Category Archives: physicians/medicine

“The Deadly Mission of Phineas Snodgrass,” Frederik Pohl, 1962

“The Deadly Mission of Phineas Snodgrass,” Frederik Pohl, 1962 – (short short)  Snodgrass travels back to Year One and to solve the world’s medical problems, only to create a population crisis that threatens to destroy all human life. Comments: Read … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, overpopulation, physicians/medicine, time/history/causality | 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 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

“Casey Agonistes,” Richard McKenna, 1958

“Casey Agonistes,” Richard McKenna, 1958 – Veterans left to die in hospital beds take the only recourse available—hallucinating a gorilla. Comments: Read in Best of the Best and Modern Classics of Science Fiction.  In the latter, editor Gardner Dozois said … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, physicians/medicine, psych/mind/madness, reality/VR/surreal, Uncategorized, war/soldiers | 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

“Name Your Symptom,” Jim Harmon, 1956

“Name Your Symptom,” Jim Harmon, 1956 — Henry Infield lives in a society that constructs mechanical cures for neuroses, such as device on one’s back which will kill if one’s alcohol level goes over the sobriety limit. Comments: Themes of … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, law, physicians/medicine, psych/mind/madness | Leave a comment

“The Little Black Bag,” Cyril M. Kornbluth, 1950

“The Little Black Bag,” Cyril M. Kornbluth, 1950 – A black bag full of user-friendly medical devices from a future in which humanity is divided into a small number of geniuses and a large number of “marching morons,” is discovered … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, drugs/pharma, hubris/pride, intelligence, physicians/medicine, progress/obsolescence, satire, scientific ethics, the body | Leave a comment

“Eternity Lost,” Clifford D. Simak, 1949

“Eternity Lost,” Clifford D. Simak, 1949 – The senator who wrote the ethical code governing the distribution of life extensions learns that his party has denied his next life extension, only one hundred years before the time when all humanity … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, death/immortality, function/utility/skeumorphs, hubris/pride, physicians/medicine, politics/politicians/elections, scientific ethics | Leave a comment

“Pithecanthropus Rejectus,” Manly W. Wellman, 1938

“Pithecanthropus Rejectus,” Manly W. Wellman, 1938 – An ape is surgically altered to increase his intelligence and allow him to speak.  Eventually, he’s recruited into show biz and offered the part of Caliban in The Tempest.  He grows ill and … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, animals/insects, intelligence, physicians/medicine, post/colonialism, race/civil rights, the Other, theatre/performance | Leave a comment

“A Matter of Form,” H. L. Gold, 1938

“A Matter of Form,” Horace L. Gold, 1938 – A man’s brain is transplanted into the body of a dog with “no loss of mentality,” via a pineal gland transplant. Comments:  Read in The Classic Book of Science Fiction. Author: … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, animals/insects, physicians/medicine | Leave a comment

“A Tale of the Ragged Mountains,” Edgar Allan Poe, 1844

“A Tale of the Ragged Mountains,” Edgar Allan Poe, 1844 — The narrator makes the acquaintance of the curious Mr. Augustus Bedloe, a man of peculiar appearance and great attachmen to his physician and constant companion, Doctor Templeton.  Templeton is … Continue reading

Posted in 1926 and earlier, dreams/hypnosis, drugs/pharma, physicians/medicine, psych/mind/madness, scientific ethics | Leave a comment

“The Appendix and the Spectacles,” Miles J. Breuer, 1928

“The Appendix and the Spectacles,” Miles J. Breuer, 1928 – A bank owner denies an extension on a medical student’s loan and the student is forced to give up medical school for philosophy, where he learns to manipulate the fourth … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, capitalism/Marxism, fantasy/fable/fairy tale, physicians/medicine, the body, the scientist | Leave a comment

“Mr. Arcularis,” Conrad Aiken, 1931

“Mr. Arcularis,” Conrad Aiken, 1931 — A demure man, in every way slight of personality and form, appears to be going on an exciting voyage.  There he meets his long-dead mother and uncle, whose bodies he found as a child, … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, dreams/hypnosis, emotions/intimacy/empathy, memory, mourning/grief, physicians/medicine | Leave a comment

“A Thousand Deaths,” Jack London, 1899

“A Thousand Deaths,” Jack London, 1899 — A man is killed and brought back to life as part of a gruesome series of experiments by his father, a cold, overly-intellectual scientist.  He creates a distintegration machine, slays his father, and … Continue reading

Posted in 1926 and earlier, death/immortality, generational conflict, love/family/children, physicians/medicine, race/civil rights, scientific ethics, the body, the scientist, violence | Leave a comment

“Under the Knife,” H. G. Wells, 1896

“Under the Knife,” H. G. Wells, 1896 — (alternate: “Slip Under the Knife”)  A depressed man with a pain in his ribs is about to go “under the knife.”  Before the operation, he goes for a walk in the city … Continue reading

Posted in 1926 and earlier, death/immortality, dreams/hypnosis, favorites, international, physicians/medicine, reality/VR/surreal, religion/soul/spirituality, senses/space, the body | 1 Comment