Category Archives: evolution

“Before Eden,” Arthur C. Clarke, 1961

“Before Eden,” Arthur C. Clarke, 1961 – Two explorers are amazed to find a vegetative life on Venus.  Ironically, in coming to the planet, they introduce bacteria which will eventually kill all life on the planet.  The photographs they take … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, ecology/the environment, evolution, international, photo/film/image | 1 Comment

“The First Men,” Howard Fast, 1960

“The First Men,” Howard Fast, 1960 – (Alternate title: “The Trap”) A scientific experiment in a controlled environment produces telepathic, hyper-intelligent superchildren from different races, proving that environment is “total.”  The children’s abilities progress to the point where they are … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, biological determinism, communication, difference/tolerance, education, eugenics/heredity, evolution, generational conflict, intelligence, love/family/children, psych/mind/madness, race/civil rights, scientific ethics, superhumans, the scientist | 1 Comment

“Old Hundreth,” Brian Aldiss, 1960

“Old Hundreth,” Brian Aldiss, 1960 – A story of far earth and the human calvacade that marched through time to reach it, now transcended (uploaded) to a static plane of mingled personality.  This long-forgotten human civilization has left behind its … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, animals/insects, cyborgs/posthumans, evolution, favorites, museums/artifacts, music, religion/soul/spirituality, speed/slowness, the body, violence, war/soldiers | 1 Comment

“Day at the Beach,” Carol Emshwiller, 1959

“Day at the Beach,” Carol Emshwiller, 1959 — In a post-apocalyptic world, a couple with a very hirsute, very violent son, Littleboy, struggles to reenact a normal “day at the beach.”  When they’re attacked by thieves after their gasoline, Littleboy’s … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, evolution, love/family/children, primitive/civilized, progress/obsolescence, violence | Leave a comment

“The Wonder Horse,” George Byram, 1957

“The Wonder Horse,” George Byram, 1957 — Two horse breeders discover that their horse is a mutant that is destined to end horse-racing as they know it. Comments: Read in The Best of the Best. Author:

Posted in 1946-1959, animals/insects, eugenics/heredity, evolution | Leave a comment

“Big Ancestor,” F. L. Wallace, 1954

“Big Ancestor,” F. L. Wallace, 1954 — In a quest to find the ancient race that seeded the galaxy with humanoid life, human beings discover that they were once the pests of the universe. Their prevalence in the universe is … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, evolution, hubris/pride | 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

“Watershed,” James Blish, 1955

“Watershed,” James Blish, 1955 — In a future in which the basic human type can no longer inhabit Earth, an Adapted Man and the seal-man Hoqqueah argue over the idea of a “primary type” for human kind. Wikipedia summary: “[‘Watershed’] … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, cyborgs/posthumans, difference/tolerance, evolution, exiles/"home"/displacement, function/utility/skeumorphs, memory, race/civil rights, the body | Leave a comment

“The Marching Morons,” C. M. Kornbluth, 1951

“The Marching Morons,” C. M. Kornbluth, 1951 — A real estate agent from the 20th century (John Barlow) is revived in an over-populated, media-suffused future where slogans such as “I’d buy that for a quarter!” are eagerly consumed by the … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, consumerism, eugenics/heredity, evolution, genocide/Holocaust, genrecraft, intelligence, media/advertising, overpopulation, race/civil rights, totalitarianism/fascism, violence | 1 Comment

“Breeds There a Man…?” Isaac Asimov, 1951

“Breeds there a man…?,” Isaac Asimov, 1951 — (Wikipedia) “Elwood Ralson, a brilliant but psychologically disturbed physicist, becomes convinced that humanity is a kind of genetics experiment being run by an alien intelligence. His behaviour becomes more erratic and suicidal … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, disease/plague, evolution, intelligence, invasion, paranoia/schitzophrenia, psych/mind/madness, suicide, the scientist | 1 Comment

“The Figure,” Edward Grendon, 1947

“The Figure,” Edward Grendon (Lawrence Le Shan), 1947 – Scientists construct a device which can grab objects from the Here-Then to the Here-Now.  One of the objects snatched from the future is an “aspirational” statue of a beetle, which demoralizes … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, animals/insects, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, evolution, the scientist, time/history/causality | Leave a comment

“When the Bough Breaks,” Lewis Padgett, 1944

“When the Bough Breaks,” Lewis Padgett (Kuttner and Moore), 1944 – Strange beings arrive to declare a young couple’s baby their future genius-king, the next stage in human development.  They report that the king has tasked them with traveling in … Continue reading

Posted in 1940-1945, evolution, favorites, generational conflict, horror, intelligence, love/family/children, superhumans, time/history/causality, violence | 1 Comment

“The Gnarly Man,” L. Sprague de Camp, 1939

“The Gnarly Man,” L. Sprague de Camp, 1939 – An anthropologist discovers an immortal Neanderthal working as a circus freak.  He plunges him into a world of (academic) exploitation and nearly gets him killed by a scientist who believes his … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, evolution, freaks/misfits, knowledge/truth/epistemology, the Other, the scientist | Leave a comment

“Greater than Gods,” C. L. Moore, 1939

“Greater than Gods,” C.L. Moore, 1939 – A man researching eugenics (Dr. Bill Cory) is trying to decide between two prospective wives. He’s visited by distant grand-children from alternate futures (one matriarchal and one fascist/patriarchal) who communicate with him through … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, biological determinism, emotions/intimacy/empathy, eugenics/heredity, evolution, gender, love/family/children, male anxiety, masculinity, matriarchy, photo/film/image, time/history/causality, totalitarianism/fascism | Leave a comment

“Devolution,” Edmond Hamilton, 1936

“Devolution,” Edmond Hamilton, 1936 – Scientists in the woods of North Quebec are in search of clues to man’s glorious path “up” the evolutionary chain.  The story begins with a review of known evolutionary theory and questions about the role … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, animals/insects, evolution, hubris/pride | Leave a comment

“In the World’s Dusk,” Edmond Hamilton, 1936

“In the World’s Dusk,” Edmond Hamilton, 1936 – The story of the end of mankind.  Galos Gann, the last man and greatest scientist, struggles to keep Man alive.  He attempts to sleep through the millennia, believing that man will evolve … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, evolution, the scientist, time/history/causality | Leave a comment

“Alas, All Thinking,” Harry Bates, 1935

“Alas, All Thinking,” Harry Bates, 1935 – A brilliant scientist is given a glimpse of humanity’s future as purely mental creatures.  Only 36 humans remain, and they live in dusty cubicles, engaged in constant meditation.  Three of them turn to … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, aesthetics/beauty, evolution, intelligence, sex/reproduction/sterility, the body, the scientist | Leave a comment

“Twilight,” Don A. Stuart (John Campbell, Jr.), 1934

“Twilight,” Don A. Stuart (John Campbell, Jr.), 1934 – A man picks up a hitchhiker with a melancholy tale. The strange passenger claims that humanity will become extinct and will, in its last moments, bequeath the gift of curiosity to … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, automata/robots, evolution, progress/obsolescence | Leave a comment

“Omega,” Amelia Reynolds Long, 1932

“Omega,” Amelia Reynolds Long, 1932 – A scientist discovers that mental time and physical time can be altered through hypnosis. He hypnotizes a volunteer (a murderer) and sends him tens of thousands of years into the future.  The man provides … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, dreams/hypnosis, evolution, religion/soul/spirituality, the body, time/history/causality | Leave a comment

“The Man Who Evolved,” Edmond Hamilton, 1931

“The Man Who Evolved,” Edmond Hamilton, 1931 – A man uses cosmic rays to evolve into a giant brain. Comments: Read in Before the Golden Age, Book One, ed. Isaac Asimov.  Asimov’s afterward critiques the science, i.e., populations evolve, not … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, evolution | Leave a comment