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Posts Tagged ‘Science Fiction’

“Medal of Honor” continues, as our protagonist lives the life of the hero he’s not. But he’s starting to figure out that he may not have made a good bargain.

Part 3.

20:47.

This story’s only got one or two parts to go.

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“Medal of Honor” continues, as our protagonist learns what kind of future has been planned for him.

Part 2.

23:12.

Is it me, or are there a lot of emo commanding officers in military SF from the sixties and seventies?

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“Medal of Honor” is an interesting story. I’m afraid that the first part is rather short, but it seemed a logical stopping point. (And I’m still babying my voice.)

Mack Reynolds was an extremely prolific author who was very popular back in the fifties, sixties and early seventies. (He apparently was a member of the Socialist Labor Party, which surprises me. I always thought he was an early libertarian or something. Well, I’m no pundit.) Anyway, he always struck me as a very Western-ornery sort of writer, and he wrote a lot of military and political sf. It was fairly obvious that he loved throwing what-ifs into the speculation blender. Today he’s almost totally forgotten by younger sf readers, except for his 1968 Star Trek kids’ novel, which was recently reprinted at John Ordover’s behest. (A very nice behest.) I don’t think any of his books were precisely great, but they were all pretty good reads.

Part 1.

13:34.

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“Shipwreck in the Sky” is a fun little near-future story of a pioneering Air Force space test pilot. Originally published in March 1954 in Fantastic Universe, you’ll find that it did a pretty good job of predicting how space would be. But then, it throws in a little twist…. 🙂

I’m not sure Binder captures the military on a mission/flight control mindset quite as well as he could have (unless you imagine the Colonel as being actually extremely stoic in his replies, in which case it does make sense). I’m afraid I didn’t quite capture the pilot voice correctly, though, so we’re even. (Maybe I need to rewatch The Right Stuff, to get in touch with my inner Chuck Yeager.)

“Shipwreck in the Sky”

22:56.

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“Morale” ends with a spark and a bang, as we learn that psychological warfare works both ways.

Parts 6 and 7.

15:47.

You’ll notice how much stronger this story is than “Tanks”. A year or two can make a big difference in a writer’s skills — or an editor’s, for that matter.

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“Morale” continues, as Sergeant Walpole comes up with a plan, and Murray Leinster anticipates the feelings of many television viewers. (Really, an impressive act of extrapolation, in a story published in December 1931.)

Part 5.

13:56.

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“Morale” continues, as Sergeant Walpole takes a midnight ride into a battlefield.

Part 4.

13:25.

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