Category Archives: favorites

“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

“A Kind of Artistry,” Brian Aldiss, 1962

“A Kind of Artistry,” Brian Aldiss, 1962 – The story of adventurer Derek Ende who leaves his demanding Mistress to make contact with the Cliff, an exotic species born of an asteroid.  Life off-world gives him insight into his home … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, gender, genrecraft, international, love/family/children, masculinity, matriarchy, psych/mind/madness, sex/reproduction/sterility | 1 Comment

“The Golden Horn,” Edgar Pangborn, 1961

“The Golden Horn,” Edgar Pangborn, 1961 – A boy with growing aspirations finds a beautiful object in the woods, a golden horn, and imagines how it might transform his life.  Unfortunately, the horn already has an owner. Comments:  A morality … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, difference/tolerance, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, freaks/misfits, greed, love/family/children, the Other | 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

“The First Days of May,” Claude Veillot, 1961

“The First Days of May,” Claude Veillot, 1961, trans. Damon Knight — An alien species (dubbed Shrills) fills a conquered earth with horrific and deadly sounds.  Their natural ability to produce supersonics gives them an advantage, and they rout humanity … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, favorites, horror, international, invasion, love/family/children, senses/space | Leave a comment

“The Moon Moth,” Jack Vance, 1961

“The Moon Moth,” Jack Vance, 1961 – A new ambassador arrives to a highly organized culture with two peculiarities: hierarchical “character” masks used in lieu of personal identity and a language spoken through musical instruments. Comments:  Fantastic story of mores/customs, … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, class/labor/"work", communication, culture clash, favorites, identity/authenticity, interior/exterior, language/libraries, masculinity, music, primitive/civilized, theatre/performance | Leave a comment

“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

“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

“Things,” Zenna Henderson, 1960

“Things,” Zenna Henderson, 1960 – An alien race describes the arrival of The Strangers bearing gifts.  A young member of the village is tempted to trade the location of his tribe in exchange for “things.” Comments: Read in 12 Great … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, consumerism, culture clash, favorites, greed, love/family/children, Native Americans, primitive/civilized | Leave a comment

“The Advent on Channel Twelve,” C. M. Kornbluth, 1958

“The Advent on Channel Twelve,” C. M. Kornbluth, 1958 – (short short) A biblical-style recounting of how the children’s tv icon, Poopy Panda, did come to build his media empire and rule over all the land. Comments: Themes: Satire, children’s … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, american culture, consumerism, favorites, humor, love/family/children, media/advertising, religion/soul/spirituality, satire, television | Leave a 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

“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

“The Oldest Soldier,” Fritz Leiber, 1960

“The Oldest Soldier,” Fritz Leiber, 1960 –Friends discuss the history of weapons while having drinks at their favorite hang out, Sol’s Liquor Shop in Chicago.  After, the narrator reflects on his hatred of war, complicated as it is by his … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, favorites, genrecraft, masculinity, media/advertising, nationalism, psych/mind/madness, surveillance, the uncanny, time/history/causality, totalitarianism/fascism, tourists, war/soldiers | 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

“The Handler,” Damon Knight, 1960

“The Handler,” Damon Knight, 1960 —  Pete is the dashing man of the hour–a television star able to charm a room merely by walking through the door.  True to form, after a show he arrives at a post-party, amiable and … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, aesthetics/beauty, american culture, difference/tolerance, favorites, freaks/misfits, identity/authenticity, male anxiety, masculinity, mechanization, media/advertising, satire, the body, the Other, theatre/performance | 1 Comment

“Mariana,” Fritz Leiber, 1960

“Mariana,” Fritz Leiber, 1960 — Mariana lives in a beautiful villa surrounded by tall pine trees, but she’s troubled by something, perhaps a sense of monotony.  Her husband assures her that her life is perfect, and he urges her to … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, favorites, gender, horror, love/family/children, mechanization, psych/mind/madness, 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

“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

“–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