Category Archives: intelligence

“Itself!”, A. E. van Vogt, 1963

“Itself!”, A. E. van Vogt, 1963 – An AI submarine left-over from a past war patrols the waters, paranoid and territorial.  By luck, it destroys the crew of an alien invasion craft.  Those in charge realize the value of the … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, automata/robots, intelligence, invasion, mechanization, paranoia/schitzophrenia, violence, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“Good Night, Sophie,” Lino Aldani, 1963

“Good Night, Sophie,” Lino Aldani, 1963 – (trans. from Italian)– In a future in which the superstar, Sophie, is a VR porn star, Sophie must decide if the Anti-Dream League’s claims that “nature and the soul” are being lost due … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, aesthetics/beauty, agency/will/freedom, american culture, capitalism/Marxism, class/labor/"work", dreams/hypnosis, emotions/intimacy/empathy, gender, identity/authenticity, intelligence, interior/exterior, international, love/family/children, media/advertising, memory, narrative, natural/artificial, photo/film/image, progress/obsolescence, psych/mind/madness, reality/VR/surreal, religion/soul/spirituality, senses/space, sex/reproduction/sterility, simulacra, spectatorship/voyeurism, surveillance, the body, the gaze, the Other, theatre/performance | 1 Comment

“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 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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“Pelt,” Carol Emshwiller, 1958

“Pelt,” Carol Emshwiller, 1958 – A beautiful white dog (alternately referred to as Aloora, Queen, Galaxa) helps her master track down sentient “beasts” on the planet Jaxa.  Despite the beasts’ urging of her to do “something free,” to do anything … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, animals/insects, intelligence, slavery/human trafficking | Leave a comment

“Space-Time for Springers,” Fritz Leiber, 1958

“Space-Time for Springers,” Fritz Leiber, 1958 – Gummitch the super-kitten struggles to understand his human “parents” and their malevolent daughter, doomed by her cruelty (as only Gummitch can reason) to one day become a cat. Comments: Themes/images of intelligence, animals, … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, animals/insects, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, intelligence, logic/reason, religion/soul/spirituality | Leave a comment

“Unit,” J. T. McIntosh, 1957

“Unit,” J. T. McIntosh, 1957 — Edgar agrees to become a Unit Father for a group of social misfits who wish to have their identities erased, such that they might be retrained as a new entity with no memory of … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, communication, difference/tolerance, emotions/intimacy/empathy, exiles/"home"/displacement, favorites, freaks/misfits, identity/authenticity, intelligence, love/family/children, margins/center, memory, multiplicity, nationalism, physicians/medicine, post/colonialism, the body, the Other | 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

“Gomez,” C. M. Kornbluth, 1954

“Gomez,” C. M. Kornbluth, 1954 – An otherwise unremarkable Mexican kitchen worker is discovered to be a mathematical genius, and the U.S. military quickly appropriates him as “human resources,” necessary for its defense against the Soviets in the Cold War.  … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, bureaucracy/corporations, intelligence, love/family/children, mathematics, primitive/civilized, satire, sex/reproduction/sterility, the Other, war/soldiers | 2 Comments

“The Congruent People,” A. J. Budrys, 1953

“The Congruent People,” Algis Budrys, 1953 – A man realizes that most of his experience consists of “gestalt” assumptions.  His perception is nudged out of phase due to a newspaper and he discovers a group of people living in another … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, intelligence, reality/VR/surreal | Leave a comment

“Asylum,” A. E. van Vogt, 1942

“Asylum,” A. E. van Vogt, 1942 – Two energy vampires arrive on Earth and outwit the relatively IQ-challenged man sent to stop them.  A female alien with an even higher IQ arrives to save him. Comments: Themes include femininity, IQ, … Continue reading

Posted in 1940-1945, dreams/hypnosis, gender, intelligence, progress/obsolescence | 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 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

“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

“Reason,” Isaac Asimov, 1941

“Reason,” Isaac Asimov, 1941 – Two scientists on a space station try to convince their robot assistant (QT1) that they were its creators, not God.  The robot reasons that the station is God, since it was designed to serve it. … Continue reading

Posted in 1940-1945, automata/robots, intelligence, logic/reason, religion/soul/spirituality | 2 Comments