Tuesday, March 08, 2005

The Great Judge and Him by A. E. van Vogt

[ prose science fiction ]

The Great Judge (1948)
Him (1968)
by A. E. van Vogt
My rating: 1.0

I read Him, first, from the van Vogt paperback anthology, More Than Superhuman (1971); then The Great Judge from anthology Away and Beyond (1952).

Him is a rewrite of The Great Judge.

Sadly, neither of these short-short stories is worthwhile. They are gimmick tales about defeating a despotic dictator by means of memory transfer.

van Vogt changed all the character names, and changed the means of memory transfer but they are both weak and insubstantial.

The unfortunate truth is that editors will publish garbage by established authors because the name will sell a copy of the magazine. I've run into this too often with other "big name" SF authors. They seem to occur for short stories that should never have found a market, and those shorts are rarely better than story outlines, or character sketches, for what should be longer, fleshed out novels.

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