Friday, October 07, 2016
FFB: A digest magazine -- Fantastic Science Fiction, February, 1958
When I was a teen, I never missed an issue of Fantastic, so I'm sure I read this one. Reading it again, I came to the bleak realization that I had terrible taste. This is really bad stuff.
Henry Sleasar's story "Jewel of Ecstasy" gets the cover, and what a mess it is. The story, not the cover. The setting is pure '50s except for the interplanetery travel. There's this jewel, see, and anybody who looks at it becomes amoral and immortal. And it just gets goofier as it goes along. Yikes.
Sex sold in the '50s, and "Mr. Fenbley's Nudes" is about a female mannikin that comes alive when touched by a man with the right body chemistry. Hahahaha! What a great concept. The farce doesn't work in the least.
"I Married a Martian" has a guy getting a woman's bedtime and bathtime routines on his TV set. Saucer clubs! A real Martian wife! She sure can cook! Yuks galore!
"Code for Unbelievers" tells us that there's a Universal Unconscious Mind that we all share and that, well, we can become millionaires. Or something.
I can't go on, but the other stories are equally dire. Yet I ate this stuff up as a youngster. It's no wonder I'm a dunderhead. It's embarrassing. I should've been reading Jane Austen. Too late for me now, though.
ToC from the invaluable Galactic Central:
6 · Jewel of Ecstasy · Henry Slesar · nv
45 · Mr. Fenbley’s Nudes · Wilson Kane · ss
52 · I Married a Martian · E. K. Jarvis · ss
66 · A Code for Unbelievers · G. L. Vandenburg · ss
84 · Earth Specimen · Gerald Vance · ss
102 · Danger, Red! · O. H. Leslie · ss
116 · Appointment with Mr. Armstrong · Doris E. Kaye · ss