picture 1 of 2|
picture 2 of 2 Top
THE ESKIMO INVASION
Tight and square; spine is very slightly dished (bottom of spine has faint 2" raised ridge - as printed); no stamps, marks or writing. Age tanning is mild and uniform - average for its age. The reasons I don't grade this higher are hard to explain without making them seem worse than they appear: in the middle of bottom 1" of front cover are 2 or 3 marks that look like bump-traces (but there are no matching traces on any interior page.) Back cover has a faint 2" diagonal distress mark near bottom - not really a line and definitely not a fold-trace (also with no echoing damage to inside of book.) I'm not sure if any of this will show up in the scans.
The Eskimo Invasion, by Hayden Howard. John Hayden Howard has written a handful of SF stories since 1952; this is a "fix-up" revised and expanded from 5 novelets in Galaxy: "The Eskimo Invasion" (June 1966), "Who Is More Human?" (revised and retitled from "Who Is Human?," Aug,1966), "Too Many Esks" (October 1966), "Our Man in Peking" (Feb,1967), and "The Purpose of Life"(April 1967.) This is essentially an uncredited serial - since only one issue in that span didn't contain part of the series. The contents page lists 10 chapters: chapters 1 and 4 are new material original to this book; the last 4 chapters are a pair of 2-part splits of novella-length pieces from Galaxy, with the 2nd half keeping the original magazine title. Only chapter 3 shows obvious revision from the magazine version. A related story: "Birth and Death of the Angakok" (Galaxy April 1965) takes place before the book (there is no matching text or correspondance of events.) This is definitely "off trail" SF, different than you usually encounter - smart and fast-moving. I really liked this, and recommend it. The ending reminded me a bit of Clarke's Childhood's End - truly transcendent.
Dr. Joseph West - formerly Director of Oriental Population Problems Research at Berkeley, thought there was something strange going on at the Eskimo Cultural Sanctuary, located on remote Boothia Peninsula in Canada. He sneaks into the Sanctuary (guarded by helicopters and jets), where 112 Eskimos had been isolated for 20 years from all whiteman's influences as part of Canada's Fifth Cultural Alternative for Eskimos. Living with them for several months, taking notes, counting their numbers and asking about their legends, he encounters some... impossibilities. For one thing, the population was way too high for the short span of time of their isolation. But Dr. West can't believe what he hears - women cannot bear more than 30 children, and a gestation time of 1 month is impossible! But nonetheless - there are many, many children, and how will they be fed? When he is injured and leaves the Sanctuary, his first priority is to convince the keepers that there is a problem that flyovers will not detect or help - and he meets great resistance and disbelief. But further study of some of these "Esks" reveals that not only can they bear children every month, but they can do so when only 4 years old, and are genetically programmed to be likeable... (!) Dr. West concludes they cannot be human and tries to do something, only to find out his first efforts had effect - the world is convinced this is a humanitarian relief problem, and these children need to be fed and protected!