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Galaxy Science Fiction May 1956 Frederick Pohl “SLAVE SHIP”

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 Let’s explore the contents of the Galaxy Science Fiction magazine from May 1956:

Galaxy Science Fiction – May 1956

  1. Editor’s Page: Of Two Minds
    • An essay by H. L. Gold, providing insights and reflections.
  2. Novelette: Volpla
    • Written by Wyman Guin, this novelette takes readers to a world where alien creatures called Volplas challenge human understanding.
  3. Short Story: Name Your Symptom
    • A tale by Jim Harmon, exploring the power of language and its impact on reality.
  4. Science Department – For Your Information: Wanted — Dead or Alive
    • An essay by Willy Ley, discussing the mysteries of space and the search for extraterrestrial life.
  5. Novelette: A Coffin for Jacob
    • Written by Edward W. Ludwig, this story delves into the enigma of a coffin and its secrets.
  6. Short Story: One Across
    • A narrative by Arthur Sellings, unraveling the mysteries of a crossword puzzle.
  7. Galaxy’s 5 Star Shelf (Galaxy, May 1956)
    • An essay by Floyd C. Gale, reviewing notable books and literary works.
  8. Book-Length Serial – Conclusion: Slave Ship…
    • The final installment of a serial by Frederik Pohl, taking readers on a gripping journey through space and intrigue.

 Let’s delve into the intriguing world of Frederik Pohl’s science fiction short story titled “Slave Ship”:

“Slave Ship”

  • AuthorFrederik Pohl
  • Publication Date: Serialized in Galaxy Science Fiction in 1956
  • Setting:
    • The scene is a world in the throes of a low-intensity global war, which appears to be an amplified representation of the Vietnam War, in which the U.S. was just beginning to be involved.
    • The plot involves telepathy, speaking to animals, and, in the last few pages, an invasion by extraterrestrials.
  • Nominal Adversaries:
    • Known as “cow-dyes”, a corruption of Caodai, a religion of Vietnamese origin.
  • American Side:
    • Telepaths, who are used in espionage and other covert activities, are falling victim to “the glotch”, a fatal affliction believed to be a Caodai bio-weapon transmitted telepathically.


  • Galaxy reviewer Floyd C. Gale praised the novel as “an authentically convincing picture of a wartime navy” and “a think-tank tickler.”
  • Anthony Boucher reported that while the novel was “fascinating,” it was also “disappointing.” Pohl’s skill in detailed indirect exposition was Heinleinesque, but the novel was episodic, weakly characterized, and arbitrarily resolved.

And so, dear reader, within these pages lies a tale of war, telepathy, and the clash of ideologies. 🌌📖