Category Archives: cities/architecture/habitats

“Day of the Truce,” Clifford D. Simak, 1963

“Day of the Truce,” Clifford D. Simak, 1963 — The Punks versus the suburbanites in a fortified, futuristic community. Comments: Theme of generational conflict.  Read in Nightmare Age.  Wikipedia: “The local ‘Punks’ take advantage of the once-a-year truce to ransack … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, american culture, cities/architecture/habitats, culture clash, generational conflict, invasion, love/family/children, primitive/civilized, the Other, violence | 1 Comment

“Alpha Ralpha Boulevard,” Cordwainer Smith, 1961

“Alpha Ralpha Boulevard,” Cordwainer Smith, 1961 — In the “first years of the Rediscovery of Man, when the Instrumentality dug deep in the treasury, reconstructing the old cultures, the old languages, and even the old troubles,” Paul and Virginia tour … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, agency/will/freedom, animals/insects, cities/architecture/habitats, class/labor/"work", cyborgs/posthumans, death/immortality, difference/tolerance, disease/plague, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, hubris/pride, identity/authenticity, love/family/children, museums/artifacts, myth, natural/artificial, primitive/civilized, spectatorship/voyeurism, the Other, time/history/causality, tourists | Leave a comment

“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

“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

“Pilgrimage to Earth” (original title, “Love, Inc.”), Robert Sheckley, 1956

“Pilgrimage to Earth” (original title, “Love, Inc.”), Robert Sheckley, 1956 – A country boy visits the city of our future.  He  finds that everything can be sold, he can shoot people for fun, and women can be programmed with false … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, cities/architecture/habitats, consumerism, emotions/intimacy/empathy, gender, love/family/children, masculinity, media/advertising, memory, sex/reproduction/sterility, spectatorship/voyeurism, violence | 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

“The Enchanted Village,” A. E. van Vogt, 1950

“The Enchanted Village,” A. E. van Vogt, 1950 – (Alternate title: “The Sands of Mars”)  The lone survivor of a ship crashed on Mars encounters a living city that tries to please him but is unsuited to his needs.  The … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, cities/architecture/habitats, function/utility/skeumorphs, suicide, the body | 3 Comments

“Manna,” Peter Phillips, 1949

“Manna,” Peter Phillips, 1949 – DEE-LISH-OUS “Miracle Meal” (SPAM?) is stolen by two inter-dimensional “ghosts” from a factory in England that is supplying Miracle Meal to 12th century refugees. Comments: Interesting for its depiction of advertising, mass production, slipping through … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, cities/architecture/habitats, genrecraft, humor, media/advertising, religion/soul/spirituality, time/history/causality | Leave a comment

“City,” Clifford D. Simak, 1944

“City,” Clifford D. Simak, 1944 – New forms of transportation lead to urban flight, literally.  The only way to save “the city” for Grandpa is to turn it into a memorial/museum/park for the people of the future. Comments: A discussion … Continue reading

Posted in 1940-1945, cities/architecture/habitats, function/utility/skeumorphs, globalization/world government, museums/artifacts, progress/obsolescence | Leave a comment

“The Great Fog,” H. F. Heard, 1944

“The Great Fog,” H. F. Heard, 1944 – Biologists and metereologists learn that a slight change in humidity has a given a mold a growth spurt.  This mold is capable of producing its own humid climate. It eventually covers the … Continue reading

Posted in 1940-1945, aesthetics/beauty, artists/creativity, cities/architecture/habitats, communication, ecology/the environment, favorites, language/libraries, memory, music, photo/film/image, speed/slowness, time/history/causality | Leave a comment

“Huddling Place,” Clifford D. Simak, 1944

“Huddling Place,” Clifford D. Simak, 1944 – In the far future, an agoraphobic scientist is asked to travel off-world to save a friend’s life.  The friend is a brilliant, alien philosopher, and his death would be a tragedy for both … Continue reading

Posted in 1940-1945, cities/architecture/habitats, distance, psych/mind/madness, the scientist | 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

“Past, Present, and Future,” Nat Schachner, 1937

“Past, Present, and Future,” Nat Schachner, 1937 – Kleon, a Roman soldier in service of Alexander, is stranded in a Mayan village.  The Mayans mistake him for Quetzal and allow him to entomb himself.  In the tomb, a devices offers … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, cities/architecture/habitats, mechanization, nationalism, primitive/civilized, progress/obsolescence, surveillance, time/history/causality, war/soldiers | 1 Comment

“Bright Illusion,” C. L. Moore, 1934

“Bright Illusion,” C L Moore, 1934 – Dixon, a man on the verge of death in the desert, encounters what he thinks is a mirage, only to find that the golden “egg-like” dome is really an alien consciousness.  The alien … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, cities/architecture/habitats, communication, favorites, gender, identity/authenticity, in/visible, knowledge/truth/epistemology, language/libraries, love/family/children, male anxiety, masculinity, natural/artificial, photo/film/image, reality/VR/surreal, senses/space, suicide, the body, the gaze, the Other, theatre/performance | Leave a comment

“The Man Who Awoke,” Laurence Manning, 1933

“The Man Who Awoke,” Laurence Manning, 1933 – A scholarly banker learns how to halt “life” by shielding himself from the cosmic rays which induce it to move; he also a drug that induces suspended animation.  He awakens thousands of … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, cities/architecture/habitats, class/labor/"work", ecology/the environment, generational conflict, international, primitive/civilized, progress/obsolescence | Leave a comment

“Mr. Murphy of New York,” Thomas McMorrow, 1930

“Mr. Murphy of New York,” Thomas McMorrow, 1930 – Several speakers at a business meeting discuss the building of a skyscraper in Canabec.  However, first they tell the story of the fall of a New York skyscraper, the Americus building.  … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, cities/architecture/habitats, ny/paris | Leave a comment

“The Cubic City,” Rev. Louis Tucker, D.D., 1929

“The Cubic City,” Rev. Louis Tucker, D.D., 1929 – A man thinks himself into the future, where he finds that New York has become a cubic city. Problems such as noise, disorder, garbage, the insane, criminals, and the rude have … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, cities/architecture/habitats, class/labor/"work", ny/paris, progress/obsolescence | Leave a comment

“Metropolitan Nightmare,” Stephen Vincent Benét, 1927 (poem)

“Metropolitan Nightmare,” Stephen Vincent Benét, 1927 – (poem) Plants slowly insert themselves in the spaces of the city, and termites learn to eat concrete. Comments: Available in Wondermakers and Hot and Cold Running Cities. Text online at Poets.org. Author: Wikipedia: … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, animals/insects, cities/architecture/habitats, fantasy/fable/fairy tale, natural/artificial | Leave a comment

“The Machine Stops,” E. M. Forster, 1909

“The Machine Stops,” E. M. Forster, first publ. 1909 (re-printed 1928) – A “rational” society becomes completely dependent on the machine that cares for them in their underground pods. A young man–whose mother spends her day in a “hexagonal” room, … Continue reading

Posted in 1926 and earlier, catastrophe, cities/architecture/habitats, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, genrecraft, international, knowledge/truth/epistemology, love/family/children, masculinity, mechanization, natural/artificial, photo/film/image, progress/obsolescence, religion/soul/spirituality, senses/space, the body, the scientist | Leave a comment