Sci-Fi Sundays: Analog, March 1969


Originally published at:


Before I read the copy, I was admiring the picture. I thought how well crafted the pants were to take into consideration the tail. But that would take some dexterity to get those pants zipped.

Since the pull tab is at the base of the tail, the zipper is open at the waist of the pants. Then zipped from the waist to the tail opening. The snap/button is then fastened.

All of this behind the back.


Lovely stuff; so evocative of my childhood.


Now you’ve done it. I’ll have to take that issue off the shelf and re-read it.

FWIW, Wolfling is being reprinted this year.


Um, no comments on the guys fighting with lightsabers?
Freas is awesome.


Other way around, I think. This seems to enlarge the opening for the tail.


Actually 2 now. Yours and my reply.


Check your multiple misspellings of Apollo and edit. I’m not usually pedantic, just really dig Apollo era stuff.


Possibly. Going from the nomenclature provided here

I am assuming the bottom stop is at the waistband edge. So instead of a front fly, the pants close from the rear. This would necessitate the Insertion Pin be placed into the retainer box at the edge of the trousers at the waistband and then zipped towards the tail. All this done behind your back.

Now you may be correct and there is a captured zipper and it is there to allow a larger opening for the tail to be inserted and then zipped and buttoned tight.

Your view does, perhaps, make more sartorial sense. Unless these guys just like looking at each other, jerking their head back while saying “Zip me up?”


I just tried mimicking your setup with an upside down hoodie behind my back, and it is surprisingly easy to zip! No assistance required.


Lightsabres are (big shock) cheap imitations. At the same time too powerful and too limited.

These suckers are good for one thing and one thing only: duelling between people who make Olympic fencers look like kids swinging cardboard tubes.

Part of Dicksons’ excellent concept is that the weapons can either attack or defend, BUT the position on the “blade” matters. Their lengths are dynamically adjustable, tapering from base (at where a guard would be) to the tip. The smaller the cross-section, the more powerful they are, so you can block the other’s weapon only if you do so farther towards the tip than the point you intersect. Of course if you’re quick you can shorten your “blade” to make that happen. If he doesn’t do it before you do.

In the end, speed kills. And, yes, that scene above is directly from the story. To the best of my memory Freas never illustrated a story he hadn’t read, and although he did “mood” illustrations if there was action in the pic, the scene was in the story.

I am, as always, delighted to be proven wrong. In this case doubly so because that would mean you had once again re-read one of those delightful old tales.


Always look forward to these posts. And yes, Kelly Freas was absolutely brilliant. Has any other artist done as good a job of capturing humor, romance, adventure, and awe?


Every freaking month, no less, for years on end.


Please. They’re “layzah swoids.”


You oughta see their chairs…


His cover for Christopher Anvil’s PANDORA’S PLANET, - the uproarious SF humorous adventure novel, a prequel to this Analog story, about an alien invasion of Earth and how they bit off almost more than they could chew - was brilliant as well, and one of my favorites along with the novel.



[ETA: One giant zip for furrykind (sic)]


I too noticed the attention to detail and thought. I don’t think it would be that hard to zip up.


Baen reprinted the whole thing edited by Eric Flint while Anvil was still alive, incorporating the short stories involving Klide Horsip and John Towers into the novel (as “Pandora’s Legions”). It’s a fun read.


Please note that 3 of the interior pictures are actually by Leo Summers.