Category Archives: myth

“A Rose for Ecclesiastes,” Roger Zelazny, 1963

“A Rose for Ecclesiastes,” Roger Zelazny, 1963 – A poet, Gallinger, is given the privilege of viewing and translating the sacred texts of an alien culture.  He discovers that their religion is deeply fatalistic.  After impregnating a temple priestess, he earns … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, aesthetics/beauty, artists/creativity, culture clash, death/immortality, emotions/intimacy/empathy, gender, language/libraries, love/family/children, mourning/grief, myth, primitive/civilized, religion/soul/spirituality, suicide, the Other, tourists | 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

“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

“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

“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 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

“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

“Vengeance for Nikolai,” Walter M. Miller, Jr, 1957

“Vengeance for Nikolai,” Walter M. Miller, Jr, 1957 — Marya, a young Russian woman, is asked by a Russian general to assassinate the brilliant American (Ami) leader who is routing their troops.  This leader also is responsible for the attack … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, death/immortality, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, gender, love/family/children, masculinity, mourning/grief, myth, nationalism, psych/mind/madness, sex/reproduction/sterility, suicide, the body, violence, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“The Menace from Earth,” Robert Heinlein, 1957

“The Menace from Earth,” Robert Heinlein, 1957 –  Holly is a tour guide in Luna City, but she has plans to be a spaceship designer, along with her partner and love interest, Jeff.  When Ariel, a platinum blonde beauty, a … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, gender, love/family/children, myth, tourists | 2 Comments

“Two-Handed Engine,” Kuttner and Moore, 1955

“Two-Handed Engine,” Kuttner and Moore, 1955 – War has destroyed human communities, such that the concepts of connection and family are undermined.  For a time, humanity wallows in hedonism and selfishness, having constructed robots capable of providing any material good.  … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, automata/robots, consumerism, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, law, love/family/children, myth, photo/film/image, psych/mind/madness, religion/soul/spirituality, surveillance, violence, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“With These Hands,” Cyril Kornbluth, 1951

“With These Hands,” Cyril Kornbluth, 1951 – Europe has been destroyed by radiation or bombs.  Roald Halvorsen, a sculptor and painter, finds he is out of work due to new tech (the esthetikon) and the literally “mass-produced” tastes of the … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, aesthetics/beauty, artists/creativity, class/labor/"work", identity/authenticity, media/advertising, myth, photo/film/image, progress/obsolescence, religion/soul/spirituality, suicide | Leave a comment

“E for Effort,” T. L. Sherred, 1947

“E for Effort,” T. L. Sherred, 1947 – An investor (Ed Lefko) and an inventor (Miguel “Mike” Laviada) utilize a device able to film events from the past (Cortes’s conquest of Mexico, Alexander the Great, and the French Revolution), though … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, identity/authenticity, knowledge/truth/epistemology, myth, photo/film/image, politics/politicians/elections, spectatorship/voyeurism, surveillance, time/history/causality, totalitarianism/fascism, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“He That Hath Wings,” Edmond Hamilton, 1938

“He That Hath Wings,” Edmond Hamilton, 1938 — A winged man is forced to choose between being a “freak”and a productive member of (capitalist) society (i.e., a provider-husband and son-in-law who can inherit the family business).  His wife and father-in-law … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, animals/insects, capitalism/Marxism, freaks/misfits, male anxiety, masculinity, myth, primitive/civilized, suicide, the body, the Other | 1 Comment

“The Diamond Lens,” Fitz James O’Brien, 1858

“The Diamond Lens,” Fitz-James O’Brien, 1858 – A scientist discovers another world in the slide of a microscope. He becomes obsessed with an alluring female form, that of Animula, perhaps even more so because her life is entirely under his … Continue reading

Posted in 1926 and earlier, aesthetics/beauty, gender, myth, photo/film/image, psych/mind/madness, sex/reproduction/sterility, spectatorship/voyeurism, the gaze, the Other, the scientist | Leave a comment