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Stellar 7

Stellar 7

By Judy-Lynn del Rey 

12 Nov, 2020

Stellar

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Stellar 7

edited by Judy-Lynn del Rey

Del Rey (August 1981)

213 pages ($2.50)

Weird. Only eight months between S6 and S7, plus the price *dropped* by twenty-five cents.

Cover art is an uninspired piece by David Mattingly and if it illustrates a particular story, I am not sure which one it is. Shows a space ship or flying city, with a non-destructive glowing beam between it and a mountain top tower and several flying men with jet packs in the foreground. Use of colours reminds me a little of Foss.


Making Light” (James P. Hogan)

Evul Bureaucrats and environmentalists get in the way of GOD making Earth but a way is found around the regulations using the Big Bang.

I’m sure I have only read a thousand stories like this. Bet Hogan wouldn’t write this today, as many Velikovskyites are anti-BB.

Horn O Plenty” (Terry Carr and Leanne Frahm)

A plucky duo investigates the source of a rather inconvenient HoP, eventually making a cunning deal with its makers.

Eh. Not awful but nothing special. Inoffensive pleasant fluff. Terry Carr was a kick-ass editor, though.

Excursion Fare” (James Tiptree)

A loving couple, adrift and dying on the ocean, are rescued by a ship full of terminal patients. Eventually they discover the entities financing the ship are aliens, who are protective of their secrets. The alien in charge offer two fates: death or lobotomy.

Well written, depressing.

War Movie” (Larry Niven)

A Draco’s Tavern story about the aliens who accidentally ruined themselves by a poorly thought-out attempt to exploit human tendencies towards violence.

Amusing fluff. More to it than a Gavaghan’s Bar story, less to it than a White Hart.

Folger’s Factor” (L. Neil Smith)

The obnoxious time traveler misuses the power of coffee and enables a species to become intelligent tool-users.

Light fluff. Not as annoying as the other stories but it reminded me overmuch of a better version of this situation by A. Bertram Chandler.

Pelangus” (Rick Raphael)

Plucky sea farmers try to become part of the USA despite opposition from their economic competitors in the US and attempts by Chinese sea rustlers to steal valuable stock.

Too long, dull. Points for a story about people trying to become part of something instead of YAARW story.

[YAARW = Yet Another American Revolutionary War] 

The Mystery of the Duplicate Diamonds” (Paul A. Carter) 

Duplicate diamonds lead to the discovery of multiple worlds.

The story doesn’t really go anywhere imo.

The Two Tzaddiks” (Ira Herman)

A dispute over the method of determining the Sabbath in an L5 colony splits an orbiting settlement.

Eventually, a mishap re-unites the factors by apparently indicating the correct day for the Sabbath.

Inoffensive light fluff. I wonder if there’s enough stories about disputes over points of Jewish law to fill an anthology yet? I can think of at least three off hand…

Identity Crisis” (James P. Hogan)

Man thinks his wife is having an affair but she turns out to be using the body-swapping tech from the previous anthology to see what being a man is like.

Many authors could have gotten an interesting and thoughtful story out of this but James P. Hogan bravely resists the temptation.

I like this collection better than Six, although I disliked or at least did not care for as many stories as I liked.