Category Archives: museums/artifacts

“After a Judgment Day,” Edmond Hamilton, 1963

“After a Judgment Day,” Edmond Hamilton, 1963 — Fallout has mutated harmless bacteria into the A-Plague, which wipes out humanity.  Five men on a lunar outpost have been engaged in sending out “cyborgs” to explore various planets.  Three return home … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, astronauts, catastrophe, cyborgs/posthumans, death/immortality, disease/plague, museums/artifacts, suicide | Leave a 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

“Alpha Ralpha Boulevard,” Cordwainer Smith, 1961

“Alpha Ralpha Boulevard,” Cordwainer Smith, 1961 — In the “first years of the Rediscovery of Man, when the Instrumentality dug deep in the treasury, reconstructing the old cultures, the old languages, and even the old troubles,” Paul and Virginia tour … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, agency/will/freedom, animals/insects, cities/architecture/habitats, class/labor/"work", cyborgs/posthumans, death/immortality, difference/tolerance, disease/plague, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, hubris/pride, identity/authenticity, love/family/children, museums/artifacts, myth, natural/artificial, primitive/civilized, spectatorship/voyeurism, the Other, time/history/causality, tourists | Leave a comment

“Old Hundreth,” Brian Aldiss, 1960

“Old Hundreth,” Brian Aldiss, 1960 – A story of far earth and the human calvacade that marched through time to reach it, now transcended (uploaded) to a static plane of mingled personality.  This long-forgotten human civilization has left behind its … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, animals/insects, cyborgs/posthumans, evolution, favorites, museums/artifacts, music, religion/soul/spirituality, speed/slowness, the body, violence, war/soldiers | 1 Comment

“Dio,” Damon Knight, 1957

“Dio,” Damon Knight, 1957 — (Alternate title: “The Dying Man”)  The world is composed of two immortal classes–the pampered Players and the responsible Planners and their students.  Their lives of hedonism and leisurely scholarship, respectively, are progressing as planned until … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, aesthetics/beauty, american culture, artists/creativity, cities/architecture/habitats, class/labor/"work", consumerism, cyborgs/posthumans, death/immortality, difference/tolerance, disease/plague, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, freaks/misfits, love/family/children, masculinity, mourning/grief, museums/artifacts, sex/reproduction/sterility, spectatorship/voyeurism, speed/slowness, suicide, superhumans, the body, the Other, time/history/causality | Leave a comment

“Plenitude,” Will Worthington (Will Mohler), 1959

“Plenitude,” Will Worthington (Will Mohler), 1959 —  A family ekes out a hard life on the mountainside.  Opens with a young boy, Mike, asking his father “why, why,” as the father works on his garden. The child’s curiosity is deceptively … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, catastrophe, class/labor/"work", consumerism, gender, identity/authenticity, love/family/children, male anxiety, masculinity, museums/artifacts, natural/artificial, progress/obsolescence, reality/VR/surreal, senses/space, television, Uncategorized, violence | 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

“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

“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

“Someday,” Isaac Asimov, 1956

“Someday,” Isaac Asimov, 1956 – A young boy kicks and generally mistreats his Bard, an old-fashioned story-telling machine.  His friend, destined to become a computer programmer, arrives to tell him his plan to start a secret club based on “squiggles” … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, automata/robots, fantasy/fable/fairy tale, genrecraft, language/libraries, museums/artifacts | 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

“A Master of Babylon,” Edgar Pangborn, 1954

“A Master of Babylon,” Edgar Pangborn, 1954 – An aging musician believes himself to be the last surviving human as he quietly teeters toward madness in the ruins of a flooded New York.  After many years of isolation, he discovers … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, artists/creativity, cities/architecture/habitats, death/immortality, love/family/children, museums/artifacts, music, ny/paris, psych/mind/madness, suicide, time/history/causality | 1 Comment

“The Custodian,” William Tenn, 1953

“The Custodian,” William Tenn, 1953 – The sun will go nova in a year and earth’s populace has divided into Affirmers (of utility, continued life) and Custodians (of art and beauty).  The Affirmers win out politically and organize a mass … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, aesthetics/beauty, function/utility/skeumorphs, love/family/children, museums/artifacts, suicide, time/history/causality | Leave a comment

“City,” Clifford D. Simak, 1944

“City,” Clifford D. Simak, 1944 – New forms of transportation lead to urban flight, literally.  The only way to save “the city” for Grandpa is to turn it into a memorial/museum/park for the people of the future. Comments: A discussion … Continue reading

Posted in 1940-1945, cities/architecture/habitats, function/utility/skeumorphs, globalization/world government, museums/artifacts, progress/obsolescence | Leave a comment

“Doorway into Time,” C. L. Moore, 1943

“Doorway into Time,” C. L. Moore, 1943 – An alien captures a man and a woman in order to add them to his museum of beautiful things. Comments: Perhaps interesting for its presentation of the collector and his gaze, as … Continue reading

Posted in 1940-1945, aesthetics/beauty, museums/artifacts, the gaze | Leave a comment

“Kindness,” Lester del Rey, 1944

“Kindness,” Lester del Rey, 1944 – A “normal” man finds himself pitied by homo superior.  He lives the life of a living museum exhibit, treated kindly by those who tolerate him.  He certainly will never find a mate, and he’s … Continue reading

Posted in 1940-1945, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, freaks/misfits, genrecraft, museums/artifacts, narrative, progress/obsolescence, superhumans, the body, the Other | Leave a comment

“The Weapon Too Dreadful to Use,” Isaac Asimov, 1939

“The Weapon Too Dreadful to Use,” Isaac Asimov, 1939 — Karl Frantor is an archeologist visiting the colonized city of Aphrodopolis, the largest city on Venus, to explore the ruins of the ancient Venusian city Ash-taz-zor.  Frantor will be the … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, aesthetics/beauty, difference/tolerance, exiles/"home"/displacement, language/libraries, museums/artifacts, nationalism, post/colonialism, race/civil rights, slavery/human trafficking, the Other, violence, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“Pilgrimage,” Nelson Bond, 1939

“Pilgrimage,” Nelson Bond, 1939 – An ambitious young girl in a matriarchal society rejects the three career options of warrior, mother, and worker and demands that she be trained as the next leader.  However, this requires her to go on … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, class/labor/"work", favorites, gender, matriarchy, museums/artifacts, primitive/civilized, sex/reproduction/sterility, time/history/causality | Leave a comment

“In the Year Ten Thousand,” William Harben, 1892

“In the Year Ten Thousand,” William Harben, 1892 – An old man of over 600 years tries to explain the strange ideas and workings of the past to a young boy as they wander through a museum, looking at portraits.  … Continue reading

Posted in 1926 and earlier, communication, death/immortality, language/libraries, love/family/children, museums/artifacts, religion/soul/spirituality, time/history/causality, utopia/dystopia | Leave a comment

“Mellonta Tauta,” Edgar Allan Poe, 1848

“Mellonta Tauta,” Edgar Allan Poe, 1848 – The narrator (Pundita) is in a balloon (the “Skylark”), traveling at dizzying speed while waxing philosophically—yet incorrectly–about the past. An artifact from the now defunct “Amrrican” civilization is located. Comments: A story about … Continue reading

Posted in 1926 and earlier, favorites, knowledge/truth/epistemology, language/libraries, museums/artifacts, narrative, natural/artificial, progress/obsolescence, satire, speed/slowness, the scientist, time/history/causality | Leave a comment