Tangent Online

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
the genre's premiere review magazine for short SF & Fantasy since 1993

Hallucination Orbit -- J. T. McIntosh

E-mail Print

J. T. McIntosh is the most familiar pseudonym used by Scottish author James Murdoch MacGregor (1925--    ). Fairly prolific throughout the 1950s and 1960s, McIntosh saw many of his stories published in Astounding, Galaxy, and F&SF. His writing time was split between his short work and numerous novels, the last of which, A Planet Called Utopia, saw print in 1979.

"Hallucination Orbit" was published in the January 1952 issue of Galaxy, which just happened to be the first issue wherein Alfred Bester's landmark novel The Demolished Man was serialized. Good company, indeed. X Minus One ran "Hallucination Orbit" on May 15, 1956, exactly 55 years to the day we replay it for you now. The story examines the effect of loneliness and isolation in space, and how one man deals with something over which he has no control. The nature of reality is the primary theme, of which we imagine Philip K. Dick would have been intensely interested.

Play Time: 28:39