MURRAY LEINSTER “The Sentimentalists.” Novelette. First published in Galaxy SF, April 1953. Reprinted in Year’s Best Science Fiction Novels: 1954, edited by Everett F. Bleiler & T. E. Dikty (Frederick Fell, hardcover. 1954).

   Read at this late date, some 65 years later (!!), this definitely falls into the category of traditional (old fashioned) science fiction. I don’t think it could be published today, but to anyone my age or so (plus or minus 10 years), it’s a delightful look back at our not hardly misspent youth.

   Two space-faring aliens, evidently male and female — though who could tell with all those tentacles and eye stalks — are taking a honeymoon across the galaxy, when the male (Rhadanpsicus) decides to stop at one of the outer planets of the system Cetus Gamma, where a disaster involving the local sun is scheduled to take place. The female (Nodalictha) amuses herself by watching the inhabitants of one of the inner planets and unaccountably finds herself fascinated by them.

   It seems that one of the colonists is having problems with his farm, and if his crops don’t come in, he will be forced to call it quits and work for the crooked company who had loaned him the money to begin with. At the end of his rope, he suddenly finds himself flooded with ideas for new inventions that will solve all of his problems. Nodalictha has interceded on his behalf, persuading Rhadanpsicus to help him. (Thank goodness for copy and paste.)

   And so Lon is able at last to marry Cathy.

   There’s no deep message here, as you have probably already guessed. But I for one do not always need messages, and perhaps you sometimes feel that way, too.