Birthday Reviews: Gallun, Piper, Rucker

Raymond Z. Gallun (1911-03-22–1994-04-02)

“Derelict” (Astounding, October 1935)

Jan Van Tyren was a big wheel until his family was killed when some of the native Loathi of Ganymede revolted. On his way back to Earth, he comes across a derelict ship that’s come from outside the solar system long ago and has some amazing experiences there, resulting in a new condition. It’s a tale with too many adjectives and not a lot of action but is a mood piece which runs counter to the generic notion of 30s SF and displays great imagination.

H. Beam Piper (1904-03-23–1964-11-06)

“Time and Time Again” (Astounding, April 1947)

This is an incredibly simple story in one sense: in 1975, during a battle at Buffalo in WWIII, Captain Allan Hartley is too close to an atomic bomb blast and will die soon, except he wakes up in 1945, in his thirteen-year-old body, but retains full knowledge of the intervening thirty years. The details of this, what he does both small and large in 1945, his explanation for it, and his plans about what to do with it are not so simple and make this story very effective. My one reservation is that Allan and his dad seem to have extraordinarily flexible minds but they aren’t portrayed as average in any other way, so even this isn’t really a problem.

Rudy Rucker (1946-03-22)

“Pac-Man” (Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, June 1982)

This is an amusingly dated phildickian piece about a woman who gets a job at a bank and her husband who’s working at a video arcade. When he has a couple of really good games playing Pac-Man [1] things get really strange.


[1] “Peg-Man” in the original version of the story because editor George Scithers had some strange notions about copyright.

One thought on “Birthday Reviews: Gallun, Piper, Rucker

  1. Pingback: Links: 2019-03-23 | Featured Futures

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