Category Archives: memory

“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

“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

“Something Strange,” Kingsley Amis, 1960

“Something Strange,” Kingsley Amis, 1960 — Bruno, Clovis, Myri, and Lia are amnesiacs on a “spaceship” which is being besieged by surreal threats (e.g., a near-miss with a comet).  The conclusion reveals that the terrifying events are part of a … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, agency/will/freedom, artists/creativity, astronauts, emotions/intimacy/empathy, logic/reason, memory, psych/mind/madness, reality/VR/surreal, scientific ethics, senses/space, surveillance | 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

“Doctor,” Henry Slesar, 1960

“Doctor,” Henry Slesar, 1960 – (short short) A doctor who specializes in creating “perfect memories” must consult an employment office.  He’s out of a job, as humanity has just passed through a devastating war and no one wants to remember … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, memory, mourning/grief, physicians/medicine, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“Build-up,” J.G. Ballard, 1957

“Build-up,” J.G. Ballard, 1957 – (Alternate title: “Concentration City“) Overpopulation in the future has led to such building density that an aspiring aircraft designer and physics student, Franz, can’t find enough “free space” to “re-discover” the concept of flight.  He … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, capitalism/Marxism, cities/architecture/habitats, knowledge/truth/epistemology, logic/reason, memory, myth, overpopulation, physicians/medicine, psych/mind/madness, religion/soul/spirituality, senses/space, speed/slowness, time/history/causality, utopia/dystopia | Leave a comment

“The Sound-Sweep,” J. G. Ballard, 1960

“The Sound-Sweep,” J. G. Ballard, 1960 — Ultrasonic music is the new fashion and phonographs and live performances are a thing of the past.  It is a world where the echoes of music remain in their concert halls, where conversations … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, aesthetics/beauty, artists/creativity, cities/architecture/habitats, communication, disability, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, freaks/misfits, hubris/pride, love/family/children, memory, music, progress/obsolescence, senses/space | Leave a comment

“Mantage,” Richard Matheson, 1959

“Mantage,” Richard Matheson, 1959 — A writer wishes that life could be experienced in the same way as in a movie–all tedium glossed over, highlights only.  The rest of his life takes 85 minutes. Comments: Read in Science Fiction Showcase. … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, artists/creativity, favorites, genrecraft, memory, photo/film/image, speed/slowness, time/history/causality | 1 Comment

“The Die-Hard,” Alfred Bester, 1958

“The Die-Hard,” Alfred Bester, 1958 – (short short) The last “man” on earth is visited in his rest home by the new, “adjusted” cybernetic human male.  Most of the standardized males are named Tom, although they employ subtle distinctions in … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, culture clash, cyborgs/posthumans, difference/tolerance, favorites, freaks/misfits, gender, generational conflict, identity/authenticity, invasion, masculinity, mechanization, memory, museums/artifacts, natural/artificial, physicians/medicine, progress/obsolescence, the body, the Other, time/history/causality, violence | 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

“The Man Who Lost the Sea,” Theodore Sturgeon, 1959

“The Man Who Lost the Sea,” Theodore Sturgeon, 1959 – A dying astronaut reviews his life, beginning with childhood. Comments: Inspired Clarke’s “Transit of Earth.”  Read in Great Tales of SF.   The collection by the same name contains a forward … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, astronauts, death/immortality, dreams/hypnosis, love/family/children, memory, mourning/grief, psych/mind/madness, reality/VR/surreal, senses/space | Leave a comment

“Pilgrimage to Earth” (original title, “Love, Inc.”), Robert Sheckley, 1956

“Pilgrimage to Earth” (original title, “Love, Inc.”), Robert Sheckley, 1956 – A country boy visits the city of our future.  He  finds that everything can be sold, he can shoot people for fun, and women can be programmed with false … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, cities/architecture/habitats, consumerism, emotions/intimacy/empathy, gender, love/family/children, masculinity, media/advertising, memory, sex/reproduction/sterility, spectatorship/voyeurism, violence | 1 Comment

“The First Canticle,” Walter M. Miller, Jr, 1955

“The First Canticle,” Walter M. Miller, Jr, 1955 — Wikipedia: “Set in a Catholic monastery in the desert of the southwestern United States after a devastating nuclear war, the story spans thousands of years as civilization rebuilds itself. The monks … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, catastrophe, favorites, knowledge/truth/epistemology, language/libraries, memory, museums/artifacts, primitive/civilized, religion/soul/spirituality, scientific ethics, the scientist, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“Watershed,” James Blish, 1955

“Watershed,” James Blish, 1955 — In a future in which the basic human type can no longer inhabit Earth, an Adapted Man and the seal-man Hoqqueah argue over the idea of a “primary type” for human kind. Wikipedia summary: “[‘Watershed’] … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, cyborgs/posthumans, difference/tolerance, evolution, exiles/"home"/displacement, function/utility/skeumorphs, memory, race/civil rights, the body | Leave a comment

“Bulkhead,” Theodore Sturgeon, 1955

“Bulkhead,” Theodore Sturgeon, 1955 – A cadet and captain-in-training endures an extended “test run” simulation in a facsimile of a typical ship.  He’s been told that if he presses a button, he can communicate with another cadet, but he resists … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, astronauts, dreams/hypnosis, emotions/intimacy/empathy, love/family/children, masculinity, memory, paranoia/schitzophrenia, psych/mind/madness, space exploration, the Other | 3 Comments

“Memento Homo,” Walter M. Miller, Jr., 1954

“Memento Homo,” Walter M. Miller, Jr., 1954 – A spacer is attended by his wife on his death bed while his children avoid him and his wealthy neighbor has a party. Comments:  Themes of death, class, memory, and the victims … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, astronauts, class/labor/"work", death/immortality, emotions/intimacy/empathy, love/family/children, male anxiety, masculinity, memory, mourning/grief | 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

“The Clinic,” Theodore Sturgeon, 1953

“The Clinic,” Theodore Sturgeon, 1953 – The narrator, Nemo, appears to be an amnesiac who has lost his memory of language.  Dr. De la Torre and a lonely patient, Elena, attempt to reach him, while the Sergeant keeps a close … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, communication, difference/tolerance, disability, emotions/intimacy/empathy, exiles/"home"/displacement, language/libraries, memory, violence | Leave a comment

“Angel’s Egg,” Edgar Pangborn, 1951

“Angel’s Egg,” Edgar Pangborn, 1951 — Opens with an exchange of letters expressing concern for the contents of the journal of Dr. David Bannerman, a retired naturalist, recently deceased.  In it, Bannerman chronicles his adoption of an alien “angel,” born … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, communication, death/immortality, emotions/intimacy/empathy, gender, memory, reality/VR/surreal, suicide | Leave a comment