Friday, November 25, 2011

Randall Garrett's "The Eyes Have It" (novelette, detective, free): Detective finds the killer

One of the illustrations by John Schoenherr accompanying the original publication in Analog magazine of short story The Eyes Have It by Randall Garrett. Picture shows a projection of the last scene the dead man saw, as extracted from his dead eyes by sorcerer.
I found it mostly an easy fast-moving read, though I felt sort of cheated by ending. There is something in the story that might be considered a very brief clue to ending, but probably author just wanted us to have a shock. Most of the clues in the story are misleading.

Caution: Readers with non-European, non-Christian background might find the story too inaccessible. But that vanished for me after first couple of chapters that set the preamble; rest of the story should be reasonably accessible to all.

I'm a bit puzzled by its inclusion in Analog, that too when Campbell was the editor. It fits the pattern in that it's an intelligent reasonable story, but I haven't seen a lot of magic-wielding stories in these issues. Could this be of the type that alienated a lot of loyal Analog readers during the 1960s?

Story summary.

Sir Pierre Morlaix, secretary to Count Edouard D'Evreux, found the Count murdered of a gunshot wound in his bed a certain morning. Investigator, Lord Darcy, with the help of Dr Pateley, physician, & Master Sean O Lochlainn, (licensed) Sorcerer! - will find the culprit. Sorcerer is the main forensics man!

Fact sheet.

First published: Analog, January 1964.
Download full text from Project Gutenberg, Manybooks, Feedbooks, Webscription. [via Bill Garthright @ ClassicScienceFiction]
Rating: B.
Among the stories from Astounding/Analog issues edited by John Campbell.
Related: Stories of Randall Garrett.


Matt H said...

This is a bit of a throwback to the fiction of _Unknown Worlds_ -- a magazine also edited by John Campbell. As an Analog reader of the 1960's I was delighted by Garrett's Lord Darcy stories. They were a treat.

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing...