Category Archives: paranoia/schitzophrenia

“Itself!”, A. E. van Vogt, 1963

“Itself!”, A. E. van Vogt, 1963 – An AI submarine left-over from a past war patrols the waters, paranoid and territorial.  By luck, it destroys the crew of an alien invasion craft.  Those in charge realize the value of the … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, automata/robots, intelligence, invasion, mechanization, paranoia/schitzophrenia, violence, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“The Question,” Donald E. Westlake and Laurence M. Janifer, 1963

“The Question,” Donald E. Westlake and Laurence M. Janifer, 1963 – (short short) A professor grading English I papers is interrupted by a tedious phone call.  He begins to suspect that the story of his life is being written by … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, education, narrative, paranoia/schitzophrenia, reality/VR/surreal, surveillance | 1 Comment

“And Now the News,” Theodore Sturgeon, 1956

“And Now the News,” Theodore Sturgeon, 1956 – In a media-saturated world, MacLyle retreats to a “wordless matrix,” an oasis of non-communication in which he can be absorbed in his own “practices and procedures.”  His desire conflicts with the psychiatrist’s … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, american culture, communication, consumerism, death/immortality, difference/tolerance, emotions/intimacy/empathy, exiles/"home"/displacement, language/libraries, media/advertising, paranoia/schitzophrenia, photo/film/image, psych/mind/madness, scientific ethics | Leave a comment

“Dead Ringer,” Lester Del Rey, 1956

“Dead Ringer,” Lester del Rey, 1956 — (Alternate title: “And the truth…”)  Dane Phillips is a journalist trying to alert people to the presence of alien doppelgangers that can resurrect after death, but he’s treated as a crackpot.  After being … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, death/immortality, identity/authenticity, invasion, paranoia/schitzophrenia, psych/mind/madness, simulacra, suicide | Leave a comment

“The Country of the Kind,” Damon Knight, 1956

“The Country of the Kind,” Damon Knight, 1956 – A violent deviant has been “neutralized” by the societal practice of rendering him “invisible” (ignored).  Enraged, he tries to make them “see.” The society’s response to violence is three-fold: “The first … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, artists/creativity, communication, difference/tolerance, emotions/intimacy/empathy, in/visible, masculinity, paranoia/schitzophrenia, psych/mind/madness, religion/soul/spirituality, the body, the gaze, the Other, violence | 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

“The Father-Thing,” Philip K. Dick, 1954

“The Father-Thing,” Philip K. Dick, 1954 – A boy’s father is replicated and replaced by a “thing.” Comments: Read in A Treasury of Great Science Fiction, Volume One.  See also Bradbury’s “Zero Hour.” Author: Wikipedia: “Philip Kindred Dick (December 16, … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, identity/authenticity, love/family/children, natural/artificial, paranoia/schitzophrenia, simulacra | 1 Comment

“Fondly Fahrenheit,” Alfred Bester, 1954

“Fondly Fahrenheit,” Alfred Bester, 1954 – An aristocrat discovers that his robot (slave) is killing young women.  The problem is, he can’t distinguish the robot’s thoughts from his own. Comments:  Considered a classic of psychological sf and an example of … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, automata/robots, class/labor/"work", emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, paranoia/schitzophrenia, psych/mind/madness, slavery/human trafficking, violence | Leave a comment

“Mr Costello, Hero,” Theodore Sturgeon, 1953

“Mr Costello, Hero,” Theodore Sturgeon, 1953 –Costello is able to inspire suspicion and paranoia wherever he goes by creating enemies from thin air and playing upon the vanity of fools.  Once neighbor has turned on neighbor, Costello swiftly steps in … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, difference/tolerance, favorites, paranoia/schitzophrenia, politics/politicians/elections, psych/mind/madness, satire, surveillance, the Other, totalitarianism/fascism | 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

“Second Variety,” Philip K. Dick, 1953

“Second Variety,” Philip K. Dick, 1953 – A soldier discovers that his self-replicating, mechanical enemies have discovered a new, thoroughly disorienting form of camouflage—the imitation of human beings. Comments:  Online text at Project Gutenberg; Librivox recording also available. Themes include … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, cyborgs/posthumans, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, identity/authenticity, interior/exterior, natural/artificial, paranoia/schitzophrenia, religion/soul/spirituality, simulacra, the body, the uncanny, theatre/performance, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“The Luckiest Man in Denv,” Cyril Kornbluth, 1952

“The Luckiest Man in Denv,” Cyril Kornbluth, 1952 – (short) In a world of perpetual war, an ambitious young man vies for the favor of his superiors.  If he plays his cards right with the General, he might move up … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, bureaucracy/corporations, drugs/pharma, favorites, masculinity, paranoia/schitzophrenia, psych/mind/madness, reality/VR/surreal, satire, violence, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“Breeds There a Man…?” Isaac Asimov, 1951

“Breeds there a man…?,” Isaac Asimov, 1951 — (Wikipedia) “Elwood Ralson, a brilliant but psychologically disturbed physicist, becomes convinced that humanity is a kind of genetics experiment being run by an alien intelligence. His behaviour becomes more erratic and suicidal … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, disease/plague, evolution, intelligence, invasion, paranoia/schitzophrenia, psych/mind/madness, suicide, the scientist | 1 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

“Private Eye,” Lewis Padgett, 1948

“Private Eye,” Lewis Padgett, 1948 – “‘Private Eye’ by Henry Kuttner (1949), writing as Lewis Padgett, dramatized for BBC Television as “The Eye”, envisions a murder in a society where time-viewing makes it virtually impossible to commit one and escape … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, paranoia/schitzophrenia, psych/mind/madness, surveillance, time/history/causality | Leave a comment

“Sanity,” Fritz Leiber, 1944

“Sanity,” Fritz Leiber, 1944 – “Modern life” has driven everyone insane, but the World Manager has a secret ten-year plan. Comments: Themes include the relativity of sanity, conventions/norms, pretending, media, simulation, the pace of modern life, and neuroses. Read in … Continue reading

Posted in 1940-1945, identity/authenticity, interior/exterior, media/advertising, paranoia/schitzophrenia, psych/mind/madness, speed/slowness | Leave a comment

“Dream’s End,” Henry Kuttner, 1947

“Dream’s End,” Henry Kuttner, 1947 — (with C. L. Moore) Dr. Robert Bruno, Chief of Staff in an asylum, attempts to reach Gregson, a patient in a state of deep psychosis.  Bruno, a man who must be “certain” before undertaking … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, dreams/hypnosis, identity/authenticity, paranoia/schitzophrenia, psych/mind/madness, reality/VR/surreal, the scientist | Leave a comment

“Vault of the Beast,” A. E. van Vogt, 1940

“Vault of the Beast,” A E van Vogt, 1940 – Adventure tale of a shape-shifting alien sent to consult Earth’s greatest mathematician in order to unlock an alien researcher trapped in the “vault of the beast.”  The alien intelligence is … Continue reading

Posted in 1940-1945, identity/authenticity, paranoia/schitzophrenia, simulacra, the body | Leave a comment