galacticjourney: (Default)


I love the bookstore in my town. Not only do they have a news stand in front that provides me with the latest world events and developments in the US space program, but they have a very comprehensive science fiction section front and center as you walk in. I'll occasionally look at the newsstand's selection of comic books when I hear that there is a new series from Marvel Comics, but every trip to the bookstore must come with at least thirty minutes spent in the science fiction section. This month part of my book budget went to an Ace Double Novel containing the third publication of A. Bertram Chandler's The Rim of Space as well as the first edition of John Brunner's Secret Agent of Terra.



(see the rest at Galactic Journey!)
galacticjourney: (Default)

by Gideon Marcus



You've almost assuredly heard of Radio Corporation of America (RCA). They make radios (naturally), but also record players, televisions, computers. They have produced the foundations of modern consumer electronics, including the color television standard and the 45 rpm record. And now, they've really outdone themselves: they've created cassettes for tape recording.

Until now, if you wanted to listen to music or a radio show, you had to either buy it as a pre-recorded album or record it yourself. The only good medium for this was the Reel to Reel tape recorder – great quality, but rather a bother. I've never gotten good at threading those reels, and storing them can be a hassle (tape gets crinkled, the reels unspool easily, etc.). With these new cassettes, recording becomes a snap. If the price goes down, I'll have to get me one.

What brought up this technological tidbit? Read on about the March 1962 Analog, and the motivation for this introduction will be immediately apparent.



(see the rest at Galactic Journey!)
galacticjourney: (Default)
Once again, I find myself on vacation in my home town. San Diego is hosting two science fiction conventions back to back this July, and this second one promises to be the larger of the two. Of course, neither of these conventions holds a candle to the big one starting in Los Angeles tomorrow, the one that will determine our next Democratic candidate for President of the United States.

But that's a topic for another article. You came here to find out about this month's fiction, right?



(read the rest at Galactic Journey!)
galacticjourney: (Default)
I really enjoy the broadness of Galaxy's 196-page format. It allows for novellas and novelets, which is a story size I've come to prefer. F&SF has lots of stories per issue, too, but they tend to be very short. Astounding likes serials, which can be fine if they're good, but dreary if they're not. I mentioned last time that this month's issue was looking to be a star all through. Let's see if that prediction held true.


All pictures by Dick Francis

Wilson Tucker's King of the Planet certainly did not disappoint. You may remember that Tucker wrote the excellent Galaxy novel, The City in the Sea. His writing skills are on full display in the instant story, about a old old man who has outlasted all of his comrades. and now lives a solitary existence in a mausoleum, the one remaining survivor of a colony of humans. Every so often, he is visited by other humans from faraway stars. They question him, conduct surveys, and then they leave, puzzled at the self-styled king's longevity and solitude. King is the story of one such visit. There is an interesting, religious twist at the end; what is your take? Let me know, would you?



Silence, by Englishman John Brunner, is also fine reading. Abdul Hesketh has been the captive of the inhuman Charnogs, with whom humanity has been at war with for decades, for 28 years. When he is at last rescued, his mind has been thoroughly damaged by the ordeal, and his treatment at the hands of his saviors, which amounts to near-torture as they attempt to pry useful intelligence from him, is anything but therapeutic. A little let down by the ending, but a fascinating psychological exploration.



Sadly, the last two stories are not up to the standard set by the rest of the magazine. Elizabeth Mann Borgese, polymath daughter of the famed German philosopher, Thoman Mann, has never written anything I really liked, and True Self is no exception. It is a story of plastic surgery and feminine beautification taken to an absurd level. A worthy topic of satire, but not a very engaging piece.



Lastly, "Charles Satterfield" (co-editor Fred Pohl, presumably working for peanuts) has a rather mediocre novelette (Way Up Younder) set on a future colony world with a decidedly Ante-bellum Southern culture with robots standing in for Black slaves. It’s not bad; it just sort of lies there.

Where does that leave us with the star tally?

Sadly, the last two stories dropped the issue from 4 to 3.5 stars. A pity, really. What’s better? A tight, good issue, or a less-good longer issue?
(Confused? Click here for an explanation as to what's really going on)


Profile

galacticjourney: (Default)
galacticjourney

April 2017

S M T W T F S
      1
2 34 56 78
9 1011 121314 15
16 171819 2021 22
23242526272829
30      

Links

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Apr. 25th, 2017 02:51 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios