James Nicoll Reviews

Home > Reviews > Post

Not Sure Just What We Have in Store

Galileo, July 1979  (Galileo, book 13)

Edited by Charles C. Ryan 

6 Sep, 2020

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

6 comments

Support me with a Patreon monthly subscription!

Galileo, July 1979 was the thirteenth of sixteen published issues of Charles C. Ryan’s Galileo Magazine.

Galileo is not much mentioned these days, but a mere forty-one years ago it was one of my go-to SF magazines. I would have rated it higher than Bova’s Analog (much higher than Schmidt’s), but not as high as Baen’s Galaxy .

How does it stand up, you ask?



One thing that leaps right out at me is that despite being just ninety-six pages long (granted, standard magazine-sized pages, not digest sized) this issue is just crammed with content, which ranged in length from short pieces to a novella-sized chunk of Ringworld Engineers , which as you know Bob was one of the pioneers of unnecessary sequels. Admittedly, Dune got there first.

The various essays on Apollo 11, written a decade after the end of Apollo and in the middle of a long drought in US crewed missions (1973–1981, if memory serves), are pretty much what you’d expect, with appeals to destiny, the potential of off-world resources, and the threat of the rascally Soviets. As I said when I reviewed the July 1979 Analog [1], a very simple Fortran program could crank out this sort of thing. Notable exceptions include a request for space fans to stop using spin offs as a justification for space research, on the grounds that targeted R&D would no doubt have produced the same benefits more efficiently. The article also pointed that crewed missions aren’t the only way to explore the Solar System; there are such things as space probes.

The essay featuring an interview with H. L. Gold, former editor of Galaxy , gives us some insight into an interesting period in SF history. He credits Stanley G. Weinbaum for making it acceptable for SF magazines to publish openly Jewish Jews.

There are not one but two lists of best sellers. One is reproduced below (sorry for the low resolution),

while other consists of the following:

Note how women dominate the hardcovers in the second list….

And how does this issue stand up to a re-reading more than forty years later? Well, it’s very 1970s, filled with authors I followed avidly at the time (but not now) and featuring a plethora of male contributors (some of whom, even at the time, had not adapted well to changing mores). Reading it was an exercise in nostalgia. The ads, oh, the ads. But perhaps readers under the age of fifty will be appalled rather than amused.

Galileo, July 1979 is extremely out of print.

Now for the nitty gritty.

Not listed in the table of contents: a fairly lengthy list of corrections, of which the most interesting is one assuring readers that the magazine’s circulation numbers are far less dire than they appear. Galileo would publish a grand total of sixteen issues before folding (in the midst, if I recall correctly, of attempting to acquire and rescue Galaxy Magazine). A seventeenth issue was prepared but not published.

Editorial (Galileo #13) • [Editorial (Galileo)] • essay by Charles C. Ryan

A tribute to Galileo Magazine.

Pro-File (Galileo #13) • essay by Letty Hummel

Biographies of contributors to this issue.

SF Answer Man (Galileo #13) • essay by Charles C. Ryan

A parody column in which the author responds to questions from readers. In this case, the question is posed by one reader. Her query about the intersection of etiquette and first contact is less a question than a rambling tale.

Essays on the Tenth of Apollo 11

Hal Clement, Jerry Pournelle, Frederik Pohl, Frank Herbert, Clifford D. Simak, and Poul Anderson.

What it says on the tin.

Interview: H. L. Gold • by Jeffrey M. Elliot

An interview with H. L. Gold, former editor of Galaxy Magazine .

NASA Notes (Galileo #13) • essay by Thomas L. Owen

A brief status report on events at NASA, leaning more towards and proposals than actual missions. studies There. is a dig at aspiring women astronauts.

Crosswhen #5: The Slums of Space (comic) • short fiction by John Kessel and Terry Lee

Although the strip has interesting black and white artwork, the story itself is a short fragment of a larger one whose arc is lost to me. Bad stuff is afoot and our idiot heroes are being roped into the affair.

Grave-II • short story by John Alfred Taylor

Space terrorists: BAD!

Which does not stop one of the forgettable characters from musing that perhaps the world would be better off if the terrorists massacred ninety percent of the human population.

Homing Pigeon • short story by Connie Willis

A misplaced crew is rescued by the harnessed magical power of the longing of housewives.

“Universal Soldier” • short story by D. C. Poyer

The intended target of an indoctrinated soldier makes the mistake of focussing on philosophical niceties rather than on the fact that the brainwashed killer is pointing a gun at him.

Universal Soldier • interior artwork by Fred Knecht

“Jahratta Dki” • short story by George Guthridge [as by George Florance-Guthridge]

What underhanded trick enabled a third world athlete to circumvent the stringent testing to which all sports cyborgs are subjected?

The Ringworld Engineers (Part 1 of 4) • [Ringworld • 2] • serial by Larry Niven

Part one of Niven’s Ringworld follow-up, in which Louis Wu and Chmeee are shanghaied back to the Ringworld. You may remember there were two women in Ringworld ? Neither appears in Engineers , one because she got left behind on the Ringworld, and the other because her lady-sized fridge is far too comfortable.

The Aleph (Galileo #13) • essay by Andrew A. Whyte

This appears to be a listing of impending new F&SF releases.

Review: Born to Exile by Phyllis Eisenstein • review by George R. R. Martin

Review: Eschatus by Bruce Pennington • review by Sandra Miesel

Review: Pursuit of the Screamer by Ansen Dibell • review by David A. Truesdale

Review: The Uncertainty Principle by Дмитрий Биленкин? • review by Patrick L. McGuire

Review: Star Games by Rick Brightfield and Jack Looney and Jim Razzi • review by Marvin Kaye

Games (Galileo #13) • essay by Marvin Kaye

Entertainment (Galileo #13) • essay by David Gerrold

Reviewing reviews is too meta for me but I do find it interesting that Galileo had a whole roster of reviewers.

This was the issue that alerted me to the existence of Jeff Wayne’s Musical War of the Worlds .

Opinion (Galileo #13) • essay by Robert Silverberg

Yeah, life is too short too waste on Silverberg.

Inquisition

A letters page. Of note is an ad in a sidebar, announcing a writing contest with prizes of $200, $350, and $500 USD, which in 2020 USD would be about $700, $1250, and $1800, respectively.

Star Chamber: Clifford D. Simak • [Star Chamber] • essay by Charles C. Ryan [as by uncredited]

A profile of author Clifford D. Simak.

The illustrations in this issue are as follows:

Grave-II • interior artwork by Fred Knecht

Homing Pigeon • interior artwork by Alex Stevens

Universal Soldier • interior artwork by Fred Knecht

Jahratta Dki • interior artwork by Fred Knecht

The Ringworld Engineers (Part 1 of 4) • interior artwork by Larry Blamire

That’s all, folks.

1: I had confused the essays in the Analog with the essays in the Galileo, which is why I borrowed that copy of Analog from Royce Day to review. When I mailed the Analog back to Royce, Canada Post lost it. Sorry Royce.