The Human Angle
by William Tenn
Review by Timons Esaias

This is the fourth of Tenn's books I've read and it does not disappoint. Put it toward the top of the list when you're searching through the dealer's rooms or the used bookstores of America. I am again convinced that it is an egregious error for mankind to have allowed these works to go out of print.

Some of the stories in this collection, while quite good, are of the Twilight-Zone-one-trick-story type that often feels a bit dated to today's reader. I am convinced that this is because we were raised watching the TV versions of just this type of story, so any originality is lost on us. "Project Hush" (about a secret mission to the Moon), "The Discovery of Morniel Hathaway" (where an unknown artist is visited by a critic from the future), and "The Human Angle" fall into this camp; but they are better reading than a current issue of one of the genre magazines.

"Wednesday's Child" is an intriguing sequel to Tenn's much-reprinted story "Child's Play" and puts a whole new slant on women's health issues.

"The Servant Problem," which studies the machinations surrounding the supreme ruler of a planet, who is 'The Servant of All' is biting and efficient political satire, and certainly not dated in its criticisms or psychological insights.

There are two other social satires of the better sort in this collection, namely "Party of the Two Parts" and "A Man of the Family". The first is a comedy of justice in relations between alien races and numerous planetary cultures - especially involving the different biological/philosophical presumptions. The second depicts a United States that has finally admitted its own (generally unspoken) premise: that money is the central family value.

This one's worth digging for.

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