Category Archives: death/immortality

“A Rose for Ecclesiastes,” Roger Zelazny, 1963

“A Rose for Ecclesiastes,” Roger Zelazny, 1963 – A poet, Gallinger, is given the privilege of viewing and translating the sacred texts of an alien culture.  He discovers that their religion is deeply fatalistic.  After impregnating a temple priestess, he earns … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, aesthetics/beauty, artists/creativity, culture clash, death/immortality, emotions/intimacy/empathy, gender, language/libraries, love/family/children, mourning/grief, myth, primitive/civilized, religion/soul/spirituality, suicide, the Other, tourists | 1 Comment

“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

“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

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“Mother Hitton’s Littul Kittons,” Cordwainer Smith, 1961

“Mother Hitton’s Littul Kittons,” Cordwainer Smith, 1961 – Benjacomin Bozart, a criminal from a once wealthy but now marginalized world, attempts to become a hero to his people by stealing from the wealthy world, Norstrilia (Old North Australia).  Nostrilia has … Continue reading

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“The Ship Who Sang,” Anne McCaffrey, 1961

“The Ship Who Sang,” Anne McCaffrey, 1961 – A woman with severe disabilities is offered the chance to become a “shell person”—a human brain encased in a machine–after which she will work off her debt as a ship with a … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, class/labor/"work", cyborgs/posthumans, death/immortality, disability, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, freaks/misfits, function/utility/skeumorphs, gender, identity/authenticity, love/family/children, senses/space, the body | 1 Comment

“All of Us Are Dying,” George Clayton Johnson, 1961

“All of Us Are Dying,” George Clayton Johnson, 1961 – A drifter who is able to assume the appearance of people from other people’s pasts makes his way through life by playing upon their desire for closure.  Some want to … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, death/immortality, emotions/intimacy/empathy, greed, identity/authenticity, interior/exterior, memory, multiplicity, simulacra, theatre/performance | Leave a 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

“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

“Immortality…For Some,” J. T. McIntosh, 1960

“Immortality…For Some,” J. T. McIntosh, 1960 – An aging, disabled musician named Susan Sonnenburg gives one last performance before opting for her mind to be erased and her body to be Reborn.  Before the procedure, she asks that a kind … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, artists/creativity, class/labor/"work", death/immortality, difference/tolerance, disability, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, function/utility/skeumorphs, intelligence, music, suicide | 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

“–All You Zombies–,” Robert Heinlein, 1959

“–All You Zombies–,” Robert Heinlein, 1959 – A time traveler paradox in which an orphaned “intersexed” man (hermaphrodite) switches genders, travels back in time to impregnate a younger version of himself, and gives birth to himself.  He is thus his … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, class/labor/"work", death/immortality, favorites, gender, identity/authenticity, love/family/children, masculinity, multiplicity, sex/reproduction/sterility, the body, the Other, time/history/causality | 1 Comment

“The Cold Green Eye,” Jack Williamson, 1953

“The Cold Green Eye,” Jack Williamson, 1953 — A boy is left with monks by his parents so that he might live a simple life in harmony with life and nature, sequestered from consumerism and Western conventions.  His aunt in … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, american culture, animals/insects, consumerism, culture clash, death/immortality, difference/tolerance, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, love/family/children, primitive/civilized, religion/soul/spirituality, the Other | Leave a comment

“A Death in the House,” Clifford D. Simak, 1959

“A Death in the House,” Clifford D. Simak, 1959 – Old Mose Abrams–a stubborn widower, bad neighbor, and bad housekeeper–finds an alien and its “birdcage” ship in the woods.  The alien is repulsive-looking, smelly, but Abrams can’t leave a thing … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, death/immortality, difference/tolerance, emotions/intimacy/empathy, fantasy/fable/fairy tale, love/family/children, mourning/grief, religion/soul/spirituality, the Other, Uncategorized | 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

“Unhuman Sacrifice,” Katherine MacLean, 1958

“Unhuman Sacrifice,” Katherine MacLean, 1958 — A missionary and two crewman arrive on an as-of-yet uncolonized planet.  The missionary–who thinks he’s been given a great honor–is obnoxious, nearly oafish in his over-eager attempts to open a dialogue with his future … Continue reading

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“Let’s Be Frank,” Brian W. Aldiss, 1957

“Let’s Be Frank,” Brian W. Aldiss, 1957 — “Four years after pretty little Anne Boleyn was executed in the Tower of London, a child was born into the Gladwebb family–an unusual child” to a young Sir Frank Gladwebb and unnamed … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, death/immortality, eugenics/heredity, gender, globalization/world government, identity/authenticity, international, invasion, love/family/children, multiplicity, sex/reproduction/sterility, the body | Leave a comment

“Vengeance for Nikolai,” Walter M. Miller, Jr, 1957

“Vengeance for Nikolai,” Walter M. Miller, Jr, 1957 — Marya, a young Russian woman, is asked by a Russian general to assassinate the brilliant American (Ami) leader who is routing their troops.  This leader also is responsible for the attack … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, death/immortality, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, gender, love/family/children, masculinity, mourning/grief, myth, nationalism, psych/mind/madness, sex/reproduction/sterility, suicide, the body, violence, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“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

“And Now the News,” Theodore Sturgeon, 1956

“And Now the News,” Theodore Sturgeon, 1956 – In a media-saturated world, MacLyle retreats to a “wordless matrix,” an oasis of non-communication in which he can be absorbed in his own “practices and procedures.”  His desire conflicts with the psychiatrist’s … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, american culture, communication, consumerism, death/immortality, difference/tolerance, emotions/intimacy/empathy, exiles/"home"/displacement, language/libraries, media/advertising, paranoia/schitzophrenia, photo/film/image, psych/mind/madness, scientific ethics | Leave a comment

“A Work of Art,” James Blish, 1956

“A Work of Art,” James Blish, 1956 – (Alternate title: “Art-Work”)  Richard Strauss is resurrected in the far future by “mind sculptors” and tasked with composing opera for a modern audience, but he finds he has nothing left to say … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, aesthetics/beauty, artists/creativity, death/immortality, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, music, time/history/causality | 1 Comment