It should be no secret to regular readers that we at SF Gateway are big fans of Galactic Journey. For newcomers: this is the journal of an intrepid time traveller, reviewing the 1960′s SF magazines in real time as if they were just being released. Go. Read. Be amazed.
While it’s really the great classic SF mags of the era that concern the time traveller – the likes of Analog, Asimov’s, F&SF, Galaxy and If – he still finds time to update us on the tense competition of the space race, current events and politics – and to review the odd novel. One such is Gordon R. Dickson‘s Naked to the Stars , serialised in the October and November 1961 issues of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction:
Pacifist sci-fi novels have been similarly rare. Given the nature of Dickson’s Dorsai, I was thus surprised (and delighted) to see that his recent Naked to the Stars, serialized over the last two months in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, is a thoughtful and engaging anti-war book.
A few hundred years in the future, humanity is rapidly expanding throughout the local part of the galaxy. At Stars‘ beginning, we’ve already conquered one sentient race in our quest for stellar real estate, and a war is in progress against a second, the Lehaunans of Arcturus. We meet Lieutenant Cal Truant, whose traumatic (but, at first, unexplained) experience on the Lehaunan home planet causes him to wound himself out of the army.