Category Archives: media/advertising

“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

“The Sellers of the Dream,” John Jakes, 1963

“The Sellers of the Dream,” John Jakes, 1963 — The “New Woman” is a perennial advertising event, modeling consumption for the next year. Comments: Read in The Far-Out People. Author: Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Jakes): “John William Jakes (born March 31, 1932)[1] is … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, american culture, consumerism, gender, media/advertising | 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 Subliminal Man,” J. G. Ballard, 1963

“The Subliminal Man,” J. G. Ballard, 1963 – A man’s futile efforts to stop giant billboards and consumerism from taking over society. Comments: Themes: Consumerism, subliminal advertising, media.  See the intro by H. Bruce Franklin in The Mirror of Infinity: … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, american culture, capitalism/Marxism, consumerism, media/advertising | 2 Comments

“Goodlife,” Fred Saberhagen, 1963

“Goodlife,” Fred Saberhagen, 1963 – Suspense story in which a man and woman are captured by a Berserker, a machine designed by ancients to kill all life it encounters.  Inside, they find Goodlife, a boy raised by the machine.  He … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, emotions/intimacy/empathy, identity/authenticity, love/family/children, mechanization, media/advertising, memory, photo/film/image | 1 Comment

“Requiem,” Edmond Hamilton, 1962

“Requiem,” Edmond Hamilton, 1962 — A world-weary captain presides over the group of reporters and “sentimentalists” gathered to witness the last moments of Earth. Comments:  Read in The Best of Edmond Hamilton.   Describes how the captain’s body “fits” the planet … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, emotions/intimacy/empathy, media/advertising, memory, museums/artifacts, progress/obsolescence, spectatorship/voyeurism, television, the body, time/history/causality, tourists | 1 Comment

“Wall of Crystal, Eye of Night,” Algis Budrys, 1961

“Wall of Crystal, Eye of Night,” Algis Budrys, 1961 – A businessman becomes locked in deadly psychological combat with a rival for control of the “EmpaVid.”  At the same time, he’s tracked by an insurance man whose emotions have been … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, emotions/intimacy/empathy, insurance industry, media/advertising | Leave a comment

“The Room,” Ray Russell, 1961

“The Room,” Ray Russell, 1961 – (short short) A man desperately tries to find a space that hasn’t been invaded by advertising and finds it in the slums. Comments: Read in 100 Great Science Fiction Short Short Stories. Author: Wikipedia: … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, media/advertising, senses/space | 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

“The Lady Who Sailed the Soul,” Cordwainer Smith, 1960

“The Lady Who Sailed the Soul,” Cordwainer Smith, 1960 – A young girl of the future asks her mother if there were ever any “girl sailors” (in space) and is told the story of Helen America.  The daughter of a … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, astronauts, class/labor/"work", cyborgs/posthumans, death/immortality, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, freaks/misfits, gender, genrecraft, identity/authenticity, love/family/children, media/advertising, myth, religion/soul/spirituality, the body, time/history/causality | Leave a comment

“The Oldest Soldier,” Fritz Leiber, 1960

“The Oldest Soldier,” Fritz Leiber, 1960 –Friends discuss the history of weapons while having drinks at their favorite hang out, Sol’s Liquor Shop in Chicago.  After, the narrator reflects on his hatred of war, complicated as it is by his … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, favorites, genrecraft, masculinity, media/advertising, nationalism, psych/mind/madness, surveillance, the uncanny, time/history/causality, totalitarianism/fascism, tourists, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“The Handler,” Damon Knight, 1960

“The Handler,” Damon Knight, 1960 —  Pete is the dashing man of the hour–a television star able to charm a room merely by walking through the door.  True to form, after a show he arrives at a post-party, amiable and … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, aesthetics/beauty, american culture, difference/tolerance, favorites, freaks/misfits, identity/authenticity, male anxiety, masculinity, mechanization, media/advertising, satire, the body, the Other, theatre/performance | 1 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 Prize of Peril,” Robert Sheckley, 1958

“The Prize of Peril,” Robert Sheckley, 1958 — Raeder is a contestant on The Prize of Peril, a reality tv show who is being hunted by killers for a live television audience.  Although the audience participates by calling in Good … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, american culture, emotions/intimacy/empathy, media/advertising, photo/film/image, spectatorship/voyeurism, surveillance, television, violence | Leave a 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

“Thirty Days Had September,” Robert F. Young, 1957

“Thirty Days Had September,” Robert F. Young, 1957 – A man in a fit of nostalgia purchases a “real” android schoolteacher so that his son, who has been educated solely through “educational” programs sponsored by cereal companies, can experience a … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, automata/robots, education, identity/authenticity, media/advertising | Leave a comment

“Tunesmith,” Lloyd Biggle Jr., 1957

“Tunesmith,” Lloyd Biggle Jr., 1957 – An elderly man, Baque, stands in the museum of the future and recalls how his “empathic” music saved civilization from jingles. Comments: Read in The Great SF Stories #19. Author: Wikipedia: “Lloyd Biggle, Jr. … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, artists/creativity, favorites, media/advertising, museums/artifacts, music | 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

“Every Day is Christmas,” James Gunn, 1957

“Every Day is Christmas,” James Gunn, 1957 — A man trades three years of his life in exchange for $150,000 to go into space, where he’s kept alone, in silence.  For him, the experience is unbearable, but he toughs it … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, american culture, astronauts, bureaucracy/corporations, capitalism/Marxism, economics, emotions/intimacy/empathy, gender, globalization/world government, love/family/children, media/advertising, television | Leave a comment

“Horrer Howce,” Margaret St. Clair, 1956

“Horrer Howce,” Margaret St. Clair, 1956 — An entrepreneur visits a reclusive old man who is looking for investors in his unfinished horror house.  Jaded by his experience with the latest in such entertainments, the investor isn’t impressed by the … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, cars/pedestrians, genrecraft, horror, media/advertising, spectatorship/voyeurism, speed/slowness, violence | Leave a comment