Jul. 7th, 2014

[identity profile] littlerdog.livejournal.com
Two things about James White's The Aliens Among Us, in no significant order.

Firstly, if you pull the same shtick in two separate stories, it will only work once.

Secondly, what's with the racism?

The stories give the impression overall that White is in favour of racial harmony, even extending this frequently to aliens, even hideous and frightening aliens. But then we get a paragraph like this:

"Progress was more than satisfactory. But that report had posed another problem: the unorganised and decentralised near-savages of Africa, parts of America and the Pacific Islands."

Hein? Uhh? What?

Okay, it's the late 1950s, but still.

I enjoyed the stories for the most part, although two of them were very much alike, and it might have been better if only one of those had been included. There's a lot of irritating spelling and grammar errors, giving the impression that nobody cared very much about these stories when they were published. Crowds for cowards, idealogy for ideology, you're for your, etc. And it was hard to ignore the racism and the predictable 1950s attitudes. Yes, everyone's free under the Guardsmen, but still no women to be seen. Sigh.

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