Category Archives: 1960-1969

“Harry Protagonist, Brain-Drainer,” Richard Wilson, 1963

“Harry Protagonist, Brain-Drainer,” Richard Wilson, 1963 – (short short) Over one-seventy million Americans are connected through a direct brain link to four astronauts on their way to Mars.  In their arrogance, the denizens of Earth never imagined Mars could be … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, astronauts, hubris/pride, invasion, media/advertising, nationalism, post/colonialism, space exploration, spectatorship/voyeurism, television, the Other | Leave a comment

“No Light in the Window,” Kate Wilhelm, 1963

“No Light in the Window,” Kate Wilhelm, 1963 — Hank and Connie are two candidates for a space mission.  The couple lives under constant scrutiny while specialized observers analyze their behavior in order to determine their fitness for the mission.  … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, astronauts, class/labor/"work", emotions/intimacy/empathy, gender, love/family/children, masculinity, psych/mind/madness, space exploration | 2 Comments

“A Time for Revolution,” Hirai Kazumasa, 1963 (2007 Tr.)

“A Time for Revolution,” Hirai Kazumasa, 1963 (2007 Tr.) – Poets and artists from a dystopian future travel back in time to possess the bodies of today’s thugs. Comments:  Read in Speculative Japan: Outstanding Tales of Japanese Science Fiction and … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, artists/creativity, international, time/history/causality, utopia/dystopia, violence | Leave a comment

“The Great Nebraska Sea,” Allan Danzig, 1963

“The Great Nebraska Sea,” Allan Danzig, 1963 – Future citizens of the U.S. (in 2073) have always lived with the Great Nebraska Sea and can’t imagine life without it. Comments: A story of how the present is privileged in assumption … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, geology, time/history/causality | 1 Comment

“Itself!”, A. E. van Vogt, 1963

“Itself!”, A. E. van Vogt, 1963 – An AI submarine left-over from a past war patrols the waters, paranoid and territorial.  By luck, it destroys the crew of an alien invasion craft.  Those in charge realize the value of the … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, automata/robots, intelligence, invasion, mechanization, paranoia/schitzophrenia, violence, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“Not Counting Bridges,” Robert L. Fish, 1963

“Not Counting Bridges,” Robert L. Fish, 1963 – (short short) A man learns of America’s frightening future as a concrete wasteland devoted to providing space for cars. Comments: Read in 100 Great Science Fiction Short Short Stories. Author: Wikipedia ( … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, american culture, capitalism/Marxism, cars/pedestrians, ecology/the environment | 2 Comments

“Good Night, Sophie,” Lino Aldani, 1963

“Good Night, Sophie,” Lino Aldani, 1963 – (trans. from Italian)– In a future in which the superstar, Sophie, is a VR porn star, Sophie must decide if the Anti-Dream League’s claims that “nature and the soul” are being lost due … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, aesthetics/beauty, agency/will/freedom, american culture, capitalism/Marxism, class/labor/"work", dreams/hypnosis, emotions/intimacy/empathy, gender, identity/authenticity, intelligence, interior/exterior, international, love/family/children, media/advertising, memory, narrative, natural/artificial, photo/film/image, progress/obsolescence, psych/mind/madness, reality/VR/surreal, religion/soul/spirituality, senses/space, sex/reproduction/sterility, simulacra, spectatorship/voyeurism, surveillance, the body, the gaze, the Other, theatre/performance | 1 Comment

“The Question,” Donald E. Westlake and Laurence M. Janifer, 1963

“The Question,” Donald E. Westlake and Laurence M. Janifer, 1963 – (short short) A professor grading English I papers is interrupted by a tedious phone call.  He begins to suspect that the story of his life is being written by … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, education, narrative, paranoia/schitzophrenia, reality/VR/surreal, surveillance | 1 Comment

“Kindergarten,” Fritz Leiber, 1963

“Kindergarten,” Fritz Leiber, 1963 – (short short) An eight-year-old boy receives a college education in one day. Comments: Another story of a child with a mismatched interior, dangerous due to abnormal socialization.  Education as programming for the mind. Author: Wikipedia: … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, education, generational conflict, love/family/children | Leave a comment

“The Big Pat Boom,” Damon Knight, 1963

“The Big Pat Boom,” Damon Knight, 1963 – Alien tourists on Earth create a boom in the sale of cow patties.  Unexpectedly, they leave, causing a crash; new aliens arrive, creating a market for apple cores. Comments: Read in Laughing … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, capitalism/Marxism, humor, tourists | 2 Comments

“The Subliminal Man,” J. G. Ballard, 1963

“The Subliminal Man,” J. G. Ballard, 1963 – A man’s futile efforts to stop giant billboards and consumerism from taking over society. Comments: Themes: Consumerism, subliminal advertising, media.  See the intro by H. Bruce Franklin in The Mirror of Infinity: … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, american culture, capitalism/Marxism, consumerism, media/advertising | 2 Comments

“Goodlife,” Fred Saberhagen, 1963

“Goodlife,” Fred Saberhagen, 1963 – Suspense story in which a man and woman are captured by a Berserker, a machine designed by ancients to kill all life it encounters.  Inside, they find Goodlife, a boy raised by the machine.  He … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, emotions/intimacy/empathy, identity/authenticity, love/family/children, mechanization, media/advertising, memory, photo/film/image | 1 Comment

“A Rose for Ecclesiastes,” Roger Zelazny, 1963

“A Rose for Ecclesiastes,” Roger Zelazny, 1963 – A poet, Gallinger, is given the privilege of viewing and translating the sacred texts of an alien culture.  He discovers that their religion is deeply fatalistic.  After impregnating a temple priestess, he earns … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, aesthetics/beauty, artists/creativity, culture clash, death/immortality, emotions/intimacy/empathy, gender, language/libraries, love/family/children, mourning/grief, myth, primitive/civilized, religion/soul/spirituality, suicide, the Other, tourists | 1 Comment

“After a Judgment Day,” Edmond Hamilton, 1963

“After a Judgment Day,” Edmond Hamilton, 1963 — Fallout has mutated harmless bacteria into the A-Plague, which wipes out humanity.  Five men on a lunar outpost have been engaged in sending out “cyborgs” to explore various planets.  Three return home … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, astronauts, catastrophe, cyborgs/posthumans, death/immortality, disease/plague, museums/artifacts, suicide | Leave a comment

“On The Gem Planet,” Cordwainer Smith, 1963

“On The Gem Planet,” Cordwainer Smith, 1963 — A Casher O’Neill tale set in the second century of the “Rediscovery of Man” on planet Anderson. Comments:  “Animals are always uncertain” (82).  Another Smith tale featuring animal-human hybrids.  “On the Gem … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, animals/insects, capitalism/Marxism, ecology/the environment, greed | 3 Comments

“X Marks the Pedwalk,” Fritz Leiber, 1963

“X Marks the Pedwalk,” Fritz Leiber, 1963 — Pedestrians and drivers locked in conflict. Comments: Read in Nightmare Age.  The band “X Marks the Pedwalk” is named after this story.The story is referenced “glancingly” in Danse Macabre by Stephen King … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, american culture, cars/pedestrians, ecology/the environment, progress/obsolescence, speed/slowness | 1 Comment

“The Masked World,” Jack Williamson, 1963

“The Masked World,” Jack Williamson, 1963 — An astronaut searches for his wife, Lilith.  Lilith was part of a survey tasked with “reading” the genetic code of the life there with advanced genetic probes.  Upon reconstructing Lilith’s work, the protagonist … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, astronauts, identity/authenticity, interior/exterior, love/family/children, natural/artificial, simulacra, space exploration, the body, the Other, the scientist | Leave a comment

“Bernie the Faust,” William Tenn, 1963

“Bernie the Faust,” William Tenn, 1963 – A man is approached by a mysterious man who proposes that he buy a twenty dollar bill from him for five dollars.  Although he suspects a scam, he’s intrigued.  The man is revealed … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, capitalism/Marxism | Leave a comment

“Stanley Toothbrush,” Terry Carr, 1962

“Stanley Toothbrush,” Terry Carr, 1962 – A man contemplates the absurdity of the sounds of language.  In doing so, he “disbelieves” his shelves out of existence.  His girlfriend later tells him of her fantasy man, Stanley Toothbrush–and Toothbrush suddenly arrives … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, communication, humor, language/libraries, psych/mind/madness | 2 Comments

“The Cage of Sand,” J. G. Ballard, 1962

“The Cage of Sand,” J. G. Ballard, 1962 – An architect, Bridgeman, fails to be chosen to design the new colony on Mars, and becomes a bit obsessed.  He finds himself at the ruins of Canaveral, where Martian soil has … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, astronauts | 3 Comments