Thursday, October 3, 2013

"Astounding Science-Fiction", July 1942 (ed John Campbell) (magazine, free): Annotated table of contents & review

Link on an author fetches more fiction of the author. Where I have a separate post on a story, link on story title goes there. For read stories, my rating appears in brackets.

Note: The flash fiction pieces don't have their own entry in ToC; they are all clubbed under the heading "Probability Zero". And nearly all of them are rather forgettable.

Table of contents (best first).

  1. [novella] A E van Vogt's "Secret Unattainable" (A): Revenge of a scientist against Nazi establishment. 
  2. [novelette] Malcolm Jameson's "Brimstone Bill" (A): Crooks are useful too! 
  3. [novelette] Clifford D Simak's "Tools" (B): Introducing very weird radioactive gaseous aliens... 
  4. [novella] David V Reed's "Penance Cruise" (B); space opera: A ragtag group goes out to catch a dangerous brigand...
  5. [novella] Jack Williamson's "Collision Orbit" (as by Will Stewart) (B): Mad scientist tames antimatter.

    This story is supposed to have invented the term "terraforming", which really makes it a classic.
  6. [ff] Ray Bradbury's "Eat, Drink, and Be Wary" (B); humor: How to eat librally without upsetting your stomach! 
  7. [ff] Frank Holby's '"The Strange Case of the Missing Hero"' (B); grandfather paradox: A man traveling to past discovers he is his own father!
  8. [ff] Wilson Tucker's "The Mysterious Bomb Raid" (as by Bob Tucker) (B); time travel: To remove Japan from equation in WWII, a couple of Americans have dropped a drum full of incendiary oil on Tokyo around the year 1900 using their time machine; but a delay in drop has put it in a later year - so now, in 1942, they're expecting Tokyo to go up in flames any time for reasons the world will see a mysterious.
  9. [ff] Selden G Thomas' "The Floater"  (B): A group is discussing modern fighter aircraft vs vintage ones. One of them tells a tall tale of how he fought with a far superior vintage one & how it kept floating in ocean till he was rescued many days after crash, in spite of being riddled with bullet holes because of fighting, because "It was made of pure potassian, which is lighter than water."
  10. [ff] R Creighton Buck's "The Querty of Hrothgar"(C): An extremely implausible hunting story. Querty, a huge beast with 4 foot thick armor, on its native world of Hrothgar, is chasing a man. Man survives & eventually kills the beast using a totally crazy device.
  11. [ss] L Sprague de Camp's "The Contraband Cow" (C): One of the most forgettable stories of de Camp.

    In an international Federation, there is a ban on cow slaughter. I'm not sure where the story is set - in US or in Mexico?

    Some confrontation between artificial in-lab steak makers, smugglers, cops & politicians. Hero will eventually get the ban lifted by threatening with a politician with something totally silly.
  12. [ss] L Ron Hubbard's "Space Can" (C); space opera: Description of a space battle where a lone US warship beats two better armed "saturnian" warships. Much of the text of the story went over my head.
  13. [ff] Randall Hale's "De Gustibus" (C): A man on Mercury without food for 50 days, has survived on water & potassium cyanide!
  14. [ff] John Pierce's "About Quarrels, About the Past" (C); time travel: "Quarrels" of title is the name of a person. He's gone time traveling to a past Egypt, & is currently is in some, but not ours, past Egypt.

Fact sheet.

Labeled: "Vol XXIX No 5".
Download the scans as a CBR file. [via David T @pulpscans]
Caution: This is a very large file - nearly 195 MB & without resume. I had the connection broken twice near 90% & could download it only on the third attempt.
ISFDB notes: 'Cover illustration, untitled, by William Timmins, not Rogers as credited in the table of contents. Correction "In Times to Come," September 1942.'
Same ISFDB page also corrects some of the novelette/ss classifications on the ToC page; I've preferred ISFDB label above, whenever it contracts ToC.
Related: Stories from Analog/Astounding (whole issues only) (only issues edited by John Campbell); old "pulps".