Category Archives: animals/insects

“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

“Alpha Ralpha Boulevard,” Cordwainer Smith, 1961

“Alpha Ralpha Boulevard,” Cordwainer Smith, 1961 — In the “first years of the Rediscovery of Man, when the Instrumentality dug deep in the treasury, reconstructing the old cultures, the old languages, and even the old troubles,” Paul and Virginia tour … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, agency/will/freedom, animals/insects, cities/architecture/habitats, class/labor/"work", cyborgs/posthumans, death/immortality, difference/tolerance, disease/plague, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, hubris/pride, identity/authenticity, love/family/children, museums/artifacts, myth, natural/artificial, primitive/civilized, spectatorship/voyeurism, the Other, time/history/causality, tourists | Leave a comment

“Old Hundreth,” Brian Aldiss, 1960

“Old Hundreth,” Brian Aldiss, 1960 – A story of far earth and the human calvacade that marched through time to reach it, now transcended (uploaded) to a static plane of mingled personality.  This long-forgotten human civilization has left behind its … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, animals/insects, cyborgs/posthumans, evolution, favorites, museums/artifacts, music, religion/soul/spirituality, speed/slowness, the body, violence, war/soldiers | 1 Comment

“The Cold Green Eye,” Jack Williamson, 1953

“The Cold Green Eye,” Jack Williamson, 1953 — A boy is left with monks by his parents so that he might live a simple life in harmony with life and nature, sequestered from consumerism and Western conventions.  His aunt in … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, american culture, animals/insects, consumerism, culture clash, death/immortality, difference/tolerance, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, love/family/children, primitive/civilized, religion/soul/spirituality, the Other | Leave a comment

“What Do You Mean…Human?” John W. Campbell, Jr., 1959

“What Do You Mean…Human?” John W. Campbell, Jr., 1959 – (Essay) Campbell’s essay expressing his philosophy of sf. Comments: Includes a graph of human/non-human characteristics (of animals, robots, a man with prosthetics) that reminded me a bit of Haraway’s later … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, animals/insects, difference/tolerance, emotions/intimacy/empathy, genrecraft, logic/reason, psych/mind/madness, the body, the Other | Leave a comment

“The Burning of the Brain,” Cordwainer Smith, 1958

“The Burning of the Brain,” Cordwainer Smith, 1958 – Magno Taliano, the greatest Go-Captain ever, and his vain and jealous wife, the former beauty Dolores Oh, are joined by his niece, Dita–a promising captain-in-training–on his ship.  The ship is lost, … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, aesthetics/beauty, animals/insects, favorites, gender, love/family/children | Leave a comment

“Pelt,” Carol Emshwiller, 1958

“Pelt,” Carol Emshwiller, 1958 – A beautiful white dog (alternately referred to as Aloora, Queen, Galaxa) helps her master track down sentient “beasts” on the planet Jaxa.  Despite the beasts’ urging of her to do “something free,” to do anything … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, animals/insects, intelligence, slavery/human trafficking | Leave a comment

“Space-Time for Springers,” Fritz Leiber, 1958

“Space-Time for Springers,” Fritz Leiber, 1958 – Gummitch the super-kitten struggles to understand his human “parents” and their malevolent daughter, doomed by her cruelty (as only Gummitch can reason) to one day become a cat. Comments: Themes/images of intelligence, animals, … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, animals/insects, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, intelligence, logic/reason, religion/soul/spirituality | Leave a comment

“The Wonder Horse,” George Byram, 1957

“The Wonder Horse,” George Byram, 1957 — Two horse breeders discover that their horse is a mutant that is destined to end horse-racing as they know it. Comments: Read in The Best of the Best. Author:

Posted in 1946-1959, animals/insects, eugenics/heredity, evolution | Leave a comment

“Prima Belladonna,” J. G. Ballard, 1956

“Prima Belladonna,” J. G. Ballard, 1956 – A mysterious singer, Jane Ciracylides, arrives in Vermillion Sands, a resort town on Mars(?).  Men fawn over her singular beauty, accented by exotic insect eyes and golden skin.  Her parentage is sketchy–a father somewhere, … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, american culture, animals/insects, artists/creativity, communication, gender, masculinity, media/advertising, music, the body, the gaze, the Other | Leave a comment

“The Piper,” Ray Bradbury, 1943

“The Piper,” Ray Bradbury, 1943 — Kerac, a Martian musician, returns from an enforced exile on Jupiter to find that the conquering Jovians have defiled Mars with their cacophonous music, ugly, sprawling cities, pollution, liquor, and general violence and buffoonery. … Continue reading

Posted in 1940-1945, animals/insects, artists/creativity, communication, ecology/the environment, exiles/"home"/displacement, genocide/Holocaust, music, post/colonialism, primitive/civilized, the Other | Leave a comment

“The Game of Rat and Dragon,” Cordwainer Smith, 1955

“The Game of Rat and Dragon,” Cordwainer Smith, 1955 – A story of the partnership created by a human and animal mind interface.  The telepaths Underhill, Woodley, Father Moontree, and the girl,Wes, are Partnered with modified cats that are able … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, animals/insects, communication, favorites, gender, psych/mind/madness, senses/space, space exploration | 1 Comment

“The Remorseful,” C. M. Kornbluth, 1953

“The Remorseful,” C. M. Kornbluth, 1953 – Humanity has destroyed itself through war.  A man wanders the world, apparently the last survivor.  An alien insect-composite being with no individual “self” arrives and tries to communicate with him. Comments: Read in … Continue reading

Posted in animals/insects, communication, identity/authenticity, multiplicity, time/history/causality, Uncategorized, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“A Wild Surmise,” Kuttner and Moore, 1953

“A Wild Surmise,” Kuttner and Moore, 1953 – Two psychiatrists in alternate realities battle for the mind of an solipsistic patient. Comments: Humorous short.  Read in Star Science Fiction Stories. Author: Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore

Posted in 1946-1959, alternate history, animals/insects, favorites, humor, psych/mind/madness, reality/VR/surreal | 1 Comment

“The Figure,” Edward Grendon, 1947

“The Figure,” Edward Grendon (Lawrence Le Shan), 1947 – Scientists construct a device which can grab objects from the Here-Then to the Here-Now.  One of the objects snatched from the future is an “aspirational” statue of a beetle, which demoralizes … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, animals/insects, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, evolution, the scientist, time/history/causality | Leave a comment

“Desertion,” Clifford D. Simak, 1944

“Desertion,” Clifford D. Simak, 1944 – Two volunteers who have had their bodies turned into “Lopers” so that they can survey the surface of Jupiter disappear.  The administrator can’t in good conscience send another volunteer to look for them, so … Continue reading

Posted in 1940-1945, animals/insects, favorites, genocide/Holocaust, the body | Leave a comment

“Quietus,” Ross Rocklynne, 1940

“Quietus,” Ross Rocklynne, 1940 – Two birdlike aliens observe the last human male with a pet bird.  Due to the bird’s similarity to their own form, they mistake the bird for the master and kill the human, whom they believe … Continue reading

Posted in 1940-1945, animals/insects, intelligence, logic/reason, the body, the Other | Leave a comment

“Cloak of Aesir,” Donald A. Stuart (John W. Campbell, Jr.), 1939

“Cloak of Aesir,” Donald A. Stuart (John Campbell), 1939 – Humanity has been enslaved by a spider-like, matriarchal race.  A mysterious human appears with a cloak that seems able to absorb energy.  The stranger eggs on a resistance movement.  At … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, animals/insects, gender, matriarchy | Leave a comment

“The Command,” L. Sprague de Camp, 1938

“The Command,” L. Sprague de Camp, 1938 – Johnny Black, a cognitively-enhanced bear, saves his mentor and the staff at his research station from an ambitious biologist who has used cosmic rays in order to creating a will-sapping spore. Comments: … Continue reading

Posted in animals/insects, intelligence, the scientist | Leave a comment

“He That Hath Wings,” Edmond Hamilton, 1938

“He That Hath Wings,” Edmond Hamilton, 1938 — A winged man is forced to choose between being a “freak”and a productive member of (capitalist) society (i.e., a provider-husband and son-in-law who can inherit the family business).  His wife and father-in-law … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, animals/insects, capitalism/Marxism, freaks/misfits, male anxiety, masculinity, myth, primitive/civilized, suicide, the body, the Other | 1 Comment