Category Archives: hubris/pride

“Harry Protagonist, Brain-Drainer,” Richard Wilson, 1963

“Harry Protagonist, Brain-Drainer,” Richard Wilson, 1963 – (short short) Over one-seventy million Americans are connected through a direct brain link to four astronauts on their way to Mars.  In their arrogance, the denizens of Earth never imagined Mars could be … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, astronauts, hubris/pride, invasion, media/advertising, nationalism, post/colonialism, space exploration, spectatorship/voyeurism, television, the Other | Leave a comment

“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

“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

“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

“Who Can Replace a Man?” Brian Aldiss, 1958

“Who Can Replace a Man?” Brian Aldiss, 1958 – Humanity has destroyed itself and machines form a social order based on a hierarchy of intelligence. Comments: Read in A Century of Science Fiction.  Editor Damon Knight comments that the story … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, automata/robots, class/labor/"work", function/utility/skeumorphs, hubris/pride, intelligence, logic/reason, mechanization, museums/artifacts | Leave a comment

“No, no, not Rogov!” Cordwainer Smith, 1959

“No, no, not Rogov!” Cordwainer Smith, 1950 – Cherpas and Rogov are good Soviets who doggedly carry out Stalin’s orders for a machine that can read all EM radiation, including thoughts, for the purpose of spying and suppressing thought.  With … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, capitalism/Marxism, communication, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, gender, hubris/pride, intelligence, love/family/children, music, nationalism, psych/mind/madness, scientific ethics, superhumans, surveillance, the scientist, totalitarianism/fascism, war/soldiers | 1 Comment

“Ideas Die Hard,” Isaac Asimov, 1957

“Ideas Die Hard,” Isaac Asimov, 1957 — Two astronauts are on a mission to the moon. They discuss how ideas (e.g., age of earth or that the earth is round, a fact which this trip will truly prove with direct … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, astronauts, hubris/pride, knowledge/truth/epistemology, psych/mind/madness, reality/VR/surreal, scientific ethics, the scientist | 3 Comments

“Man of Distinction,” Michael Shaara, 1956

“Man of Distinction,” Michael Shaara, 1956 — Once upon a time, Thatcher Blitt was forgettable, as liable to be forgotten as any other businessman who doesn’t associate himself with a man of fame.  However, at 25 Blitt realized that new … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, biological determinism, eugenics/heredity, gender, hubris/pride, identity/authenticity, love/family/children | 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

“The Star,” Arthur C. Clarke, 1955

“The Star,” Arthur C. Clarke, 1955 — Three thousand light-years away from the Vatican, a Jesuit astrophysicist comments on the depression of the crew, now that they have learned a disturbing truth which is initially concealed from the reader.  He … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, astronauts, catastrophe, hubris/pride, mourning/grief, religion/soul/spirituality, space exploration, time/history/causality | Leave a comment

“The Birds,” Daphne du Maurier, 1952

“The Birds,” Daphne du Maurier, 1952 – Hungry birds attack war veteran Nat Hocken’s town and family.  He takes war-time measures, boarding up the windows and doors, stocking provisions.  Nat imagines the attitudes of his neighbors: some will not prepare, … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, horror, hubris/pride, violence, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“God and the Machine,” Nigel Balchin, 1951

“God and the Machine,” Nigel Balchin, 1951 — Uncle Charles relates to his nephew the story of Professor Plumreach and his draughts-playing automaton.  Arrogant, misanthropic, abusive to his family, Plumreach appears to be a rigid man of absolutes.  Charles notes … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, emotions/intimacy/empathy, hubris/pride, international, logic/reason, mathematics, scientific ethics, the scientist | Leave a comment

“The Mindworm,” Cyril M. Kornbluth, 1950

“The Mindworm,” Cyril M. Kornbluth, 1950 – A telepathic vampire is created by atomic radiation.  The orphaned child of a lieutenant and a nurse stationed on a ship performing nuclear tests, he wanders from city to city.  He discovers his … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, american culture, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, class/labor/"work", communication, emotions/intimacy/empathy, exiles/"home"/displacement, favorites, freaks/misfits, genrecraft, horror, hubris/pride, interior/exterior, language/libraries, primitive/civilized, psych/mind/madness, spectatorship/voyeurism, superhumans, violence | Leave a comment

“The Little Black Bag,” Cyril M. Kornbluth, 1950

“The Little Black Bag,” Cyril M. Kornbluth, 1950 – A black bag full of user-friendly medical devices from a future in which humanity is divided into a small number of geniuses and a large number of “marching morons,” is discovered … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, drugs/pharma, hubris/pride, intelligence, physicians/medicine, progress/obsolescence, satire, scientific ethics, the body | Leave a comment

“Eternity Lost,” Clifford D. Simak, 1949

“Eternity Lost,” Clifford D. Simak, 1949 – The senator who wrote the ethical code governing the distribution of life extensions learns that his party has denied his next life extension, only one hundred years before the time when all humanity … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, death/immortality, function/utility/skeumorphs, hubris/pride, physicians/medicine, politics/politicians/elections, scientific ethics | Leave a comment

“N Day,” Philip Latham, 1946

“N Day,” Philip Latham, 1946 – (Robert Shirley Richardson) A timid astronomer discovers that the sun will go nova soon.  Suddenly, nothing matters, and he’s able to stand up to the university president.  He gives an interview to the papers, … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, catastrophe, hubris/pride, psych/mind/madness | Leave a comment

“Invariant,” John R. Pierce, 1944

“Invariant,” John R. Pierce, 1944 – A man interviews Homer Green, a man who inoculated himself against change, such that his body will gain immortality through constant regeneration. However, he’s also preserved mentally; meaning, he can no longer acquire memories.  … Continue reading

Posted in 1940-1945, death/immortality, hubris/pride, memory, time/history/causality | 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

“The Accursed Galaxy,” Edmond Hamilton, 1935

“The Accursed Galaxy,” Edmond Hamilton, 1935 –Recent discoveries by Hubble and other astronomers have used red shifts to prove that the other galaxies are “running away” from us.  This suggests to them that Earth’s galaxy was the core of  a … Continue reading

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

“The Conquest of Gola,” Leslie F. Stone, 1931

“The Conquest of Gola,” Leslie F. Stone, 1931 — Earthmen (Detaxalans) arrive on cloud-covered Gola with the intent of plundering its treasures and “commercializing” it for the benefit of their Federation.  Gola, however, is ruled by a formidable matriarchy composed … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, aesthetics/beauty, capitalism/Marxism, communication, favorites, gender, greed, hubris/pride, invasion, masculinity, matriarchy, the body, the Other, tourists | Leave a comment