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The Robot Killer

An experimental robot clumsy enough to kill a kitten it was told to pet is given away as a prize in a contest. The lead researcher protests as this is obviously a bad idea that can only end in tears but the company he works for thinks there's PR potential in using the robot in this manner and he is overruled.

As it turns out, it's an even worse idea than it seems because the wife of the winner is mentally ill, convinced her husband no longer loves her and that she has been replaced in his affections by the lady next door. The wife becomes increasing fixated on the robot as the only faithful companion she has, which of course can only end with her ordering the mechanical man to kill her hated rival. Read more... )
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Temple Of The Pharaohs

Two astronauts are flung back in time through a mechanism of an extremely (implausible) nature even for old time SF, where they become entangled in Egyptian politics of the year 3000 BC.

I learned two things from this Read more... )
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The Rocket And The Skull

The UN program to beat the Eastern Alliance to the Moon and by controlling it control the world is threatened when a pilot vital to the program crashes his aircraft. While he survives the crash, he is badly injured and to make matters worse Read more... )
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Flying Saucers

A deeply repressed researcher and his love interest are kidnapped by forces from outside the Solar System. The twist comes when he learns Read more... )
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Worlds Apart

Humanity's ship to Neptune is en route (at the leisurely pace of 12 km/s, if I heard right) when suddenly they find themselves within the debris field of a comet! Flung off course by encounter, all seems hopeless until Read more... )
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: The Giant Walks

Once again we delve into the world of Forbidden Science, another case of induced gigantism (this time with electrical pulses ans drugs rather than rays). The scientist's scheme to create a race of mind controlled slaves runs into two problems: Read more... )
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The Green Thing

A psychiatrist of the future discovers to his surprise several of his patients have had exactly the same dream. Investigation reveals the horrible truth: Read more... )
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A Veteran Comes Home

A wife and boy await the return of the man of the family, home after half a decade spent fighting on Mars. It seems that the natives of that world do not care to have their world taken from them and have forced the humans to rediscover the art of war after centuries of peace It soon becomes obvious the husband is suffering from a bad case of PTSD, which is not helped by his failure to buy into the whole Manifest Destiny thing.

Happily it turns out PTSD is the sort of thing that can be fixed in a half hour radio drama; the key is to remember that thing another soldier said was making his time on the (oddly hot) hellworld of Mars even worse for him than it was for regular soldiers: love (or in the case of the other guy, losing the only other person on the entire planet to whom he felt such a connection).

The stories in this series often reuse details, not surprising given that they were all written by the same writer. I didn't anythng that necessarily ruled out this being a sequel to When Worlds Met. Poor Martians.
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Space Wreck

Sound quality too crappy, gave up before the clearly doomed vessel set off into space.
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The Brooklyn Brain

Pity poor Joe, who just wants to work hard enough to support his wife, if he could just talk Clarice into marrying him; not only is Clarice not inclined to hand out even tepid physical favours outside the boundaries of marriage, she's not keen on marrying a man as uncultured as working class Joe [1].

Happily for Joe, there's a scientist who needs a human subject to test his instant education machine and Joe's secretary Flora is the sort of observant woman who would notice an ad such a scientist might place in a paper looking for a volunteer for such a machine. In sort order, Joe has had "culchah" (which seems to be art and art history) poured into his head, enough to impress both Clarice and his weaselly rival.

Everything seems fine and then Joe finds out Read more... )
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The Other Man

The authorities and a woman named Mira are confounded when Scotty -a trusted member of the Security Police- is arrested for killing a man in Cairo. Worse, in the days leading up to the arrest, he seems to have engaged in some very suspicious activities. The problem is, when Scott comes home to Mira, his wife, he has no idea about any of this, and this is because Read more... )
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The Insect

Things go horribly wrong when a professor heads off to a promising interview, leaving his entomophobic wife in charge of their shared home, a home that includes a lab with an embiggenator ray and a lot of unusually large (although not monster-movie sized antropods. Of course the Thus I Refute the Square Cube Laws ray gets accidentally turned on and of course the unfortunate wife finds herself cornered by a monstrous Tineola bisselliella. It is only once it is too late that the poor woman learns Read more... )
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When Worlds Met

When the humans establish a base on the Moon, the Martians, a peaceful race, make diplomatic overtures to the Earth. Unfortunately for the Earth, among the many areas in which Martian technology is more advanced than ours is remote sensing, which means they have a much better idea about how the humans are really reacting rather than having to rely on human assurances of peaceful intentions. They are not much impressed by the heavily armed ships that escort them, the mine field in which they were instructed to land or certain details of terrestrial society they can see, like show trials in a Communist nation or a lynch mob in the South.

On the up side they really are peaceful so this is not one of those stories that ends with mass death.

I conditionally take back what I said; in the context of 1950s SF, this has some interesting points. One is that the world government is said to be military in nature but also likely unstable because it does not address the true conflicts between groups except to temporarily suppress them. Another is that the guy who comes up with a technical solution for communication and who is the Voice of Reason in one scene is explicitly Chinese. Granted, voiced in a cringingly awful way but there were not a lot of sympathetic Asian characters in SF in 1950.

I am just going to ignore the bits that seem to imply they can hear sounds in the vacuum of space.

The Martians seem to be screwed here; the humans may not be able to reach Mars in 2020 but presumably some day they will be able to and what will the peaceful Martians do then?
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The Men From Mars

Two teens, determined to make names for themselves, buy a used -$90, late 1980s model- spacecraft so they can set out for Mars, reasoning that if old time kids could fix up jalopies, which they think were a kind of rocket, they should be able to turn an junker into an interplanetary vehicle. Complications en route prevent this plan from working, although the venture is not entirely without some success.

I was so sure the "Martians" were the one boy's dad and his coworkers in the space police. I mean, the dad even made it clear he knew what was up with the used rocket long before his kid came clean.

Yeah, this has a certain quaint charm but I'm not sure that's enough.

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