Category Archives: interior/exterior

“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

“The Masked World,” Jack Williamson, 1963

“The Masked World,” Jack Williamson, 1963 — An astronaut searches for his wife, Lilith.  Lilith was part of a survey tasked with “reading” the genetic code of the life there with advanced genetic probes.  Upon reconstructing Lilith’s work, the protagonist … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, astronauts, identity/authenticity, interior/exterior, love/family/children, natural/artificial, simulacra, space exploration, the body, the Other, the scientist | 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

“All of Us Are Dying,” George Clayton Johnson, 1961

“All of Us Are Dying,” George Clayton Johnson, 1961 – A drifter who is able to assume the appearance of people from other people’s pasts makes his way through life by playing upon their desire for closure.  Some want to … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, death/immortality, emotions/intimacy/empathy, greed, identity/authenticity, interior/exterior, memory, multiplicity, simulacra, theatre/performance | Leave a comment

“Judas Danced,” Brian Aldiss, 1958

“Judas Danced,” Brian Aldiss, 1958 – Alex Abel Crowe, a madman living in a future without text, where the image and history are confused by society’s ability to send humans back in time one week, has watched the crucifixion on … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, artists/creativity, favorites, identity/authenticity, interior/exterior, love/family/children, myth, photo/film/image, psych/mind/madness, religion/soul/spirituality, simulacra, spectatorship/voyeurism, theatre/performance, time/history/causality, Uncategorized, violence | 7 Comments

“The Other Celia,” Theodore Sturgeon, 1957

“The Other Celia,”  Theodore Sturgeon, 1957 – A recluse spies on his neighbor and discovers that she takes off her human “skin” at night. Comments: Another story by Sturgeon about the invasion of a woman’s privacy, though “weirder” than “A … Continue reading

Posted in favorites, gender, interior/exterior, natural/artificial, simulacra, spectatorship/voyeurism, surveillance, the gaze, the Other, the uncanny, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“The Anything Box,” Zenna Henderson, 1956

“The Anything Box,” Zenna Henderson, 1956 – A schoolteacher observes with puzzlement a quiet young pupil in her class who appears to be staring into an invisible box cupped in her hands.  She discusses the student with another teacher who … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, artists/creativity, difference/tolerance, freaks/misfits, interior/exterior, love/family/children, psych/mind/madness, television | Leave a comment

“Down Among the Dead Men,” William Tenn, 1954

“Down Among the Dead Men,” William Tenn, 1954 – Soldiers are grown or fitted together from human parts to feed the war machine of a desperate, reproduction-obsessed society.  A military commander must lead a troupe of new recruits, all replicated … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, cyborgs/posthumans, death/immortality, difference/tolerance, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, interior/exterior, masculinity, psych/mind/madness, sex/reproduction/sterility, the body, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“Imposter,” Philip K. Dick, 1953

“Imposter,” Philip K. Dick, 1953 – Spence Olham is informed that he’s been killed and replaced by an android as part of a plot by the Outspacers to detonate a U-bomb inside enemy lines.  He flees and leads his pursuers … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, automata/robots, cyborgs/posthumans, identity/authenticity, interior/exterior, memory, natural/artificial, paranoia/schitzophrenia, psych/mind/madness, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“Second Variety,” Philip K. Dick, 1953

“Second Variety,” Philip K. Dick, 1953 – A soldier discovers that his self-replicating, mechanical enemies have discovered a new, thoroughly disorienting form of camouflage—the imitation of human beings. Comments:  Online text at Project Gutenberg; Librivox recording also available. Themes include … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, cyborgs/posthumans, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, identity/authenticity, interior/exterior, natural/artificial, paranoia/schitzophrenia, religion/soul/spirituality, simulacra, the body, the uncanny, theatre/performance, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“Warm,” Robert Sheckley, 1953

“Warm,” Robert Sheckley, 1953 – Anders is about to meet his fiancé, Judy, whom he describes as a “reactive machine,” when he hears a disembodied voice calling for help. Comments: Read in Great Tales of SF.  A story of “performing” … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, automata/robots, emotions/intimacy/empathy, gender, identity/authenticity, interior/exterior, love/family/children, male anxiety, masculinity, mechanization, natural/artificial, psych/mind/madness, reality/VR/surreal, simulacra, the body, the gaze, the Other, theatre/performance | Leave a comment

“Made in U.S.A,” J. T. McIntosh, 1953

“Made in U.S.A,” J. T. McIntosh, 1953 – Roderick and Allison Liffcom are the perfect couple—until Roderick learns that Allison’s an android. He sues for divorce and she contests, arguing that now that androids have full equality, she was under … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, automata/robots, class/labor/"work", difference/tolerance, emotions/intimacy/empathy, gender, interior/exterior, international, law, love/family/children, natural/artificial, race/civil rights, sex/reproduction/sterility, simulacra, the body, the Other, theatre/performance | 2 Comments

“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

“Coming Attraction,” Fritz Leiber, 1950

“Coming Attraction,” Fritz Leiber, 1950 – The protagonist is a British citizen named Wysten Turner who is in a post-nuclear New York to procure grain in exchange for electronic equipment that will probably be used to build an American military … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, american culture, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, consumerism, favorites, gender, genrecraft, identity/authenticity, interior/exterior, masculinity, photo/film/image, satire, sex/reproduction/sterility, spectatorship/voyeurism, television, theatre/performance, utopia/dystopia, violence, war/soldiers | 1 Comment

“Sanity,” Fritz Leiber, 1944

“Sanity,” Fritz Leiber, 1944 – “Modern life” has driven everyone insane, but the World Manager has a secret ten-year plan. Comments: Themes include the relativity of sanity, conventions/norms, pretending, media, simulation, the pace of modern life, and neuroses. Read in … Continue reading

Posted in 1940-1945, identity/authenticity, interior/exterior, media/advertising, paranoia/schitzophrenia, psych/mind/madness, speed/slowness | Leave a comment

“The Four-Sided Triangle,” William F. Temple, 1939

“The Four-Sided Triangle,” William F. Temple, 1939 – Three friends engaged in an art-replicating business realize that they can also replicate human bodies.  One creates a duplicate of the female member of the trio, who is in love with the … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, aesthetics/beauty, gender, identity/authenticity, interior/exterior, international, love/family/children, natural/artificial, photo/film/image, simulacra, suicide | Leave a comment

“I, Robot,” Eando Binder, 1938

“I, Robot,” Eando Binder, 1938 – The confession of the robot, Adam Link.  He tells of his creation by Dr. Charles Link a few weeks prior.  Dr. Link had educated Adam quickly, and Adam has learned how to talk, walk, … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, automata/robots, favorites, genrecraft, interior/exterior, natural/artificial, suicide, the body, the gaze, the Other | 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

Odd John, Olaf Stapledon, 1936 (novel)

Odd John, Olaf Stapledon, 1936 — (novel excerpt)  Read in A Century of Science Fiction, with an introduction by Damon Knight.  Knight notes that Rosny first wrote of the “superman as a bewildered misfit” and that, in contrast, “Stapledon’s Odd … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, communication, evolution, freaks/misfits, interior/exterior, international, music, psych/mind/madness, senses/space, superhumans | Leave a comment

“The Man with the Strange Head,” Miles J. Breuer, 1927

“The Man with the Strange Head,” Miles J. Breuer, 1927 – A doctor spies on a potential patient, who has been reported by his neighbors as pacing in his apartment and making strange noises.  He tries to determine the man’s … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, automata/robots, cyborgs/posthumans, favorites, freaks/misfits, gender, horror, interior/exterior, male anxiety, masculinity, mechanization, natural/artificial, psych/mind/madness, the body | Leave a comment