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The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, February 1955 (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, #45)

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The Climbing Wave • novella by Marion Zimmer Bradley Blood • shortstory by Fredric Brown Birds Can't Count • shortstory by Mildred Clingerman The Royal Historian of Oz (Part 2 of 2) • essay by Martin Gardner The Tweener • shortstory by Leigh Brackett The Tidings • shortstory by Arthur Porges Shiver in the Pines • [John the Balladeer] • shortstory by Manly Wade Wellman Botany Bay The Climbing Wave • novella by Marion Zimmer Bradley Blood • shortstory by Fredric Brown Birds Can't Count • shortstory by Mildred Clingerman The Royal Historian of Oz (Part 2 of 2) • essay by Martin Gardner The Tweener • shortstory by Leigh Brackett The Tidings • shortstory by Arthur Porges Shiver in the Pines • [John the Balladeer] • shortstory by Manly Wade Wellman Botany Bay • shortstory by P. M. Hubbard The Midway • shortstory by Bryce Walton


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The Climbing Wave • novella by Marion Zimmer Bradley Blood • shortstory by Fredric Brown Birds Can't Count • shortstory by Mildred Clingerman The Royal Historian of Oz (Part 2 of 2) • essay by Martin Gardner The Tweener • shortstory by Leigh Brackett The Tidings • shortstory by Arthur Porges Shiver in the Pines • [John the Balladeer] • shortstory by Manly Wade Wellman Botany Bay The Climbing Wave • novella by Marion Zimmer Bradley Blood • shortstory by Fredric Brown Birds Can't Count • shortstory by Mildred Clingerman The Royal Historian of Oz (Part 2 of 2) • essay by Martin Gardner The Tweener • shortstory by Leigh Brackett The Tidings • shortstory by Arthur Porges Shiver in the Pines • [John the Balladeer] • shortstory by Manly Wade Wellman Botany Bay • shortstory by P. M. Hubbard The Midway • shortstory by Bryce Walton

10 review for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, February 1955 (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, #45)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    Manly Wade Wellman is a highly regarded fantasy author. I have not read all that much of Wellman's work; most of what I have read have been pieces of Wellman's series about John, a man who travels through the southeastern United States, singing country ballads and combating supernatural evil. And somehow John encounters such evil wherever he wanders. "Shiver in the Pines" may be the story that I have liked least of those that I have read in this series. This is at least the second story that I ha Manly Wade Wellman is a highly regarded fantasy author. I have not read all that much of Wellman's work; most of what I have read have been pieces of Wellman's series about John, a man who travels through the southeastern United States, singing country ballads and combating supernatural evil. And somehow John encounters such evil wherever he wanders. "Shiver in the Pines" may be the story that I have liked least of those that I have read in this series. This is at least the second story that I have read about John that included the mournful song "In the Pines"; the other was "Call Me from the Valley," originally published in the March, 1954 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. It seems to me that John is a less noble figure in this story. He leaps at a chance to use the supernatural for personal gain, bragging,"I don't lag back when others go forward." The character of John is not usually presented as greedy or vain, and he is much less likable this way. (Not at all related, but Karl Edward Wagner also write a tale using that same song, a horror story titled "In the Pines" [F & SF, August, 1973].) Fredric Brown has a single-page comic vignette titled "Blood," involving vampires, a time machine, and the life-form that replaces mankind. I think that this is a pretty good joke. "The Tidings" in Arthur Porges's story of that title, are definitely not of comfort and joy. God is unhappy, an archangel tells the narrator; He is "wroth with humanity"(which reminds me of a joke from the Marx Brothers film Horse Feathers: Secretary: The Dean is furious. He's waxing wroth. Groucho Marx, playing Professor Wagstaff: Is Roth out there, too? Tell Roth to wax the Dean for a while.) God has come up with a plan to make mankind be (man)kinder. And if that plan turns out not to work, God has another plan. And if that plan doesn't work... A short, funny, and extremely cynical story. Bryce Walton's story "The Midway" is also cynical, but far from funny. The Midway is a place teenagers can go to relieve tensions, in ways that might not be ideal for making them future citizens - citizens who make "pasteboard boxes fit together all day for the cereals that make kids feel like supermen in the mornings." "Botany Bay" is a short, sad story by P. M. Hubbard. The introduction to the story says that Hubbard was known for his poetry; I know him as the author of some fine mysteries. "Botany Bay" tells of the effects of being transported into exile, in this case not to Australia, but to a whole different planet - exiled to Earth. Mildred Clingerman is an unjustly neglected author, principally of science fiction and fantasy. I like almost all of her work. The introduction to the story "Birds Can't Count" accurately describes it as "the deft and charming tale of a marriage, a hangover, a tomcat and an Alien Observer." It is also about taking photographs of creatures in their natural habitats. This is indeed "deft and charming," but also slightly annoying to me. I don't know what the husband means by his "see-the-birdie" remark in the next to the last paragraph, and I have a feeling that this should be obvious. In the remaining two stories, travelers bring pets to Earth from other worlds. In "The Tweener" by Leigh Brackett, that pet - and people's reactions to it - are the subject of the story. A man returns from Mars, bringing a small creature as a gift to his brother and the brother's wife and children. The brother begins to feel ill, with terrible headaches and shortness of breath, rather as if he were under more gravity than he was accustomed to. He thinks about the pet: "He's suffering. He's crushed in this gravity, and strangling in this air, and he's going to make me suffer too. He knows he can never go home. He knows he's dying. How far can he push it? Can he only make me feel what he's feeling, or can he...?" The ending is both somber and surprising. The longest story in the issue is "The Climbing Wave" by Marion Z. Bradley. This is listed as a "short novel," and at fifty-three pages, it is longer than many of the stories that were labeled as novels appearing in science fiction magazines at that time. The crew of the spaceship "Homeward" have traveled for four and a half years, going from Centaurus to Earth. This will be the first time that these people have been to Earth; it was their ancestors that had voyaged to Centaurus generations earlier. They bring news that those ancestors had found a habitable planet. They also bring an alien pet, which does not play a large part in the story. Things on Earth are far from what the travelers expect. Society is much more rural, with almost no apparent emphasis on science. The people of the village near where the ship lands are welcoming and helpful, but not at all impressed by the voyage through space. In fact, mankind has given up all of their communities on other planets and now live solely on Earth. Most of the space-travelers are happy to give up the regimented life necessary on the voyage. One man, Brian, and his wife Ellie continue to live in the otherwise abandoned space vessel. Brian thinks that it would be wrong for them to turn their backs on the science by which they have lived. He does begin to adapt to living on Earth, but he resents it. Eventually, previously unforeseen developments make living on Earth more satisfactory to Brian. This is a reasonably good but rather routine tale. Also in this issue is the second half of a two-part article about author L. Frank Baum, titled "The Royal Historian of Oz," written by Martin Gardner. Embarrassing as it is to admit, I have never read any of Baum's books. I found the article fascinating anyway. The book review column, titled "Recommended Reading," is attributed just to "The Editor," who was Anthony Boucher at that time. Boucher was evidently interested in everything, and that certainly shows in his criticism. He gives very positive reviews to two anthologies, three cartoon collections, a couple of young adult science fiction novels, one adult novel, and a View-Master disk. Yes, a View-Master disk. (The disk was an "adventure of Tom Corbett, Space Cadet." Boucher said that the "stereoscopic reproduction is extraordinarily fine, and the portrayals of alien life and of deep space have great charm and authentic beauty.") Boucher was amazing. The technically fine but unexciting cover is by Frank Kelly Freas. I think all of these stories are at least acceptable. The ones that I would recommend are those by Clingerman, Hubbard, and Porges.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Leroy Erickson

    This is just a normal issue, nothing special, nothing bad. Marion Zimmer Bradley - The Climbing Wave - 3 stars - The age on this one shows with the attitudes of the characters. It's an OK story anyway. Fredric Brown - Blood - 3 stars - A short, short story about vampires and time travel. Mildred Clingerman - Birds Can't Count - 4 stars - An inventive story about bird watching, except the watchers are aliens. Martin Gardner - The Royal Historian of Oz (article: second of two parts) - 3 stars - The en This is just a normal issue, nothing special, nothing bad. Marion Zimmer Bradley - The Climbing Wave - 3 stars - The age on this one shows with the attitudes of the characters. It's an OK story anyway. Fredric Brown - Blood - 3 stars - A short, short story about vampires and time travel. Mildred Clingerman - Birds Can't Count - 4 stars - An inventive story about bird watching, except the watchers are aliens. Martin Gardner - The Royal Historian of Oz (article: second of two parts) - 3 stars - The end of a biography of L. Frank Baum and his Oz books. Leigh Brackett - The Tweener - 3 stars - Another story showing its age. The unfortunate life of a Martian animal brought back to Earth as a pet. Arthur Porges - The Tidings - 3 stars - God attempts to restrict man's inhumanity to other men, but can't quite seem to manage it. Manly Wade Wellman - Shiver in the Pines - 3 stars - Another story about John the bard. OK. P. M. Hubbard - Botany Bay - 3 stars - An odd little story about aliens? Alien abduction? Alien possession? You can't really tell. Bryce Walton - The Midway - 3 stars - A carnival for teens to try to prevent juvenile delinquency, told from the point of view of one of the teens.

  3. 4 out of 5

    OTIS

  4. 5 out of 5

    Letande D'Argon

  5. 5 out of 5

    Michael L.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Charles van Buren

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tina

  8. 5 out of 5

    Michael Joseph Schumann

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Brooks

  10. 5 out of 5

    Merewyn

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