Category Archives: bureaucracy/corporations

“The Lottery in Babylon,” Jorge Luís Borges, 1959

“The Lottery in Babylon,” Jorge Luís Borges, 1959 — (or “The Babylon Lottery”; original Spanish “La lotería en Babilonia” (1941))  (fantasy) Backed by a secret Company (God?), a lottery in mythic Babylon transitions from voluntary to compulsory, with the result … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, bureaucracy/corporations, class/labor/"work", fantasy/fable/fairy tale, favorites, international, knowledge/truth/epistemology, logic/reason, myth, religion/soul/spirituality, time/history/causality | 8 Comments

“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

“Bad Medicine,” Robert Sheckley, 1956

“Bad Medicine,” Robert Sheckley, 1956 – Elwood Caswell, homicidal maniac, seeks a Rex Regenerator–a type of robot psychologist built by General Motors–to help rid him of his impulse to kill his nemesis, Magnessen.  Unfortunately, the model he buys is a … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, automata/robots, bureaucracy/corporations, consumerism, humor, language/libraries, psych/mind/madness, violence | 1 Comment

The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester, 1956 (Novel)

The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester, 1956 (Novel)  — Gulley Foyle, the last survivor of The Nomad, has been ‘shipwrecked’ in space.  The possibility of rescue appears, but the ship deliberately continues on, leaving him to die.  His quest for … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, bureaucracy/corporations, class/labor/"work", distance, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, senses/space, speed/slowness, violence | Leave a comment

“The Census Takers,” Frederik Pohl, 1955

“The Census Takers,” Frederik Pohl, 1955 — A brutal Area Boss oversees a census which means life or death to the residents of his ward.  An alien arrives to warn humanity of the danger it faces it it remains on … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, bureaucracy/corporations, overpopulation | Leave a comment

“Gomez,” C. M. Kornbluth, 1954

“Gomez,” C. M. Kornbluth, 1954 – An otherwise unremarkable Mexican kitchen worker is discovered to be a mathematical genius, and the U.S. military quickly appropriates him as “human resources,” necessary for its defense against the Soviets in the Cold War.  … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, bureaucracy/corporations, intelligence, love/family/children, mathematics, primitive/civilized, satire, sex/reproduction/sterility, the Other, war/soldiers | 2 Comments

“Disappearing Act,” Alfred Bester, 1953

“Disappearing Act,” Alfred Bester, 1953 – America is caught up in the rhetoric of General Carpenter, who appears to be waging a war to save Culture:  “We must dig in against the hordes of barbarism,” he intones to potential donors.  … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, american culture, artists/creativity, bureaucracy/corporations, dreams/hypnosis, favorites, mechanization, nationalism, politics/politicians/elections, reality/VR/surreal, satire, scientific ethics, spectatorship/voyeurism, the scientist, time/history/causality, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“Sam Hall,” Poul Anderson, 1953

“Sam Hall,” Poul Anderson, 1953 — Man against mechanized society.  A take on the folk song.  Wikipedia: “…[F]eatures a disgruntled bureaucrat who creates fake records about a rebel named Sam Hall (after the song) who fights against the totalitarian government.” … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, bureaucracy/corporations, love/family/children, mechanization, music, totalitarianism/fascism | Leave a comment

“The Luckiest Man in Denv,” Cyril Kornbluth, 1952

“The Luckiest Man in Denv,” Cyril Kornbluth, 1952 – (short) In a world of perpetual war, an ambitious young man vies for the favor of his superiors.  If he plays his cards right with the General, he might move up … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, bureaucracy/corporations, drugs/pharma, favorites, masculinity, paranoia/schitzophrenia, psych/mind/madness, reality/VR/surreal, satire, violence, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“The Dead Past,” Isaac Asimov, 1956

“The Dead Past,” Isaac Asimov, 1956 – Arnold Potterley, PhD, a historian of Carthage, begs to be allowed to use the government’s chronoscope in order to clear the name of Carthage; specifically, he wishes to prove to his wife that … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, bureaucracy/corporations, identity/authenticity, love/family/children, memory, mourning/grief, photo/film/image, scientific ethics, spectatorship/voyeurism, surveillance, the scientist, time/history/causality, utopia/dystopia | Leave a comment

“The Proud Robot,” Lewis Padgett, 1943

“The Proud Robot,” Lewis Padgett (Kuttner and Moore), 1943 – (Humor)  A heavy-drinking inventor creates a narcissistic robot to help him solve a problem. Comments: Presents a world where film and television are in direct competition; television is supplanting cinema, … Continue reading

Posted in 1940-1945, automata/robots, bureaucracy/corporations, humor, law, photo/film/image, television, the scientist | Leave a comment

“The Man Who Returned,” Edmond Hamilton, 1935

“The Man Who Returned,” Edmond Hamilton, 1935 — (Fantasy) A man wakes up in his coffin but is able to get free. He plans to return home, but finds his wife with his best friend. He decides not to inform … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, bureaucracy/corporations, death/immortality, fantasy/fable/fairy tale, gender, interior/exterior, knowledge/truth/epistemology, love/family/children, male anxiety, masculinity, suicide | Leave a comment