Category Archives: international

“A Time for Revolution,” Hirai Kazumasa, 1963 (2007 Tr.)

“A Time for Revolution,” Hirai Kazumasa, 1963 (2007 Tr.) – Poets and artists from a dystopian future travel back in time to possess the bodies of today’s thugs. Comments:  Read in Speculative Japan: Outstanding Tales of Japanese Science Fiction and … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, artists/creativity, international, time/history/causality, utopia/dystopia, violence | 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

“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

“I’ll Get Rid of Your Discontent,” Taku Mayumura, 1962 (2007 Tr.)

“I’ll Get Rid of Your Discontent,” Mayumura Taku, 1962 (2007 Tr.) – A salesman buys a curious object which promises to comfort him whenever he feels embarrassed or frustrated with others or the world.  He’s warned not to use it … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, drugs/pharma, emotions/intimacy/empathy, fantasy/fable/fairy tale, international | Leave a comment

“Thought Control,” Herbert W. Franke, 1958

“Thought Control,” Herbert W. Franke, 1958 (?) – (short short) (Original title: “Gedankenkontrolle“) A human is imprisoned in a cage by an alien machine which can’t distinguish between him and his gear.  He escapes by suppressing his “soul” and acting … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, international, religion/soul/spirituality, senses/space, the body, 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

“Before Eden,” Arthur C. Clarke, 1961

“Before Eden,” Arthur C. Clarke, 1961 – Two explorers are amazed to find a vegetative life on Venus.  Ironically, in coming to the planet, they introduce bacteria which will eventually kill all life on the planet.  The photographs they take … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, ecology/the environment, evolution, international, photo/film/image | 1 Comment

“The Blind Pilot,” Nathalie-Charles Henneberg, 1959

“The Blind Pilot,” Nathalie-Charles Henneberg, 1959 – (Originally Au pilote aveugle (1959))  A blind, now “useless” pilot returns home to take care of his mentally-disabled (?) brother.  All is well between them until a package containing a siren arrives. Comments: … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, astronauts, disability, gender, international, love/family/children, masculinity, mourning/grief, music, myth, sex/reproduction/sterility, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Let’s Be Frank,” Brian W. Aldiss, 1957

“Let’s Be Frank,” Brian W. Aldiss, 1957 — “Four years after pretty little Anne Boleyn was executed in the Tower of London, a child was born into the Gladwebb family–an unusual child” to a young Sir Frank Gladwebb and unnamed … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, death/immortality, eugenics/heredity, gender, globalization/world government, identity/authenticity, international, invasion, love/family/children, multiplicity, sex/reproduction/sterility, the body | Leave a comment

“The Other Side of the Sky,” Arthur C. Clarke, 1957

“The Other Side of the Sky,” Arthur C. Clarke, 1957 – An astronaut orbits Earth and thinks of his dying father, satellites, civilization, and the vulnerability of Earth, which he covers with his hand. Comments: Available in The Other Side … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, astronauts, international | 1 Comment

“Fair,” John Brunner, 1956

“Fair,” John Brunner, 1956 — A man rides an escalator to the top of the “fair.” Along the way, he muses on media saturation, speed, loss of intimacy, generational conflict, youth, the dumbing down of culture, guilt for the wars … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, american culture, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, communication, consumerism, difference/tolerance, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, generational conflict, international, love/family/children, media/advertising, nationalism, race/civil rights, senses/space, speed/slowness, the body, the Other, war/soldiers | 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

“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

“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

“Superiority,” Arthur C. Clarke, 1951

“Superiority,” Arthur C. Clarke, 1951 — A mighty fleet is defeated by inferior science at the Battle of the Five Suns.  Too many resources were invested in the latest military technology, the Sphere of Annihilation, and all other research was … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, international, logic/reason, mathematics, primitive/civilized, progress/obsolescence, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“Dreams are Sacred,” Peter Phillips, 1948

“Dreams are Sacred,” Peter Philips, 1948 – A reporter is asked by a psychiatrist to enter a fantasy writer’s dreams to save him from losing himself in his imagination.  A “rapport” is created between two dreaming people through a machine, … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, dreams/hypnosis, emotions/intimacy/empathy, genrecraft, international, masculinity, narrative, paranoia/schitzophrenia, psych/mind/madness, reality/VR/surreal | Leave a comment

“The World of Null-A,” A. E. van Vogt, 1948

“The World of Null-A,” A. E. Van Vogt, 1948 -Wikipedia: “Gilbert Gosseyn, a man living in an apparent utopia where those with superior understanding and mental control rule the rest of humanity, wants to be tested by the giant Machine … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, death/immortality, international, language/libraries, logic/reason, memory, superhumans, the body, totalitarianism/fascism | Leave a comment

“The Brooklyn Project,” William Tenn, 1948

“The Brooklyn Project,” William Tenn (Philip Klass), 1948 – Scientists demonstrate the power of their “oscillating time machine” to a group of reporters.  They claim that their experiments in no way affect the present, yet the reader has reason to … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, favorites, humor, international, knowledge/truth/epistemology, satire, the scientist, time/history/causality | Leave a comment

“The Death of Archimedes,” Karl Capek, 1949

“The Death of Archimedes,” Karl Capek, 1949 — (short) A reimagining of Archimedes’s last moments.  After conquering Syracuse, Romans burst in upon Archimedes, who is busy with “his circles.”  Archimedes contrasts the importance of his method of calculating the area … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, alternate history, international, mathematics, the scientist, war/soldiers | Leave a comment