Category Archives: psych/mind/madness

“No Light in the Window,” Kate Wilhelm, 1963

“No Light in the Window,” Kate Wilhelm, 1963 — Hank and Connie are two candidates for a space mission.  The couple lives under constant scrutiny while specialized observers analyze their behavior in order to determine their fitness for the mission.  … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, astronauts, class/labor/"work", emotions/intimacy/empathy, gender, love/family/children, masculinity, psych/mind/madness, space exploration | 2 Comments

“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

“Stanley Toothbrush,” Terry Carr, 1962

“Stanley Toothbrush,” Terry Carr, 1962 – A man contemplates the absurdity of the sounds of language.  In doing so, he “disbelieves” his shelves out of existence.  His girlfriend later tells him of her fantasy man, Stanley Toothbrush–and Toothbrush suddenly arrives … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, communication, humor, language/libraries, psych/mind/madness | 2 Comments

“The Pi Man,” Alfred Bester, 1959

“The Pi Man,” Alfred Bester, 1959 — Bester’s pyrotechnic prose describes the agonized existence of the Pi Man, a man who must always find balance in numbers and patterns–and elude those who wish to use his abilities for their own … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, love/family/children, mathematics, psych/mind/madness, senses/space, violence | 1 Comment

“A Kind of Artistry,” Brian Aldiss, 1962

“A Kind of Artistry,” Brian Aldiss, 1962 – The story of adventurer Derek Ende who leaves his demanding Mistress to make contact with the Cliff, an exotic species born of an asteroid.  Life off-world gives him insight into his home … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, gender, genrecraft, international, love/family/children, masculinity, matriarchy, psych/mind/madness, sex/reproduction/sterility | 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

“You Are With It!,” Will Stanton, 1961

“You Are With It!,” Will Stanton, 1961 — A man in the midst of his normal domestic routine leaves for work and is accosted by a man who declares himself “the host.”  For the next ninety minutes, while the clock … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, american culture, consumerism, genrecraft, identity/authenticity, love/family/children, male anxiety, masculinity, psych/mind/madness, reality/VR/surreal, satire, spectatorship/voyeurism, speed/slowness, surveillance, television, theatre/performance, time/history/causality, violence | Leave a comment

“The First Men,” Howard Fast, 1960

“The First Men,” Howard Fast, 1960 – (Alternate title: “The Trap”) A scientific experiment in a controlled environment produces telepathic, hyper-intelligent superchildren from different races, proving that environment is “total.”  The children’s abilities progress to the point where they are … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, biological determinism, communication, difference/tolerance, education, eugenics/heredity, evolution, generational conflict, intelligence, love/family/children, psych/mind/madness, race/civil rights, scientific ethics, superhumans, the scientist | 1 Comment

“The Oldest Soldier,” Fritz Leiber, 1960

“The Oldest Soldier,” Fritz Leiber, 1960 –Friends discuss the history of weapons while having drinks at their favorite hang out, Sol’s Liquor Shop in Chicago.  After, the narrator reflects on his hatred of war, complicated as it is by his … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, favorites, genrecraft, masculinity, media/advertising, nationalism, psych/mind/madness, surveillance, the uncanny, time/history/causality, totalitarianism/fascism, tourists, 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

“Mariana,” Fritz Leiber, 1960

“Mariana,” Fritz Leiber, 1960 — Mariana lives in a beautiful villa surrounded by tall pine trees, but she’s troubled by something, perhaps a sense of monotony.  Her husband assures her that her life is perfect, and he urges her to … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, favorites, gender, horror, love/family/children, mechanization, psych/mind/madness, suicide | Leave a comment

“What Do You Mean…Human?” John W. Campbell, Jr., 1959

“What Do You Mean…Human?” John W. Campbell, Jr., 1959 – (Essay) Campbell’s essay expressing his philosophy of sf. Comments: Includes a graph of human/non-human characteristics (of animals, robots, a man with prosthetics) that reminded me a bit of Haraway’s later … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, animals/insects, difference/tolerance, emotions/intimacy/empathy, genrecraft, logic/reason, psych/mind/madness, the body, the Other | Leave a comment

“Theory of Rocketry,” Cyril M. Kornbluth, 1958

“Theory of Rocketry,” Cyril M. Kornbluth, 1958 – An English teacher of the future must submit to psych exams, televised teaching, and lackluster pupils.  His life is desultory until he meets Foster, the one pupil that might make something of … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, astronauts, education, language/libraries, psych/mind/madness, satire, space exploration, television | Leave a comment

“Big, Wide, Wonderful World,” Charles E. Fritch, 1958

“Big, Wide, Wonderful World,” Charles E. Fritch, 1958 – A group of men decide to forgo their regular Needle treatments in order to “have a nightmare.”  The nightmare they see is the black, bombed out (post-war?) reality that is intended … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, drugs/pharma, psych/mind/madness, reality/VR/surreal | 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

“No, no, not Rogov!” Cordwainer Smith, 1959

“No, no, not Rogov!” Cordwainer Smith, 1950 – Cherpas and Rogov are good Soviets who doggedly carry out Stalin’s orders for a machine that can read all EM radiation, including thoughts, for the purpose of spying and suppressing thought.  With … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, capitalism/Marxism, communication, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, gender, hubris/pride, intelligence, love/family/children, music, nationalism, psych/mind/madness, scientific ethics, superhumans, surveillance, the scientist, totalitarianism/fascism, war/soldiers | 1 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

“The Hated,” Paul Flehr (Frederik Pohl), 1958

“The Hated,” Paul Flehr (Frederik Pohl), 1958 — Byron, an astronaut, has returned from his mission to Mars and is attempting to re-acclimate to civilian life.  One of the restrictions on his pension stipulates that he must stay out of … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, astronauts, dreams/hypnosis, emotions/intimacy/empathy, psych/mind/madness, reality/VR/surreal, senses/space, violence, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“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

“And Then She Found Him…” Algis Budrys, 1957

“And Then She Found Him…” Algis Budrys, 1957 — A very materialistic, childish woman realizes she has the ability to project her own self-love onto other people, such that they suddenly desire to give her whatever she wants.  She does … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, gender, genrecraft, love/family/children, psych/mind/madness | Leave a comment