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the genre's premiere review magazine for short SF & Fantasy since 1993

X Minus One -- The Girls from Earth by Frank M. Robinson

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X Minus One aired Frank M. Robinson's (1926-    ) "The Girls from Earth" on January 16th, 1957 as its 84th episode. The novelette originally appeared in the January 1952 issue of Galaxy, which just happened to coincide with inclusion of the first part of Alfred Bester's serialized novel The Demolished Man. Robinson takes his cue from stories of the Old West on Earth, where women from back East agreed to travel out West to marry settlers by pre-arranged contract. Here the scenario plays out with women from Earth agreeing to travel to Mars for their men. The story revolves around a pair of scoundrels out to make a quick buck by arranging such marriages--for a hefty price of course--and then cutting corners when it comes to the ages and promised beauty of the women. When the lonely Martian miners discover the scam you'd think all hell would break loose--at least that's what our frightened scammers believe--and they fear for their lives. But when the rocket from Earth arrives with 20,000 women, and decidedly not the gorgeous type Hollywood promotes, the situation resolves itself in a most unexpected way as Robinson offers an insight into human nature that raises the story above just another superficially "humorous" tale.

Play Time: 22:29