Category Archives: fantasy/fable/fairy tale

“The Drowned Giant,” J. G. Ballard, 1964

“The Drowned Giant,” J. G. Ballard, 1964 — A giant human(oid) male washes ashore.  The protagonist, a librarian, is assigned by his peers to investigate and make sense of what’s happened.  He notes that, after initial period of wonder and … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, consumerism, fantasy/fable/fairy tale, function/utility/skeumorphs, knowledge/truth/epistemology, the body, time/history/causality, tourists | 5 Comments

“The Lottery in Babylon,” Jorge Luís Borges, 1959

“The Lottery in Babylon,” Jorge Luís Borges, 1959 — (or “The Babylon Lottery”; original Spanish “La lotería en Babilonia” (1941))  (fantasy) Backed by a secret Company (God?), a lottery in mythic Babylon transitions from voluntary to compulsory, with the result … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, bureaucracy/corporations, class/labor/"work", fantasy/fable/fairy tale, favorites, international, knowledge/truth/epistemology, logic/reason, myth, religion/soul/spirituality, time/history/causality | 8 Comments

“I’ll Get Rid of Your Discontent,” Taku Mayumura, 1962 (2007 Tr.)

“I’ll Get Rid of Your Discontent,” Mayumura Taku, 1962 (2007 Tr.) – A salesman buys a curious object which promises to comfort him whenever he feels embarrassed or frustrated with others or the world.  He’s warned not to use it … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, drugs/pharma, emotions/intimacy/empathy, fantasy/fable/fairy tale, international | Leave a comment

“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

Posted in 1960-1969, communication, culture clash, death/immortality, fantasy/fable/fairy tale, favorites, freaks/misfits, identity/authenticity, language/libraries, margins/center, nationalism, the Other | Leave a comment

“Two Dooms,” Cyril M. Kornbluth, 1958

“Two Dooms,” Cyril M. Kornbluth, 1958 – Los Alamos, May 1945: Edward Royland is a theoretical physicist pondering the ethics of creating the atom bomb.  He’s transported by a Native American fable/ritual (and peyote) to a world where the Nazis … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, alternate history, american culture, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, communication, drugs/pharma, eugenics/heredity, fantasy/fable/fairy tale, favorites, gender, genocide/Holocaust, intelligence, knowledge/truth/epistemology, nationalism, Native Americans, satire, scientific ethics, the body, the Other, the scientist, time/history/causality, totalitarianism/fascism, violence, war/soldiers | 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

“Someday,” Isaac Asimov, 1956

“Someday,” Isaac Asimov, 1956 – A young boy kicks and generally mistreats his Bard, an old-fashioned story-telling machine.  His friend, destined to become a computer programmer, arrives to tell him his plan to start a secret club based on “squiggles” … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, automata/robots, fantasy/fable/fairy tale, genrecraft, language/libraries, museums/artifacts | 1 Comment

“Pâté de Foie Gras,” Isaac Asimov, 1956

“Pâté de Foie Gras,” Isaac Asimov, 1956 – Fairy tale meets sf in this tale of a goose that lays golden eggs.  The goose is revealed to be a mini-nuclear reactor, a living philosopher’s stone. Comments: Read in Laughing Space. … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, fantasy/fable/fairy tale, genrecraft, humor | 1 Comment

“The Golem,” Avram Davidson, 1955

“The Golem,” Avram Davidson, 1955 — An elderly Jewish couple, Mr. and Mrs. Gumbeiner, are enjoying an autumn day on the porch when a grey-faced man approaches.  The golem announces that he’s come to destroy them, but the old couple … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, automata/robots, fantasy/fable/fairy tale, genrecraft, humor | Leave a comment

“One Ordinary Day, With Peanuts,” Shirley Jackson, 1955

“One Ordinary Day, With Peanuts,” Shirley Jackson, 1955 — Mr. John Philip Johnson spends the day strolling through his neighborhood, spreading kindness and good will.  He returns home to his wife, who reports that she’s also been hard at work … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, fantasy/fable/fairy tale, humor | Leave a comment

“My Boyfriend’s Name is Jello,” Avram Davidson, 1954

“My Boyfriend’s Name is Jello,” Avram Davidson, 1954 – A feverish man listens to the jump-rope song of three “Weird Sisters” outside his building, children who seems capable of inflicting or curing disease through their chants. Comments: Read in The … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, disease/plague, fantasy/fable/fairy tale, favorites, genrecraft, humor, love/family/children | 2 Comments

“The Last Weapon,” Robert Sheckley, 1953

“The Last Weapon,” Robert Sheckley, 1953 – A trio of thugs searches for a lost trove of Martian weapons, but they can barely keep from murdering each other along the way.  When they find the cache they activate the weapons … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, fantasy/fable/fairy tale, violence | Leave a comment

“God Grante That She Lye Stille,” Cynthia Asquith, 1947

“God Grante That She Lye Stille,” Cynthia Asquith, 1947 – A ghost story. Comments: Not sf, but remarkable passages about the mutability of identity, a vacant self, the body as a vessel, and a female narrator referring to herself as … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, fantasy/fable/fairy tale | Leave a comment

“The Circular Ruins,” Jorge Luis Borges, 1940

“The Circular Ruins,” Jorge Luis Borges, 1940 –A wizard constructs a son from his dreams.  Through a long, painstaking process, he creates him, part by part, and calls upon Fire to give him life.  But, as the son ages, he … Continue reading

Posted in 1940-1945, artists/creativity, death/immortality, dreams/hypnosis, fantasy/fable/fairy tale, love/family/children, reality/VR/surreal, suicide | Leave a comment

“The Man Who Returned,” Edmond Hamilton, 1935

“The Man Who Returned,” Edmond Hamilton, 1935 — (Fantasy) A man wakes up in his coffin but is able to get free. He plans to return home, but finds his wife with his best friend. He decides not to inform … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, bureaucracy/corporations, death/immortality, fantasy/fable/fairy tale, gender, interior/exterior, knowledge/truth/epistemology, love/family/children, male anxiety, masculinity, suicide | Leave a comment

“The Appendix and the Spectacles,” Miles J. Breuer, 1928

“The Appendix and the Spectacles,” Miles J. Breuer, 1928 – A bank owner denies an extension on a medical student’s loan and the student is forced to give up medical school for philosophy, where he learns to manipulate the fourth … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, capitalism/Marxism, fantasy/fable/fairy tale, physicians/medicine, the body, the scientist | 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 Brushwood Boy,” Rudyard Kipling, 1895

“The Brushwood Boy,” Rudyard Kipling, 1895 — A young English army officer dreams of a mysterious woman in an imaginary country only they share. He does his duty and lives his life well, but he is without love.  Upon returning … Continue reading

Posted in 1926 and earlier, dreams/hypnosis, fantasy/fable/fairy tale, genrecraft, international, love/family/children, the Other | Leave a comment

“The King of Nodland and His Dwarf,” Fitz James O’Brien, 1852

“The King of Nodland and His Dwarf,” Fitz-James O’Brien, 1852 – The citizens of Nodland are too lazy to till their own fields, preferring sleep–which is a national pasttime.  They enslave the nearby Cock-Crow Indians.  The kingdom prospers until the … Continue reading

Posted in 1926 and earlier, class/labor/"work", fantasy/fable/fairy tale, Native Americans, race/civil rights, satire, slavery/human trafficking | Leave a comment