Category Archives: artists/creativity

“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

“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

“Something Strange,” Kingsley Amis, 1960

“Something Strange,” Kingsley Amis, 1960 — Bruno, Clovis, Myri, and Lia are amnesiacs on a “spaceship” which is being besieged by surreal threats (e.g., a near-miss with a comet).  The conclusion reveals that the terrifying events are part of a … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, agency/will/freedom, artists/creativity, astronauts, emotions/intimacy/empathy, logic/reason, memory, psych/mind/madness, reality/VR/surreal, scientific ethics, senses/space, surveillance | Leave a comment

“Immortality…For Some,” J. T. McIntosh, 1960

“Immortality…For Some,” J. T. McIntosh, 1960 – An aging, disabled musician named Susan Sonnenburg gives one last performance before opting for her mind to be erased and her body to be Reborn.  Before the procedure, she asks that a kind … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, artists/creativity, class/labor/"work", death/immortality, difference/tolerance, disability, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, function/utility/skeumorphs, intelligence, music, suicide | Leave a comment

“Dio,” Damon Knight, 1957

“Dio,” Damon Knight, 1957 — (Alternate title: “The Dying Man”)  The world is composed of two immortal classes–the pampered Players and the responsible Planners and their students.  Their lives of hedonism and leisurely scholarship, respectively, are progressing as planned until … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, aesthetics/beauty, american culture, artists/creativity, cities/architecture/habitats, class/labor/"work", consumerism, cyborgs/posthumans, death/immortality, difference/tolerance, disease/plague, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, freaks/misfits, love/family/children, masculinity, mourning/grief, museums/artifacts, sex/reproduction/sterility, spectatorship/voyeurism, speed/slowness, suicide, superhumans, the body, the Other, time/history/causality | Leave a comment

“The Sound-Sweep,” J. G. Ballard, 1960

“The Sound-Sweep,” J. G. Ballard, 1960 — Ultrasonic music is the new fashion and phonographs and live performances are a thing of the past.  It is a world where the echoes of music remain in their concert halls, where conversations … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, aesthetics/beauty, artists/creativity, cities/architecture/habitats, communication, disability, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, freaks/misfits, hubris/pride, love/family/children, memory, music, progress/obsolescence, senses/space | Leave a comment

“Mantage,” Richard Matheson, 1959

“Mantage,” Richard Matheson, 1959 — A writer wishes that life could be experienced in the same way as in a movie–all tedium glossed over, highlights only.  The rest of his life takes 85 minutes. Comments: Read in Science Fiction Showcase. … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, artists/creativity, favorites, genrecraft, memory, photo/film/image, speed/slowness, time/history/causality | 1 Comment

“Judas Danced,” Brian Aldiss, 1958

“Judas Danced,” Brian Aldiss, 1958 – Alex Abel Crowe, a madman living in a future without text, where the image and history are confused by society’s ability to send humans back in time one week, has watched the crucifixion on … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, artists/creativity, favorites, identity/authenticity, interior/exterior, love/family/children, myth, photo/film/image, psych/mind/madness, religion/soul/spirituality, simulacra, spectatorship/voyeurism, theatre/performance, time/history/causality, Uncategorized, violence | 7 Comments

“Tunesmith,” Lloyd Biggle Jr., 1957

“Tunesmith,” Lloyd Biggle Jr., 1957 – An elderly man, Baque, stands in the museum of the future and recalls how his “empathic” music saved civilization from jingles. Comments: Read in The Great SF Stories #19. Author: Wikipedia: “Lloyd Biggle, Jr. … Continue reading

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“Thunder and Roses,” Theodore Sturgeon, 1947

“Thunder and Roses,” Theodore Sturgeon, 1947 – After a devastating nuclear attack on the U.S., a songstress working for the military consoles her doomed countrymen and argues against retaliation. Comments: Read in the The Astounding Science Fiction Anthology. Author: Wikipedia: … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, artists/creativity, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, gender, peace movement, war/soldiers | 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 Anything Box,” Zenna Henderson, 1956

“The Anything Box,” Zenna Henderson, 1956 – A schoolteacher observes with puzzlement a quiet young pupil in her class who appears to be staring into an invisible box cupped in her hands.  She discusses the student with another teacher who … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, artists/creativity, difference/tolerance, freaks/misfits, interior/exterior, love/family/children, psych/mind/madness, television | Leave a comment

“A Man of Talent,” Robert Silverberg, 1956

“A Man of Talent,” Robert Silverberg, 1956  – Emil Vilar, the last “true poet” on Earth, poet flees the uncultured but “knowing claque” on earth for a remote planet, only to discover that the residents are omniartistic.  Everyone is a … Continue reading

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“The Dark Night of the Soul,” James Blish, 1956

“The Dark Night of the Soul,” James Blish, 1956 – A sociologist funds an experiment to funnel off the top artists of each generation to see if society can live without its “deviants.” Comments: Read in New Dreams This Morning. … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, aesthetics/beauty, artists/creativity, class/labor/"work", difference/tolerance, freaks/misfits | Leave a comment

“A Work of Art,” James Blish, 1956

“A Work of Art,” James Blish, 1956 – (Alternate title: “Art-Work”)  Richard Strauss is resurrected in the far future by “mind sculptors” and tasked with composing opera for a modern audience, but he finds he has nothing left to say … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, aesthetics/beauty, artists/creativity, death/immortality, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, music, time/history/causality | 1 Comment

“I Do Not Love Thee, Dr. Fell,” Robert Bloch, 1955

“I Do Not Love Thee, Dr. Fell,” Robert Bloch, 1955 – A frustrated jingle writer’s therapy goes awry when he over-identifies with his therapist. Comments: Read in The World Treasury of Science Fiction. References the poem concerning John Fell, an … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, artists/creativity, language/libraries, media/advertising, music, psych/mind/madness | Leave a comment

“The Country of the Kind,” Damon Knight, 1956

“The Country of the Kind,” Damon Knight, 1956 – A violent deviant has been “neutralized” by the societal practice of rendering him “invisible” (ignored).  Enraged, he tries to make them “see.” The society’s response to violence is three-fold: “The first … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, artists/creativity, communication, difference/tolerance, emotions/intimacy/empathy, in/visible, masculinity, paranoia/schitzophrenia, psych/mind/madness, religion/soul/spirituality, the body, the gaze, the Other, violence | Leave a comment

“Dreaming is a Private Thing,” Isaac Asimov , 1955

“Dreaming is a Private Thing,” Isaac Asimov , 1955 – Jessie Weill, is the manager of a firm specializing in private dreamies (similar to films or DVDs) that can be viewed at home by individual users.  He encourages a ten-year … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, artists/creativity, class/labor/"work", consumerism, dreams/hypnosis, economics, emotions/intimacy/empathy, freaks/misfits, genrecraft, love/family/children, media/advertising, photo/film/image, reality/VR/surreal, spectatorship/voyeurism, television, the Internet | 1 Comment

“A Master of Babylon,” Edgar Pangborn, 1954

“A Master of Babylon,” Edgar Pangborn, 1954 – An aging musician believes himself to be the last surviving human as he quietly teeters toward madness in the ruins of a flooded New York.  After many years of isolation, he discovers … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, artists/creativity, cities/architecture/habitats, death/immortality, love/family/children, museums/artifacts, music, ny/paris, psych/mind/madness, suicide, time/history/causality | 1 Comment