Category Archives: economics

“Uncalculated Risk,” Christopher Anvil, 1962

“Uncalculated Risk,” Christopher Anvil (Harry Crosby), 1962 — General Berenger is skeptical about the roles of science and technology will be able to play in maintaining America’s military advantage.  In fact, he’s of the opinion that the world might be … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, ecology/the environment, economics, hubris/pride, scientific ethics, the scientist, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“A Place Beyond the Stars,” Tom Godwin, 1959

“A Place Beyond the Stars,” Tom Godwin, 1959 — A dying earth sends Immigration Scouts ahead on a mission to locate civilizations that could serve as rest and refueling stations along the path of their very long journey.  A scout … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, economics, greed, time/history/causality, totalitarianism/fascism, Uncategorized | 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

“Stranger Station,” Damon Knight, 1956

“Stranger Station,” Damon Knight, 1956 – Paul Wesson is stationed on Stranger Station, which will be visited by an overwhelmingly alien consciousness. His only companion is the robot (female) Aunt Jane. His purpose is to establish contact with the alien, … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, automata/robots, communication, death/immortality, difference/tolerance, economics, emotions/intimacy/empathy, evolution, language/libraries, post/colonialism, religion/soul/spirituality, the Other | 2 Comments

“Dreaming is a Private Thing,” Isaac Asimov , 1955

“Dreaming is a Private Thing,” Isaac Asimov , 1955 – Jessie Weill, is the manager of a firm specializing in private dreamies (similar to films or DVDs) that can be viewed at home by individual users.  He encourages a ten-year … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, artists/creativity, class/labor/"work", consumerism, dreams/hypnosis, economics, emotions/intimacy/empathy, freaks/misfits, genrecraft, love/family/children, media/advertising, photo/film/image, reality/VR/surreal, spectatorship/voyeurism, television, the Internet | 1 Comment

“Autofac,” Philip K. Dick, 1955

“Autofac,” Philip K. Dick, 1955 – Humans attempt to turn off a network of machines that endlessly produces a set of items that a long-gone bureaucracy has determined are essential to their lives. The survivors wish to begin post-war Reconstruction, … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, american culture, automata/robots, consumerism, ecology/the environment, economics, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“The Midas Plague,” Frederik Pohl, 1954

“The Midas Plague,” Frederik Pohl, 1954 — Morey and Cherry Fry have just been married in an extravagant ceremony designed to comply as much as possible with their consumption quota.  Cherry’s parents, as part of the elite, are “poor” and … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, automata/robots, class/labor/"work", consumerism, economics, love/family/children, male anxiety, satire | Leave a comment

“The Snowball Effect,” Katherin MacLean, 1952

“The Snowball Effect,” Katherin MacLean, 1952 – A university president under pressure from budget cuts demands that a sociologist prove his work has value.  The sociologist proposes applying a growth model (using the symbols of human interaction) on a sewing … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, economics, education, function/utility/skeumorphs, politics/politicians/elections | Leave a comment

“Cost of Living,” Robert Sheckley, 1952

“Cost of Living,” Robert Sheckley, 1952 – A man sells his son’s future in exchange for modern conveniences he can enjoy during his own lifetime. Comments: Themes include debt, consumerism, generational conflict, advertising, family.  Read in Galaxy: Thirty Years of Innovative … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, american culture, consumerism, economics, generational conflict, love/family/children, media/advertising, satire, television | Leave a comment

“John Jones’s Dollar,” Harry Stephen Keller, 1927

“John Jones’s Dollar,” Harry Stephen Keeler, 1927 —  “The main mathematical content of this science fiction story is an illustration of the potential of exponential growth in the form of considering how a single dollar invested in a bank would … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, economics, mathematics | Leave a comment