Post August 29, 2013, 11:28:37 PM

One Last Mark by Paul Miller

This one is a fun little 1930's style laser-gun pulp. (The only unclear part might be whether the word "computer" was around in actual stories before 1940 - I am a bit rusty on my exact history. But the style had definitely moved on post 1946.)

It seems a couple of stories this issue have to be read with a "context of their own". In this case, I feel it has to be read as a 1930's pulp, because that was an age when these types of "space shuttles and blaster fights" stories were written straight up, and not in any of the cynical call-backs which developed in later decades out of a type of genre exhaustion.

Just as the barest of examples, notice how there were no finesses of any kind in the fight. Ra'vihd the Hunter *charged the blockade*. So with several minutes of time to wait and rest a bit, any competent shot should have been able to take him down. Even clearer was that the only weapons he had were a blaster that overheated and an electro baton. No grenades? No stun gas? Nothing else remotely creative?

So Space Opera it is. And for that, it's good enough.