Category Archives: atomic bomb/Hiroshima

“The Large Ant,” Howard Fast, 1960

“The Large Ant,” Howard Fast, 1960 — A writer tells Lieberman, a curator, Hopper, a senator with an interest in entymology, and Fitzgerald, a government man, the story of how he encountered an ant-like alien while fishing in the Adirondacks.  … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, difference/tolerance, emotions/intimacy/empathy, the Other, violence | Leave a comment

“Earthmen Bearing Gifts,” Fredric Brown, 1960

“Earthmen Bearing Gifts,” Fredric Brown, 1960 – (short short) (Alternate title: “Contact”)  Peaceful Martians wait expectantly to offer telepathy and empathy to the younger, more technologically advanced race of humans.  But when the humans, oblivious to the Martian civilization, finally … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, emotions/intimacy/empathy, progress/obsolescence, scientific ethics | 2 Comments

“Day at the Beach,” Carol Emshwiller, 1959

“Day at the Beach,” Carol Emshwiller, 1959 — In a post-apocalyptic world, a couple with a very hirsute, very violent son, Littleboy, struggles to reenact a normal “day at the beach.”  When they’re attacked by thieves after their gasoline, Littleboy’s … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, evolution, love/family/children, primitive/civilized, progress/obsolescence, violence | Leave a comment

“Big, Wide, Wonderful World,” Charles E. Fritch, 1958

“Big, Wide, Wonderful World,” Charles E. Fritch, 1958 – A group of men decide to forgo their regular Needle treatments in order to “have a nightmare.”  The nightmare they see is the black, bombed out (post-war?) reality that is intended … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, drugs/pharma, psych/mind/madness, reality/VR/surreal | Leave a comment

“Two Dooms,” Cyril M. Kornbluth, 1958

“Two Dooms,” Cyril M. Kornbluth, 1958 – Los Alamos, May 1945: Edward Royland is a theoretical physicist pondering the ethics of creating the atom bomb.  He’s transported by a Native American fable/ritual (and peyote) to a world where the Nazis … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, alternate history, american culture, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, communication, drugs/pharma, eugenics/heredity, fantasy/fable/fairy tale, favorites, gender, genocide/Holocaust, intelligence, knowledge/truth/epistemology, nationalism, Native Americans, satire, scientific ethics, the body, the Other, the scientist, time/history/causality, totalitarianism/fascism, violence, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“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

“Fair,” John Brunner, 1956

“Fair,” John Brunner, 1956 — A man rides an escalator to the top of the “fair.” Along the way, he muses on media saturation, speed, loss of intimacy, generational conflict, youth, the dumbing down of culture, guilt for the wars … Continue reading

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“The First Canticle,” Walter M. Miller, Jr, 1955

“The First Canticle,” Walter M. Miller, Jr, 1955 — Wikipedia: “Set in a Catholic monastery in the desert of the southwestern United States after a devastating nuclear war, the story spans thousands of years as civilization rebuilds itself. The monks … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, catastrophe, favorites, knowledge/truth/epistemology, language/libraries, memory, museums/artifacts, primitive/civilized, religion/soul/spirituality, scientific ethics, the scientist, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“A Bad Day for Sales,” Fritz Leiber, 1953

“A Bad Day for Sales,” Fritz Leiber, 1953 – Robie the robot, the first robotic vending machine, mindlessly tries to peddle his wares to the dead and dying in a city destroyed by a nuclear explosion. Comments: Read in Great … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, automata/robots, catastrophe, consumerism, favorites, media/advertising, satire | Leave a comment

“Lot,” Ward Moore, 1953

“Lot,” Ward Moore, 1953 – A suburban family tries to flee nuclear annihilation. Comments: Modeled on the story of Lot’s wife. Author: Wikipedia: “Ward Moore (August 10, 1903 – January 28, 1978) was the working name of American author Joseph … Continue reading

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“God and the Machine,” Nigel Balchin, 1951

“God and the Machine,” Nigel Balchin, 1951 — Uncle Charles relates to his nephew the story of Professor Plumreach and his draughts-playing automaton.  Arrogant, misanthropic, abusive to his family, Plumreach appears to be a rigid man of absolutes.  Charles notes … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, emotions/intimacy/empathy, hubris/pride, international, logic/reason, mathematics, scientific ethics, the scientist | Leave a comment

“Superiority,” Arthur C. Clarke, 1951

“Superiority,” Arthur C. Clarke, 1951 — A mighty fleet is defeated by inferior science at the Battle of the Five Suns.  Too many resources were invested in the latest military technology, the Sphere of Annihilation, and all other research was … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, international, logic/reason, mathematics, primitive/civilized, progress/obsolescence, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“The Sentinel,” Arthur C. Clarke, 1951

“The Sentinel,” Arthur C. Clarke, 1951 – An obelisk of alien origin is discovered on the moon. Comments:  The basis for 2001: A Space Odyssey.  Read in  The Mirror of Infinity: A Critics’ Anthology of Science Fiction, which provides an … Continue reading

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“Poor Superman,” Fritz Leiber, 1951

“Poor Superman,” Fritz Leiber, 1951 — (alternate title: “Appointment in Tomorrow”)  Politicians without respect for science are kept in power by a populace desperate to believe in anything.  They’re opposed by a group of scientists in a last-ditch effort to … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, american culture, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, favorites, genrecraft, politics/politicians/elections, religion/soul/spirituality, satire, scientific ethics, superhumans | Leave a comment

“Created He Them,” Alice Eleanor Jones, 1955

“Created He Them,” Alice Eleanor Jones, 1955 — Ann Crothers and her physically and emotionally abusive husband are two citizens in a post-nuclear holocaust future who are capable of producing viable children (“breeding true”) for the state.  Any children they … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, biological determinism, class/labor/"work", emotions/intimacy/empathy, gender, love/family/children, masculinity, sex/reproduction/sterility, violence | Leave a comment

“Breeds There a Man…?” Isaac Asimov, 1951

“Breeds there a man…?,” Isaac Asimov, 1951 — (Wikipedia) “Elwood Ralson, a brilliant but psychologically disturbed physicist, becomes convinced that humanity is a kind of genetics experiment being run by an alien intelligence. His behaviour becomes more erratic and suicidal … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, disease/plague, evolution, intelligence, invasion, paranoia/schitzophrenia, psych/mind/madness, suicide, the scientist | 1 Comment

“The Mindworm,” Cyril M. Kornbluth, 1950

“The Mindworm,” Cyril M. Kornbluth, 1950 – A telepathic vampire is created by atomic radiation.  The orphaned child of a lieutenant and a nurse stationed on a ship performing nuclear tests, he wanders from city to city.  He discovers his … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, american culture, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, class/labor/"work", communication, emotions/intimacy/empathy, exiles/"home"/displacement, favorites, freaks/misfits, genrecraft, horror, hubris/pride, interior/exterior, language/libraries, primitive/civilized, psych/mind/madness, spectatorship/voyeurism, superhumans, violence | Leave a comment

“Coming Attraction,” Fritz Leiber, 1950

“Coming Attraction,” Fritz Leiber, 1950 – The protagonist is a British citizen named Wysten Turner who is in a post-nuclear New York to procure grain in exchange for electronic equipment that will probably be used to build an American military … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, american culture, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, consumerism, favorites, gender, genrecraft, identity/authenticity, interior/exterior, masculinity, photo/film/image, satire, sex/reproduction/sterility, spectatorship/voyeurism, television, theatre/performance, utopia/dystopia, violence, war/soldiers | 1 Comment

“The Isolationist,” Mack Reynolds, 1950

“The Isolationist,” Mack Reynolds, 1950 – A bitter old man condemns progress–neon and the clamor of jukeboxes, cars, airplanes, even electric lights–choosing instead to live on a farm.  He is a former schoolteacher who left the city in disgust at … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, cars/pedestrians, consumerism, progress/obsolescence, scientific ethics, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“Born of Man and Woman,” Richard Matheson, 1950

“Born of Man and Woman,” Richard Matheson, 1950 – A deformed (mutated?) child is kept in the basement while his parents socialize with friends upstairs. Comments: Told in diary form in the child’s broken English.  Depicts brutality toward a shameful … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, emotions/intimacy/empathy, love/family/children, the body, the Other | Leave a comment