galacticjourney: (Default)
galacticjourney ([personal profile] galacticjourney) wrote2017-08-30 06:14 pm

[August 30, 1962] Flawed set (September 1962 Analog)

[if you’re new to the Journey, read this to see what we’re all about!]

by Gideon Marcus

In the Soviet Union, they have an interesting grocery practice. Food production is, of course, nationalized. Thus, there are quotas that manufacturers are supposed to reach. Provided you have enough klass (social clout in the "classless society"), you can order a great many desirable foods for your office, your restaurant, your institute. Sausage, chocolates, and so on. However, you generally can't order these items individually. Rather, you request a set of items.

For instance, one might want coffee, but the set also includes chocolate, sugar, and cookies -- whether you need them or not. The cookies might be several years old, the chocolate might be stale, or there might not even be any coffee. Or you could get lucky.

Maybe you want a kilo of fresh beef, but you can only get it with two cans of pressed meat, a kilo of hamburger meat, and a kilo of frozen vegetables. Well, why not? But when it arrives, the vegetables are freezer burned and the hamburger is green on the inside. At least you got the beef and the SPAM, right?

The science fiction digest, Analog, is much the same. For the past few years, the general pattern has been for the magazine to include a serial of high quality, and the rest of the space larded out with substandard shorts and ridiculous "science" articles on crackpot topics.

So enjoy your September 1962 Analog -- it's what you ordered...and a lot more that you didn't:

(see the rest at Galactic Journey)!