by Morgan Wallace
Let us continue with our ongoing thread on Australia’s American Science Fiction Magazine pulp reprint series, as published by the Malian Press, in the 1950s. As always, each cover is gorgeously illustrated by Stanley Pitt.
Our cover feature is “The Irrationals” by Milton Lesser. The story reminds me of the movie version of Philip K. Dick’s Minority Report, albeit, very loosely. If you’ve read Dick’s story or viewed the movie, then, you really do not need me to elaborate any further. The story itself was decently written.
Nelson Bond’s “The Man Who Could Walk Through Walls” was terribly stale, but typical of Bond’s easy-going fantastic fiction stylings. Not great, but not horrible either. Just a good, easy read for the late-night armchair reader, kickin’-it old-school by a roaring fireplace.
Ray Bradbury’s “The Pedestrian” is epic, to a fault. Ray expresses no imagination regarding televisions over a hundred years later from whence this story was originally written. Nor does he alter the “shows” the people are watching, etc. It’s as if they are all watching 1940s television in the year 2131. Hardly believable. I found that irredeemable of a man capable of writing cleverly constructed stories. Despite my personal grievances against the background-plot, it was well-written, and engaging enough to make me wonder just what WAS the point that Ray would eventually drive home. According to Ray, this story is the beginning of what would become FAHRENHEIT 451. So, maybe I shouldn’t knock the story…. Not entirely.