Category Archives: disability

“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

“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

“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

“The Blind Pilot,” Nathalie-Charles Henneberg, 1959

“The Blind Pilot,” Nathalie-Charles Henneberg, 1959 – (Originally Au pilote aveugle (1959))  A blind, now “useless” pilot returns home to take care of his mentally-disabled (?) brother.  All is well between them until a package containing a siren arrives. Comments: … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, astronauts, disability, gender, international, love/family/children, masculinity, mourning/grief, music, myth, sex/reproduction/sterility, 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

“Call Me Joe,” Poul Anderson, 1957

“Call Me Joe,” Poul Anderson, 1957 – A psychologist watches in alarm as a disabled scientist is asked to explore the surface of Jupiter via the mind of a genetically-engineered animal. Comments: Read in A Century of Science Fiction, ed. … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, disability, distance, favorites, masculinity, psych/mind/madness, reality/VR/surreal, senses/space, space exploration, spectatorship/voyeurism, the body, the scientist | Leave a comment

“The Clinic,” Theodore Sturgeon, 1953

“The Clinic,” Theodore Sturgeon, 1953 – The narrator, Nemo, appears to be an amnesiac who has lost his memory of language.  Dr. De la Torre and a lonely patient, Elena, attempt to reach him, while the Sergeant keeps a close … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, communication, difference/tolerance, disability, emotions/intimacy/empathy, exiles/"home"/displacement, language/libraries, memory, violence | Leave a comment

“Scanners Live in Vain,” Cordwainer Smith, 1948

“Scanners Live in Vain,” Cordwainer Smith (Paul Linebarger), 1948 – The story of a cyborg-pilot Scanner, Martel, whose senses have been reduced to sight to better suit him for space travel, i.e. to avoid the “pain of space.”  He uses … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, automata/robots, communication, disability, emotions/intimacy/empathy, exiles/"home"/displacement, favorites, gender, love/family/children, masculinity, mechanization, progress/obsolescence, religion/soul/spirituality, senses/space, sex/reproduction/sterility, the body, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“The Blindman’s World,” Edward Bellamy, 1886

“The Blindman’s World,” Edward Bellamy, 1886 — A civilization on Mars has the gift of foresight.  This changes their perception of death, mourning, love, memory, and human literature, which is saddening, as it is written “in the past tense.”  They … Continue reading

Posted in 1926 and earlier, death/immortality, disability, emotions/intimacy/empathy, memory, senses/space, time/history/causality | Leave a comment

“With the Eyes Shut,” Edward Bellamy, 1889

“With the Eyes Shut,” Edward Bellamy, 1889 — H. Bruce Franklin: The story “is a dream journey into a world which has virtually replaced all writing with phonographic contrivances.  It is a world of talking books, letters, newspapers, clocks, and … Continue reading

Posted in 1926 and earlier, communication, disability, language/libraries, photo/film/image | Leave a comment

“To Whom This May Come,” Edward Bellamy, 1889

“To Whom This May Come,” Edward Bellamy, 1889 — A storm drives a ship to an island populated by a telepathic civilization. Comments: Online text at Project Gutenberg. See H. Bruce Franklin’s extensive commentary on Bellamy in Future Perfect: American … Continue reading

Posted in 1926 and earlier, communication, disability, utopia/dystopia | Leave a comment