin to Aladdin's genie, is a lot of fun. My favorite line: "Bert and Franny wore expressions suitable to persons who have just seen a dining room explode." Beware itinerant salesmen from the future bearing gifts they don't understand.

When I saw Cordwainer Smith's name on the cover, I became quite excited. After all, his No, no, not Rogov was a tour de force. The Lady Who Sailed the Soul has the trappings of a good story, it has the subject of a good story, but somehow it fails to be a good story. This tale of the first and only relativistic interstellar spaceship pilot is overwrought and somehow anti-feminist despite having feminist protagonists. Perhaps because they are such caricatures. I also dislike stories where women are motivated solely by love for their man.


by DILLON

Finally, we have James Stamers' Solid State, a dull tale of crystalline teleportation (as in using enlarged crystal lattices as vessels for instant transit) that I barely remembered even just after reading. They can't all be winners, I suppose.

That's it for this batch. See you when the other shoe drops!

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It is March Oneth, as my father would say, and it's time to review the last of the March 1960 science fiction digests.

Last on my plate was IF Science Fiction, which in 1959 had proven a slightly erratic but worthy sibling to Galaxy Science Fiction, also edited by Horace Gold. Sadly, this current issue reminds me more of the inferior issues of Imagination or Amazing. It's not all bad, just rather weak.

It has been said of Clifford Simak that when he's good, he's very good, and when he's not, he's forgettable. It appears he used up all of his energy on his masterpiece appearing in this month's F&SF, because his lead novella for IF, The Gleaners, is mediocre. It's a story about a fellow who coordinates a for-profit time travel agency that sends agents back in time to observe, but not to meddle. It's a tough job: the agent defection rate is high, and there is much pressure to verify the historical assertions of the various world faiths. It sounds like it would be a great read, but it doesn't do much interesting development. Perhaps Cliff should start over and try making a novel on the concept.

Raymond Banks has a short story called to be continued about colonists marooned on a tiny island hundreds of light years from Earth for centuries. The beginning and ending are a bit slipshod, but the meat of the story is pretty good, and I particularly like that the story features a starship crewed by a pair of women.

In The Upside-Down Captain, by Jim Harmon, an ethnologist joins the crew of a starship to seek out truly unusual planets. The ship is aided in its endeavor with the help of a cybernetic brain—but is the robot really being much help? It's oddly paced and written, weakening what might have been a strong story.

There are a couple of very short vignettes that I shan't spoil other than to give their titles and authors since any description would give away most of their game. They seem to be written by unknowns, either amateur auteurs or pseudonymic regulars. They are Old Shag, by Bob Farnham, and Monument, by R.W. Major; neither are good, but nor are they long.

Ray Russell has something of a career writing for Playboy. His Father's House is an story about an heir forced to inhabit his deceased father's home, bullied by ghostly holograms of his abusive parent, for five years in order to collect an inheritance. The protagonist seemingly has two choices—be a penniless but satisfied writer and husband or endure a lonely, unfulfilling life in the hopes of inheriting a fortune. In the end, he comes up with a third path with no down sides.

Ignatz, by Ron Goulart, is a cute story about a fellow who leads a one-man crusade against the fad of "Applied Lycanthropy," whereby the citizens of his sleepy town transform into cats for fun and relaxation. The fellow hates cats, you see; they make him feel "crawly." It's cute, though I can't imagine what anyone could have against felines, of whom I am far more fond than dogs.

The magazine ends rather strongly with Daniel Galouye's satirical Gravy Train, in which a retired couple on a remote planetoid gets mistaken for an important Third-World state and finds itself the recipient of a torrent of aid from both the Capitalist and Communist intergalactic empires.

All in all, it's not so much a bad issue as a merely weak one. Most of the stories end rather abruptly with a decidedly last-decade sci-fi slammer, and the writing has a slapdash feeling about it. Perhaps it's just a temporary lull.

In any event, I've got a whole new crop of magazines for this month that I'm looking forward to sharing with you. See you soon!


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From the depths of mediocrity to the peaks of quality, it looks like our long literary winter may finally be over. Perhaps the groundhog didn't see a shadow this year.

First, we had an uncharacteristically solid Astounding. This month's Fantasy and Science Fiction is similarly exceptional without a clunker in the bunch, and some standouts besides.

I used to see Poul Anderson's name and cringe. The author who had impressed me so much with 1953's Brainwave turned out consistent dreck for the next several years, though to be fair, he generally did so within the pages of Campbell's magazine, not Boucher's. A couple of years ago he got back into his groove, and his stuff has been generally quite good again.

He has the lead novella in the March F&SF, The Martyr, set in a far future in which humanity has met a race of clearly superior psionicists. We are so jealous of these powers, and the possessors so unwilling to give up their secrets, that a small human contingent takes several aliens prisoner to coerce the secrets of psi out of them. But what if it's a secret better left unrevealed?

It's a beautiful story, but there is nastiness here, and it can be a rough read in places. It is no less recommended for that, however. Just giving fair warning.

Ray Bradbury is an author I've never held in much regard, but his Death and the Maiden, about a withered rural crone who shuts herself in an ancient house in defense against mortality, isn't bad.

It doesn't even suffer too badly when compared to Ted Sturgeon's subsequent Like Young, perhaps because the subject matter is so different (Ray was less successful when both he and Ted wrote mermaid stories in quick succession, Ted's being, by far, the superior.) In Sturgeon's tale, the last surviving 504 humans, rendered sterile by radiation, decide to give their race a kind of immortality by planting cultural and scientific relics so as to bootstrap humanity's evolutionary successor. The joke is on us in the end, however.

John Collier's Man Overboard is an atmospheric piece about a dilettante sea captain pursuing an elusive sea-going Loch Ness Monster. It feels old, like something written decades ago. I suspect that is a deliberate stylistic choice, and it's effective.

Then we have a cute little Sheckley: The Girls and Nugent Miller, another story set in a post-atomic, irradiated world. Is a pacifist professor any match against a straw man's Feminist and her charge of beautiful co-eds? The story should offend me, but I recognize a tongue permanently affixed to the inside of the cheek when I see one.

Miriam Allen DeFord has a quite creepy monster story aptly called, The Monster, with an almost Lovecraftian subject (the horror in the cemetery that feeds on children) but done with a more subdued style and with quite the kicker of an ending.

The Good Doctor (Isaac Asimov) is back to form with his non-fiction article on the measuring of interstellar distances, The Flickering Yardstick. I must confess with some chagrin that, despite my astronomical education, I was always a bit vague on how we learned to use Cepheid variable stars to compute galactic distances (their pulsation frequency is linked to their brightness, which allows us to determine how far away they are). Asimov explains it all quite succinctly, and I was gratified to see a woman astronomer was at the center of the story (a Henrietta Leavitt).


"Pickering's harem," the computers of astronomer Edward Pickering (Leavitt is standing)

Avram Davidson has a fun one-pager called Apres Nous wherein a dove is sent to the future only to return wet and exhausted with an olive leaf in its mouth. I didn't get the punchline until I looked up the quote in a book of quotations.

The remainder of the issue is filled with a most excellent Clifford Simak novella, All the Traps of Earth, in which a centuries-old robot, no longer having a human family to serve, escapes inevitable memory-wiping and repurposing by fleeing to the stars. We've seen the "robot as slave" allegory before in Galaxy's Installment Plan. In fact, it was Cliff, himself, who wrote it, and I remember being uncomfortable with his handling of the metaphor in that story.

I had no such problems this time—it's really a beautiful story of emancipation and self-realization, by the end of which, the indentured servant has become a benevolent elder. A fine way to end a great issue.

So pick up a copy if you can. At 40 cents (the second-cheapest of the Big Four), it's a bargain.


"Spacecraft landing on the Moon" - cover artwork without overprinting - Mel Hunter

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I made fun of Galaxy editor Horace Gold for the slightly panicked tone in this month's editorial. It's clear that he has concerns that the quality of his magazine might dip unless he can tap a reservoir of new talent.

That said, the February 1960 Galaxy finishes as it started (and as did its sister, the January 1960 IF)--on the good side of three stars, but not too far from the middle. Let us see how Part 2 turned out.

I am sad to report that Willy Ley's articles just aren't as engaging as once they were. They were what originally sold me on getting subscription, Galaxy being the first magazine I followed regularly. The lovable ex-German just seems unfocused and a little cranky these days.

Zenna Henderson's Something Bright, on the other hand, is that engaging mix of magic, grit, unease, and wonder that I have come to expect from her. This one is told from the point of view of a Depression-era teen who has a close encounter with a peculiar, and rather frightening, neighbor. It's nice to see work by two woman authors in Galaxy, a sign that the genre as a whole is becoming more balanced.


Dillon

Simak's Crying Jag takes place in a similar setting—he does enjoy those rustic tales, evocative of his home in rural Minnesota. In this one, the rather soused protagonist becomes the friend and keeper of an alien for whom sad stories are an intoxicant. Everybody wins in this one, as the storytellers thus find themselves free of their psychological pain. Not stellar, but enjoyable.


Wallace Wood

For some reason, I really enjoyed David Fisher's East in the Morning, about a intellectual prodigy who must wait until his very old age for his genius to bear fruit. It is told in this detached yet gripping manner that I found engaging. Perhaps there is a bit of identification, too—after all, I too blazed through my early life displaying signs of promise and even, perhaps, genius... but I'm still waiting to make my mark. Someday.


Dick Francis

Sadly, the magazine has stumbles to an unimpressive finish. Jim Wannamaker is a new face to the science fiction world, and his Death's Wisher, about a psychokinetic who threatens to blow up the world by setting off its hydrogen bombs, is not an impressive first outing. Truth to tell, I almost fell asleep.


Dick Francis

Space news is up next. All about a midget Mercury and its furry astronaut. Stay tuned!

(all Galaxy magazines can be found here)

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Good Lord, is it already 1960?

When I started this endeavor in 1958, I had only a vague notion what it would look like and how long it would last. Over the past year 14 months, Galactic Journey has settled into what I hope is a consistent, yet varied, mature column. Moreover, I have suspicion that this column will last just about as long as I do, as I see no reason to ever stop.

It is hard to imagine Galactic Journey with bylines dated with futuristic years like 1965 or 1972 or 1988, but why not? Perhaps one day, instead of San Diego, Seattle, or Sapporo, the dateline will read Sinus Rorus, Syrtis Major, or Saturn.



Returning to the present, it must be 1960, for that is the date on the current Fantasy and Science Fiction, January to be exact. Actually, the February issue has already arrived, but that's a topic for a future week. In the meantime, let's see what the first F&SF of 1960 has to offer:

Poul Anderson is back with another Time Patrol story, The Only Game in Town. This time, Everard and his faithful Indian companion (I kid; Salgado is quite a well-developed and co-equal character) are dispatched to the American Southwest in the 13th century to stop, get this, a Mongol invasion.

It's not so silly as it sounds. In fact, it sounds downright plausible that the Mongols could, after conquering China, send a scouting expedition to the New World. It didn't take many horsemen to conquer the Aztecs, and the Mongols were a formidable race, to be sure. What makes this story interesting, aside from the fine writing and evocative setting, is Everard's dawning realization that the Time Patrol's mission may not be as pure as once thought. The Time Cops are told they are to preserve the original timeline, but in this story, they appear to be meddling for meddling's sake rather than fixing damage caused by others.

I look forward to learning more about the secret agenda of Everard's future employers.

Then we have A Divvil with the Women, apparently a resubmission of an earlier story once published in a lesser magazine. It's by Eric Frank Russell (slumming as "Niall Wilde"), and it involves an unpleasant fellow who makes a deal with the devil—with disastrous results, of course. My, but these stories are popular these days! It's no longer than it needs to be to deliver the punchline, which is a blessing (pun intended).

Damon Knight has translated a piece from F&SF's French edition: The Blind Pilot by Charles Henneberg. Sadly, the thing is only half-translated or something; it's well nigh unreadable, and I didn't make it past the first few pages. Oh well.

Reginald Bretnor, who writes the execrable Ferdinand Feghoot puns in F&SF under a pseudonym, has a very silly short-short ("Bug-Getter") that, you guessed it, ends in a pun. I must confess that I did laugh, so it couldn't have been all bad.

For once, Asimov has a decidedly unremarkable article. It's called Those Crazy Ideas, and it segues from a discussion of Asimov's personal creativity to observations on how scientific creativity can be maximized. Fluffy.

Cliff Simak's Final Gentleman just barely misses the mark. Quite a long tale for F&SF, it is one of those excitingly creepy tales with a prosaic payoff. In this case, a respected author retires after 30 years only to find that the trappings and details of his life are largely imaginary, sort of a psychic cloak that surrounds him, altering his surroundings and himself to seem more refined and engaging than they actually are. I found this notion compelling. After all, I often swathe myself in a fantasy, pretending to be decades in the past. I complete the illusion by listening to old music, using obsolete slang, wearing out-of-date clothing. It is a conceit in which I engage to better understand a bygone era for historical purposes, and simply to have a fun invisible refuge from the real world. Hey—it's cheaper than heroin.

But in Simak's story, the psychic hoodwink is perpetrated solely to influence the course of history through an implausible Rube Goldberg chain of interactions. I was disappointed, but you may feel differently.

A Little Girl's Christmas in Modernia, by Ralph Bunch, is next. In this future, we gradually trade in our flesh parts for metal as we grow older. Bunch's tale features a fully human moppet and her mostly-converted parents in the kind of inconsequential story I'd expect to find in a slick. I suppose they needed a Holiday-themed story to fill out this issue.

What do you do when an alien weather probe crashes into your backyard? You bake it, of course, and thus unintentionally forestall an extraterrestrial invasion. G.C. Edmondson's The Galactic Calabash is fun, though it took me several sessions to get through the short story, largely because I always picked it up at bedtime.

Rounding out the magazine is the quite good Double Double, Toil and Trouble by Holley Cantine. An anarchist turned recluse decides to take up magic, eventually learning the secret to doubling anything. It starts out well enough, but the ending provides a cautionary tale against dabbling in the Dark Arts. Holley Cantine, I understand, is a bit of a political theorist, and Double has a deeper message wrapped in a gentle fiction coating.

And so the January 1960 F&SF ends as it began with a four-star story. In-between, there lies a muddle of uncharacteristic unevenness such that the whole issue clocks in at a mere three stars, the same as this month's Astounding.

That just leaves us with the January IF, whose reading is in progress. In the meantime, I'll soon have a report on my latest excursion to the drive-in with my daughter. It don't all gotta be highbrow, after all.

Happy New Year!



Note: If you like this column, consider sharing it by whatever media you frequent most. I love the company, and I imagine your friends share your excellent taste!

P.S. Galactic Journey is now a proud member of a constellation of interesting columns. While you're waiting for me to publish my next article, why not give one of them a read!







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Last year, Galaxy moved to a bi-monthly format. Coincident with that was a drop in writer rates per word. I had had concerns that there would be a corresponding drop in quality. Thankfully, this year's issues have been of consistently high quality.


All pictures by Dick Francis

Moreover, Galaxy really isn't a bi-monthly anymore. Inside the front cover of this month's (October) issue is a full-page advertisement for IF magazine, which is now owned by the same publishers, has the same editors, and appears in Galaxy's off months. Quacks like a duck; sounds as if Galaxy is a monthly, and every other month, is an oversized issue, to boot.

One of the reasons Galaxy can still fill its pages is that both the editor (H.L.Gold) and his brother (Floyd Gold, known as Floyd Gale) are both fair writers in their own right. Their opening novella, co-written under the pseudonym "Christopher Grimm," is called Someone to Watch Over Me, and it is almost excellent.

Len Mattern is a space merchant, seasoned from decades of meandering from star to star in a tramp freighter. His obsession is the high-class prostitute, Lyddy, and Len has spent his entire adult life amassing sufficient wealth to wed her, which he does at the story's beginning. The rest of the tale is told mostly in flashback. In this universe, traversing hyperspace has the most unsettling effect on travelers: they become unnatural beasts with tentacles and extra eyes. All but the most hardened spacer must knock her/himself out for the journey or suffer profound psychological trauma.

Mattern, however, has discovered that hyperspace is a destination, as well as a conduit, and it is inhabited. Moreover, some items that are useless in our dimension become highly valuable in the other, and vice versa. Mattern becomes the first to establish trade relations with the horrible but peaceful aliens. One of them even accompanies Mattern for the next decade of highly lucrative commerce, becoming a combination best-friend and perpetual shadow.



If the story has any flaw, it's a sort of dismissive view of women, though, to be fair, one of the best characters is the alien queen, at once beautiful and terrible. My favorite line: "I see no reason...why a male should be deemed incapable of ruling, provided he is under careful supervision."

Worthwhile reading. I'm glad the Gold brothers are writing as well as editing.

E.C. Tubb's Last of the Morticians is short and unremarkable, about two undertakers weathering a lack of business resulting from the recent advent of immortality. Their solution: bury something other than people!

Willy Ley's article this month is a little scattered, but the latter two thirds (he has split the column in three this time) is quite good. And bad Ley is still fine reading. I especially liked his piece on "Zilphion," a now-extinct Graeco-Roman spice plant.

Last for today is the very good "A Death in the House," by Cliff Simak. Simak is a very uneven writer, I have found, but when he's on top of his game, he is a real stand-out. Death is reminiscent in tone and subject of Dickson's E Gubling Dow from May's Satellite, but far better in in execution. In this tale, Old Mose (whom, until I saw the illustration, I pictured as Black), is a lonely farmer whose heart is big enough to rescue a rather repulsive alien that he finds mortally wounded on his property. It's really quite a beautiful story with a rather happy ending. In stark contrast to Garrett, Simak actually kept me up until I'd finished!



From what I can tell, the rest of the magazine is excellent, too. This issue may well earn the coveted four star rating. Only Galaxy has managed this feat of consistent quality in 1959, though excellent stories have appeared in other magazines, of course.
Stay tuned, and thanks for reading!

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Just what is this world coming to?

Reading this month's edition of Galaxy, it was hammered home just how far our linguistic standards have fallen. Have you ever read a letter from the last century? Even the prose from the most humble of fellows is lyric and articulate. And while the published fiction might sometimes be a bit purple, there's no denying the facility the authors had with our language.

And now? I'm only half-way through the August 1959 Galaxy, and I've spotted "there" for "their" as well as "effect" for "affect." I thought this magazine was supposed to be edited.

I'm overreacting, you say. I know what the writer meant--what's the big deal? Here's my deal: we pay a contractor to build a house properly, we pay a doctor to do an operation correctly, and we pay a wordsmith to write competently. If our literary experts can't be bothered to communicate clearly, that will inevitably lead to a trickle-down of linguistic sloppiness. Half a century from now, who knows how far standards will decline?

That's about my gripe quota for the month. I'm happy to say that the actual content of the magazine is pretty good, malaprops aside. I assume you've all picked up an issue so we can compare notes.

Cliff Simak hasn't written anything I've loved since Junkyard, but his latest, No Life of Their Own is pretty solid. Four kids, at least two of them quite alien, share a rural summer together several centuries in the future. Their pastimes are pretty timeless, though with some notable exceptions, largely derived from the alien nature of the children and their families. It's not an entirely idyllic setting--all of the farmers in the area are suffering from a run of unmitigated bad luck, whereas the meanest cuss of them all seems to be blessed. There's a reason, and the kids find it out.

Warning: There is a little bit of cruelty to a cat. Rest assured, however, that the cat is not unduly damaged, and the malefactor gets a comeuppance.



Newcomer Michael Shaara contributes Citizen Jell. If you were a fugitive with the ability to do tremendous good, but only at the cost of your freedom, what would be your tipping point? That's the subject of Shaara's ultimately heartwarming story.



Willy Ley has another excellent article, this time on the solar orbit of Mechta, the Soviet lunar probe. I must say, I have to admire a fellow who can remain the first item on my monthly science fiction read list for a decade.



Finally (for today), there is The Spicy Sound of Success, by the prolific Jim Harmon. For some reason, interstellar explorers become afflicted with transphasia (the swapping of sensory inputs--taste for sound, etc.) when scouting a new world. This story involves a daring rescue and an interesting first contact.



Join me next time for a round-up of this double-sized, bi-monthly edition... unless the Air Force's impending space shot stops the presses!

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December is here, and San Diego is feeling the uncommonly cold bite of near-winter weather. Why, temperatures barely make it into the upper 60s around noon-time. I'm not sure how we manage.

My subscription copy of F&SF never arrived. I may have to pick it up at the newsstand, if there are any left. Luckily, the February 1959 double-sized edition of Galaxy did arrive. That's how I was able to finish "Timekiller." Yesterday, while briskly walking along the beach dressed appropriately for our local sub-arctic temperatures, I finished the lead novella, "Installment Plan", by Clifford Simak. This will be the subject of today's piece.



For those who don't know Cliff, he has been a staple of science fiction for a couple of decades now. I first encountered him in 1952 with his excellent story in Galaxy, "Junkyard." Since then, he's written the serialized novel, "Ring Around the Sun," and a number of shorter stories. I like Cliff, but I find his work tends to be aimless, though completely readable. "Installment Plan" is no exception.

It starts out promisingly-enough with a pack of biblically-named anthropomorphic robots and their human coordinator, Steve Sheridan. They have been sent to clinch a trade deal with a race of backwards humanoids on Garson IV. The Garsonians have a cash crop that, properly distilled, produces the galaxy's most potent tranquilizer. The deal had been set up fifteen years prior by previous expeditions to the planet and then left to languish. By the time Sheridan gets to the planet, however, the natives universally refuse to deal. Thus, there is a double-mystery to solve: how did this turn of events come about, and is there any way to make a deal?

The story is interesting throughout. The problem is that it wraps up altogether too quickly and conventionally. The thoughtful tone and the careful characterization are, in my opinion, wasted. Moreover, it appears Simak is attempting to make some allegorical points, but he never quite gets there.

For instance: Sheridan's robots are portrayed as a friendly, competent, and essentially human lot. Yet, Sheridan muses, despite their abilities, and despite their being better than humans in terms of endurance and ability to learn (since their skills are banked in storage units called "transmogs"), they lack that spark necessary for independent operation. They need a man around to lead them, tell them what to do.

In other words, these beings may look like us, but their proper place is in servitude rather than self-mastery. With a proper guiding touch, we can help them accomplish what they are simply unable to do themselves. I don't think the parallel to slavery and its attendant rationalizations is accidental. Whether Simak meant his portrayal of robots to condone or condemn this mindset is not clear, however. It is never made the point of the story.

Slightly more developed is the phenomenon of the bilked aboriginal. The natives of Garson IV are portrayed as an honorable but stupid, primitive lot. They seem ripe for the cheating, which is why their being uncheatable is so frustrating and incomprehensible to Sheridan. Sheridan is further hamstrung by his government's rules that strictly prohibit the wholesale appropriation of native land or slaughter of its owners.

It ultimately turns out that the Garsonians have already been bilked--by another race. Having committed themselves, under most unfavorable terms, to this other debtor, they have nothing left to trade to the humans. Moreover, the provisions of the deal include the mass exodus of the natives from their planet, leaving it fallow for the taking.

It's an uncomfortably familiar scenario, one that has been repeated on Earth on many occasions when "civilized" men have encountered "primitives." Again, I waited for some kind of commentary from the author. Instead, Simak has Sheridan capitalize on the opportunity. With no one on the planet, the government's rules regarding non-interference are inapplicable; Sheridan plans to establish his own corporate farm and milk the planet for all its worth.

Put this way, the story sounds like satire. It is written completely without irony, however. I've said before that our cultural prejudices are the air we breathe. It takes conscious effort to take a deep whiff and catch the stink. Science fiction should be (and occasionally is) more progressive than your average literature, but too often, as happened in this story, it is simply a product of its time. In the end, Simak put some interesting and challenging ideas into this novella, and they would have made interesting stories in their own right. As is, they instead seem to tacitly condone a status quo I'm not comfortable with.



(on the other hand, at least the protagonist has a beard, and skintight clothes are available for all genders in this future!)

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