Reviews: MacLean, Katherine

From the pages of Astounding and Galaxy

The Diploids and Other Flights of Fancy — Katherine MacLean

I have been listening to the old radio show X Minus One . Because her stories provided the basis of several episodes, Katherine MacLean (last seen here in my review of her Missing Man) has been on my mind. Hence this review. The Diploids and Other Flights of Fancy (or as it is called in my edition,


The Diploids and 7 Other Stories), collects a number of her works from the 1950s.

By purest coincidence, I recently encountered someone who had never read MacLean’s much-anthologized “The Snowball Effect.” [1] That does not make me want to read this collection more than I already do—but it does convince me that now is a good time to review this (sadly obscure and wildly out of print) collection.


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Who Decides?

Missing Man — Katherine MacLean

I discovered MacLean in the 1970s [1] but her career began in the 1940s. During the 1950s she was one of the more prominent women writing science fiction, with stories like “Pictures Don’t Lie,” “The Snowball Effect,” and “Incommunicado.” Like most authors at the time, she focused on short works rather than novels, but in the 1970s she did produce a small number of novels, of which this would be the best remembered.

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