Category Archives: astronauts

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“Meteorites,” Herbert W. Franke, 1960

“Meteorites,” Herbert W. Franke, 1960 (or 1961?) – (short short) Tiny meteorites bombard the an astronaut’s craft.  He chronicles the process, which will certainly result in his death, in his official log.  At the same time, he assures his love … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, astronauts, death/immortality, emotions/intimacy/empathy, love/family/children | Leave a comment

“Welcome Home,” Herbert W. Franke, 1960

“Welcome Home,” Herbert W. Franke, 1960 (or 1961?) – (short short) (Original title: Willkommen daheim)  An astronaut returns to Earth.  Now telepathic, he becomes estranged from humanity, including his unfaithful wife. Comments:  Read in The Black Mirror and Other Stories: … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, astronauts, communication, emotions/intimacy/empathy | Leave a comment

“The Lady Who Sailed the Soul,” Cordwainer Smith, 1960

“The Lady Who Sailed the Soul,” Cordwainer Smith, 1960 – A young girl of the future asks her mother if there were ever any “girl sailors” (in space) and is told the story of Helen America.  The daughter of a … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, astronauts, class/labor/"work", cyborgs/posthumans, death/immortality, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, freaks/misfits, gender, genrecraft, identity/authenticity, love/family/children, media/advertising, myth, religion/soul/spirituality, the body, time/history/causality | Leave a comment

“The Blind Pilot,” Nathalie-Charles Henneberg, 1959

“The Blind Pilot,” Nathalie-Charles Henneberg, 1959 – (Originally Au pilote aveugle (1959))  A blind, now “useless” pilot returns home to take care of his mentally-disabled (?) brother.  All is well between them until a package containing a siren arrives. Comments: … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, astronauts, disability, gender, international, love/family/children, masculinity, mourning/grief, music, myth, sex/reproduction/sterility, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Broken Tool,” Theodore L. Thomas, 1959

“Broken Tool,” Theodore L. Thomas, 1959 — Carter and Cecil Hardy await the return of Carter’s prodigy in the deep space program, the young Lightner.  If Lightner returns from space and seeks out his home on Earth, he’ll have passed … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, astronauts, exiles/"home"/displacement, gender, love/family/children, masculinity | Leave a comment

“Theory of Rocketry,” Cyril M. Kornbluth, 1958

“Theory of Rocketry,” Cyril M. Kornbluth, 1958 – An English teacher of the future must submit to psych exams, televised teaching, and lackluster pupils.  His life is desultory until he meets Foster, the one pupil that might make something of … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, astronauts, education, language/libraries, psych/mind/madness, satire, space exploration, television | Leave a comment

“First Man in a Satellite,” Charles W Runyon, 1958

“First Man in a Satellite,” Charles W Runyon, 1958 — The first manned satellite requires a little person as pilot; they want human data, not data from an animal or machine.  They find a potential pilot in a circus; he … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, astronauts, death/immortality, difference/tolerance, disability, freaks/misfits, gender, love/family/children, masculinity, mourning/grief, scientific ethics, the Other, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Satellite Passage,” Theodore L. Thomas, 1958

“Satellite Passage,” Theodore L. Thomas, 1958 – American anxiously astronauts await the pass by of a manned Soviet satellite.  Will this be the time they plot a collision course?  But as the satellite passes, the Americans realize that there are … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, astronauts, nationalism, space exploration, the Other | Leave a comment

“The Hated,” Paul Flehr (Frederik Pohl), 1958

“The Hated,” Paul Flehr (Frederik Pohl), 1958 — Byron, an astronaut, has returned from his mission to Mars and is attempting to re-acclimate to civilian life.  One of the restrictions on his pension stipulates that he must stay out of … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, astronauts, dreams/hypnosis, emotions/intimacy/empathy, psych/mind/madness, reality/VR/surreal, senses/space, violence, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“The Other Side of the Sky,” Arthur C. Clarke, 1957

“The Other Side of the Sky,” Arthur C. Clarke, 1957 – An astronaut orbits Earth and thinks of his dying father, satellites, civilization, and the vulnerability of Earth, which he covers with his hand. Comments: Available in The Other Side … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, astronauts, international | 1 Comment

“Every Day is Christmas,” James Gunn, 1957

“Every Day is Christmas,” James Gunn, 1957 — A man trades three years of his life in exchange for $150,000 to go into space, where he’s kept alone, in silence.  For him, the experience is unbearable, but he toughs it … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, american culture, astronauts, bureaucracy/corporations, capitalism/Marxism, economics, emotions/intimacy/empathy, gender, globalization/world government, love/family/children, media/advertising, television | Leave a comment

“Ideas Die Hard,” Isaac Asimov, 1957

“Ideas Die Hard,” Isaac Asimov, 1957 — Two astronauts are on a mission to the moon. They discuss how ideas (e.g., age of earth or that the earth is round, a fact which this trip will truly prove with direct … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, astronauts, hubris/pride, knowledge/truth/epistemology, psych/mind/madness, reality/VR/surreal, scientific ethics, the scientist | 3 Comments

“The Man Who Lost the Sea,” Theodore Sturgeon, 1959

“The Man Who Lost the Sea,” Theodore Sturgeon, 1959 – A dying astronaut reviews his life, beginning with childhood. Comments: Inspired Clarke’s “Transit of Earth.”  Read in Great Tales of SF.   The collection by the same name contains a forward … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, astronauts, death/immortality, dreams/hypnosis, love/family/children, memory, mourning/grief, psych/mind/madness, reality/VR/surreal, senses/space | Leave a comment

“Bulkhead,” Theodore Sturgeon, 1955

“Bulkhead,” Theodore Sturgeon, 1955 – A cadet and captain-in-training endures an extended “test run” simulation in a facsimile of a typical ship.  He’s been told that if he presses a button, he can communicate with another cadet, but he resists … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, astronauts, dreams/hypnosis, emotions/intimacy/empathy, love/family/children, masculinity, memory, paranoia/schitzophrenia, psych/mind/madness, space exploration, the Other | 3 Comments