Category Archives: humor

“The Big Pat Boom,” Damon Knight, 1963

“The Big Pat Boom,” Damon Knight, 1963 – Alien tourists on Earth create a boom in the sale of cow patties.  Unexpectedly, they leave, causing a crash; new aliens arrive, creating a market for apple cores. Comments: Read in Laughing … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, capitalism/Marxism, humor, tourists | 2 Comments

“Stanley Toothbrush,” Terry Carr, 1962

“Stanley Toothbrush,” Terry Carr, 1962 – A man contemplates the absurdity of the sounds of language.  In doing so, he “disbelieves” his shelves out of existence.  His girlfriend later tells him of her fantasy man, Stanley Toothbrush–and Toothbrush suddenly arrives … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, communication, humor, language/libraries, psych/mind/madness | 2 Comments

“Gone Fishing,” James H. Schmitz, 1961

“Gone Fishing,” James H. Schmitz, 1961 — Barney Card, occasional conman and financier, discovers that a secret organization has developed a teleporter.  McAllen, a genial old scientist who is working on the teleporter project for the organization, is instructed to … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, greed, humor, intelligence | 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

“Nightmare Number Four,” Robert Bloch, 1945

“Nightmare Number Four,” Robert Bloch, 1945 — (poem) Due to a failed advertising experiment, permanent advertisements saturate the air. Comments: Read in Science Fiction Showcase. Themes: advertising, media saturation. C.M. Kornbluth: The Life and Works of a Science Fiction Visionary … Continue reading

Posted in 1940-1945, humor, media/advertising, satire | 1 Comment

“The Men Who Murdered Mohammed,” Alfred Bester, 1958

“The Men Who Murdered Mohammed,” Alfred Bester, 1958 – Henry Hassel discovers his wife is cheating on him and he murders her.  Unsatisfied, the genius invents a time travel machine in order to eliminate her from the timeline altogether.  After … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, humor, love/family/children, male anxiety, the scientist, time/history/causality, violence | 1 Comment

“Buy Jupiter!” Isaac Asimov, 1958

“Buy Jupiter!” Isaac Asimov, 1958 — A simulacron from an alien race negotiates with Earth for the rights to  Jupiter, but it withholds the buyers’ true intent: To use Jupiter as a billboard. Comments: Read in Infinity One. Author: Wikipedia: … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, automata/robots, capitalism/Marxism, humor, media/advertising | Leave a comment

“The Education of Tigress Macardle,” C. M. Kornbluth, 1957

“The Education of Tigress Macardle,” C. M. Kornbluth, 1957 — Purvis (Elvis?) is elected president, and four years later establishes himself as King Purvis I.  / At the same time, Dr. Fu Manchu, “that veritable personification of the Yellow Peril, … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, american culture, automata/robots, generational conflict, genrecraft, humor, invasion, love/family/children, media/advertising, music, nationalism, overpopulation, politics/politicians/elections, race/civil rights, satire, sex/reproduction/sterility, time/history/causality, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Man in the Jar,” Damon Knight, 1957

“Man in the Jar,” Damon Knight, 1957 – A man believes a bellhop to be a “Marack,” one of a surviving race of magical natives who can turn coal into diamonds. Comments: Humorous, perhaps suggests first world arrogance getting a … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, 1st v 3rd world, humor | Leave a comment

“The Stunning Science Fiction Caper,” Thomas N. Scortia (as Gerald MacDow), 1957

“The Stunning Science Fiction Caper,” Thomas N. Scortia (as Gerald MacDow), 1957 – (short) A detective shows up looking for the renowned sf editor, MacLeb, to find out that he’s nothing more than a figment of the imagination of two … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, genrecraft, humor | Leave a comment

“The Bomb in the Bathtub,” Thomas N. Scortia, 1957

“The Bomb in the Bathtub,” Thomas N. Scortia, 1957 — Caedman Wickes, an eccentric, somewhat abstracted private investigator Specializing in Odd Complaints is approached by Sidney Coleman.  Coleman has a problem: There’s a man in his bathroom who says the … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, genrecraft, humor, multiplicity, psych/mind/madness, time/history/causality | Leave a comment

“Bad Medicine,” Robert Sheckley, 1956

“Bad Medicine,” Robert Sheckley, 1956 – Elwood Caswell, homicidal maniac, seeks a Rex Regenerator–a type of robot psychologist built by General Motors–to help rid him of his impulse to kill his nemesis, Magnessen.  Unfortunately, the model he buys is a … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, automata/robots, bureaucracy/corporations, consumerism, humor, language/libraries, psych/mind/madness, violence | 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

“Protection,” Robert Sheckley, 1956

“Protection,” Robert Sheckley, 1956 – (humorous short) A derg is able to protect a man from all things, except lesnerizing. Comments: Read in Laughing Space and The Third Galaxy Reader. Author: Wikipedia: “Robert Sheckley (July 16, 1928 – December 9, … Continue reading

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“The Vilbar Party,” Evelyn E. Smith, 1955

“The Vilbar Party,” Evelyn E. Smith, 1955 – Amusing story about an alien exchange professor who resembles a teddy bear. Comments: Read in Laughing Space and The Third Galaxy Reader.  Online text at Project Gutenberg. Author: ISFDB entry

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“A Skald’s Lament,” L. Sprague de Camp, 1955

“A Skald’s Lament,” L. Sprague de Camp, 1955 – (poem/song) A writer’s work in the field is not appreciated despite his adherence to the fashions of the day. Comments: Read in Laughing Space.  Appears to mocking three early phases of … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, genrecraft, humor | Leave a comment

“Diabologic,” Eric Frank Russell, 1955

“Diabologic,” Eric Frank Russell, 1955 – Wayne Hillder, a Terran, arrives on the planet of the Vards, a naïve but space faring race and a humanoid species covered in fine grey fur. He confounds them with riddles and fallacies until … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, communication, humor, intelligence, international, language/libraries, logic/reason, primitive/civilized | Leave a 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

“The Perfect Woman,” Robert Sheckley, 1953

“The Perfect Woman,” Robert Sheckley, 1953 (or 1954?) – (short short) A man has a choice between the delicate and ultra-feminine “new woman” or “reconstructed woman,” who is more than happy to do the housework but prone to breakdown, or … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, gender, humor | Leave a comment