Category Archives: capitalism/Marxism

“Not Counting Bridges,” Robert L. Fish, 1963

“Not Counting Bridges,” Robert L. Fish, 1963 – (short short) A man learns of America’s frightening future as a concrete wasteland devoted to providing space for cars. Comments: Read in 100 Great Science Fiction Short Short Stories. Author: Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_L._Fish): … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, american culture, capitalism/Marxism, cars/pedestrians, ecology/the environment | 2 Comments

“Good Night, Sophie,” Lino Aldani, 1963

“Good Night, Sophie,” Lino Aldani, 1963 – (trans. from Italian)– In a future in which the superstar, Sophie, is a VR porn star, Sophie must decide if the Anti-Dream League’s claims that “nature and the soul” are being lost due … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, aesthetics/beauty, agency/will/freedom, american culture, capitalism/Marxism, class/labor/"work", dreams/hypnosis, emotions/intimacy/empathy, gender, identity/authenticity, intelligence, interior/exterior, international, love/family/children, media/advertising, memory, narrative, natural/artificial, photo/film/image, progress/obsolescence, psych/mind/madness, reality/VR/surreal, religion/soul/spirituality, senses/space, sex/reproduction/sterility, simulacra, spectatorship/voyeurism, surveillance, the body, the gaze, the Other, theatre/performance | 1 Comment

“The Big Pat Boom,” Damon Knight, 1963

“The Big Pat Boom,” Damon Knight, 1963 – Alien tourists on Earth create a boom in the sale of cow patties.  Unexpectedly, they leave, causing a crash; new aliens arrive, creating a market for apple cores. Comments: Read in Laughing … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, capitalism/Marxism, humor, tourists | 2 Comments

“The Subliminal Man,” J. G. Ballard, 1963

“The Subliminal Man,” J. G. Ballard, 1963 – A man’s futile efforts to stop giant billboards and consumerism from taking over society. Comments: Themes: Consumerism, subliminal advertising, media.  See the intro by H. Bruce Franklin in The Mirror of Infinity: … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, american culture, capitalism/Marxism, consumerism, media/advertising | 2 Comments

“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

“Bernie the Faust,” William Tenn, 1963

“Bernie the Faust,” William Tenn, 1963 – A man is approached by a mysterious man who proposes that he buy a twenty dollar bill from him for five dollars.  Although he suspects a scam, he’s intrigued.  The man is revealed … Continue reading

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“Build-up,” J.G. Ballard, 1957

“Build-up,” J.G. Ballard, 1957 – (Alternate title: “Concentration City“) Overpopulation in the future has led to such building density that an aspiring aircraft designer and physics student, Franz, can’t find enough “free space” to “re-discover” the concept of flight.  He … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, capitalism/Marxism, cities/architecture/habitats, knowledge/truth/epistemology, logic/reason, memory, myth, overpopulation, physicians/medicine, psych/mind/madness, religion/soul/spirituality, senses/space, speed/slowness, time/history/causality, utopia/dystopia | Leave a comment

“The Last of the Deliverers,” Poul Anderson, 1958

“The Last of the Deliverers,” Poul Anderson, 1958 — Two societies clash, one Marxist and one capitalist. Comments:  Anderson’s comments in the Afterward speak of humanizing the enemy, the depiction of politics in sf, readers calling out writers.  Perhaps interesting … Continue reading

Posted in capitalism/Marxism, culture clash, politics/politicians/elections, the Other | Leave a comment

“Hickory, Dickory, Kerouac,” Richard Gehman, 1959

“Hickory, Dickory, Kerouac,” Richard Gehman, 1959 — (short short) The mouse is a cat, and he digs it all until he realizes that “pot was no good, pan was no good, clock was just as bad.”  Now he is a … Continue reading

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“No, no, not Rogov!” Cordwainer Smith, 1959

“No, no, not Rogov!” Cordwainer Smith, 1950 – Cherpas and Rogov are good Soviets who doggedly carry out Stalin’s orders for a machine that can read all EM radiation, including thoughts, for the purpose of spying and suppressing thought.  With … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, capitalism/Marxism, communication, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, gender, hubris/pride, intelligence, love/family/children, music, nationalism, psych/mind/madness, scientific ethics, superhumans, surveillance, the scientist, totalitarianism/fascism, war/soldiers | 1 Comment

“Buy Jupiter!” Isaac Asimov, 1958

“Buy Jupiter!” Isaac Asimov, 1958 — A simulacron from an alien race negotiates with Earth for the rights to  Jupiter, but it withholds the buyers’ true intent: To use Jupiter as a billboard. Comments: Read in Infinity One. Author: Wikipedia: … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, automata/robots, capitalism/Marxism, humor, media/advertising | Leave a comment

“The Lineman,” Walter M. Miller, Jr. 1957

“The Lineman,” Walter M. Miller, Jr. 1957 –  Off-world laborers are dehumanized (like prostitutes?) until real prostitutes arrive and turn their thoughts elsewhere. Comments: Includes portrayals of inter-racial friendships, exploited labor, and desperate attempts at intimacy.  A problematic somewhat uneven … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, capitalism/Marxism, class/labor/"work", gender, masculinity | Leave a 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

“The Miniature,” John D. MacDonald, 1949

“The Miniature,” John D. MacDonald, 1949 – An absent-minded economist stumbles into the far-future where resources and energy are unlimited and jewels and gold can be transmuted.  He learns that currency is now backed by the HUC, a miniature human … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, capitalism/Marxism, the body | Leave a comment

“The Weapons Shop (of Isher),” A. E. Van Vogt, 1942

“The Weapons Shop,” A. E. van Vogt, 1942 – A town as “pretty as a painting” suddenly finds a weapons shop erected in its midst.  Small businessman Fara objects to its presence and points out that the shop isn’t regulated … Continue reading

Posted in 1940-1945, capitalism/Marxism, margins/center, post/colonialism, totalitarianism/fascism, violence | Leave a comment

“The Roads Must Roll,” Robert A. Heinlein, 1940

“The Roads Must Roll,” Robert Heinlein, 1940 – Moving walkways have taken the place of roads and the man in charge must keep them rolling. Comments: A story of class, labor, technology’s influence on society, cars, pedestrians, natural resources, a … Continue reading

Posted in 1940-1945, capitalism/Marxism, cars/pedestrians, cities/architecture/habitats, class/labor/"work", ecology/the environment, function/utility/skeumorphs, mechanization, speed/slowness | Leave a comment

“The Dwindling Sphere,” Willard Hawkins, 1940

“The Dwindling Sphere,” Willard Hawkins, 1940 – Humans learn how to transform matter into plastocene and gradually strip the earth to the size of the moon.  Story is told first by an inventor through diary entries, then by descendants of … Continue reading

Posted in 1940-1945, capitalism/Marxism, class/labor/"work", consumerism, ecology/the environment, time/history/causality | Leave a comment

“Trends,” Isaac Asimov, 1939

“Trends,” Isaac Asimov, 1939 – A private entrepreneur/inventor feels stifled by the anti-technology bias of the religious moral majority.  He plans to send society a message by building a rocket. Comments: Engages key issues for Asimov and the time (freedom … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, capitalism/Marxism, knowledge/truth/epistemology, progress/obsolescence, religion/soul/spirituality | 1 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

“Millions for Defense,” Miles J. Breuer, 1935

“Millions for Defense,” Miles J. Breuer, 1935 – Set in the Depression.  A young scientist is forced to work for his hateful uncle at his bank, where the young man devises a contraption to foil bank robbers. Comments: An sf … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, capitalism/Marxism, genrecraft, the scientist | Leave a comment