Category Archives: race/civil rights

“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 Education of Tigress Macardle,” C. M. Kornbluth, 1957

“The Education of Tigress Macardle,” C. M. Kornbluth, 1957 — Purvis (Elvis?) is elected president, and four years later establishes himself as King Purvis I.  / At the same time, Dr. Fu Manchu, “that veritable personification of the Yellow Peril, … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, american culture, automata/robots, generational conflict, genrecraft, humor, invasion, love/family/children, media/advertising, music, nationalism, overpopulation, politics/politicians/elections, race/civil rights, satire, sex/reproduction/sterility, time/history/causality, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“All the Colors of the Rainbow,” Leigh Brackett, 1957

“All the Colors of the Rainbow,” Leigh Brackett, 1957 — Opens with the description of a valley being washed away by rain. Flashes back to two green-skinned aliens arriving on Earth. Their host suggests they take a drive through the … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, difference/tolerance, favorites, gender, love/family/children, masculinity, primitive/civilized, race/civil rights, the Other, violence | Leave a comment

“You Know Willie,” Theodore R. Cogswell, 1957

“You Know Willie,” Theodore R. Cogswell, 1957 — A member of the KKK murders Willie, an African American, but Willie’s remaining relative is a witch fully capable of exacting revenge.  While the Klan member is sleeping with his equally bigoted … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, race/civil rights, the body, the Other, violence | Leave a comment

“Human Man’s Burden,” Robert Sheckley, 1956

“Human Man’s Burden,” Robert Sheckley, 1956 – A frontiersman orders a Frontier Bride and gets a Luxury Model instead.  All the while, the “soulless,” carefree, childlike robot slaves—who sing “spirituals” and whose language was programmed by a “Human Supremicist”–do everything … Continue reading

Posted in automata/robots, gender, love/family/children, race/civil rights, satire | Leave a comment

“Death Between the Stars,” Marion Zimmer Bradley, 1956

“Death Between the Stars,” Marion Zimmer Bradley, 1956 – A (privileged) human woman is forced to share a cabin with a telepathic alien on a long space voyage.  She is wary, at first, then protective of the alien, who is … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, communication, difference/tolerance, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, race/civil rights, the body, the Other | Leave a comment

“Fair,” John Brunner, 1956

“Fair,” John Brunner, 1956 — A man rides an escalator to the top of the “fair.” Along the way, he muses on media saturation, speed, loss of intimacy, generational conflict, youth, the dumbing down of culture, guilt for the wars … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, american culture, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, communication, consumerism, difference/tolerance, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, generational conflict, international, love/family/children, media/advertising, nationalism, race/civil rights, senses/space, speed/slowness, the body, the Other, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“Watershed,” James Blish, 1955

“Watershed,” James Blish, 1955 — In a future in which the basic human type can no longer inhabit Earth, an Adapted Man and the seal-man Hoqqueah argue over the idea of a “primary type” for human kind. Wikipedia summary: “[‘Watershed’] … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, cyborgs/posthumans, difference/tolerance, evolution, exiles/"home"/displacement, function/utility/skeumorphs, memory, race/civil rights, the body | Leave a comment

“The Public Hating,” Steve Allen, 1955

“The Public Hating,” Steve Allen, 1955 — A crowd gathers in Yankee Stadium, the rest of the nation before the television.  They are to “hate” to death a political prisoner, Professor Arthur Ketteridge.  The presumably outspoken Professor is accused of … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, american culture, difference/tolerance, education, emotions/intimacy/empathy, media/advertising, ny/paris, politics/politicians/elections, race/civil rights, religion/soul/spirituality, spectatorship/voyeurism, television, the Other, violence | Leave a comment

“Black Charlie,” Gordon R. Dickson, 1954

“Black Charlie,” Gordon R. Dickson, 1954 – An art dealer of the future tries to promote the art of a non-human, “primitive” culture. Comments: Wikipedia: “[John] Clute points out that Dickson, like Poul Anderson, with whom he collaborated in the … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, aesthetics/beauty, artists/creativity, difference/tolerance, primitive/civilized, race/civil rights, the Other | Leave a comment

“Made in U.S.A,” J. T. McIntosh, 1953

“Made in U.S.A,” J. T. McIntosh, 1953 – Roderick and Allison Liffcom are the perfect couple—until Roderick learns that Allison’s an android. He sues for divorce and she contests, arguing that now that androids have full equality, she was under … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, automata/robots, class/labor/"work", difference/tolerance, emotions/intimacy/empathy, gender, interior/exterior, international, law, love/family/children, natural/artificial, race/civil rights, sex/reproduction/sterility, simulacra, the body, the Other, theatre/performance | 2 Comments

“The Marching Morons,” C. M. Kornbluth, 1951

“The Marching Morons,” C. M. Kornbluth, 1951 — A real estate agent from the 20th century (John Barlow) is revived in an over-populated, media-suffused future where slogans such as “I’d buy that for a quarter!” are eagerly consumed by the … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, consumerism, eugenics/heredity, evolution, genocide/Holocaust, genrecraft, intelligence, media/advertising, overpopulation, race/civil rights, totalitarianism/fascism, violence | 1 Comment

“The Woman from Altair,” Leigh Brackett, 1951

“The Woman from Altair,” Leigh Brackett, 1951 – A mysterious, alien woman (Arhian) arrives on the arm of the darling son of a space-faring family, and the family is none too pleased.  At first, she’s introduced as his bride, but … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, difference/tolerance, exiles/"home"/displacement, gender, love/family/children, post/colonialism, race/civil rights, the Other, theatre/performance | Leave a comment

“Not With a Bang,” Damon Knight, 1950

“Not with a Bang,” Damon Knight, 1950 – A man and woman are all that remains of humanity.  The man, a misogynist, cajoles the traumatized young woman into “marrying” him so that they might repopulate the earth.  As he fantasizes … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, catastrophe, disease/plague, gender, masculinity, race/civil rights, satire, the body, violence | Leave a comment

“The Storm,” A. E. van Vogt, 1943

“The Storm,” A. E. van Vogt, 1943 – “Mixed Men” descended from robots are of “two minds.”  They must defend their culture, and that of yet another type of cybernetic mixing, from the imperialist humans, ancient enemies who are rapidly … Continue reading

Posted in 1940-1945, cyborgs/posthumans, dreams/hypnosis, favorites, masculinity, post/colonialism, race/civil rights, reality/VR/surreal, the body, the Other | Leave a comment

“Q. U. R.”, Anthony Boucher, 1943

“Q.U.R.,” Anthony Boucher, 1943 – A robot designer struggles to understand why the current generation of robots is so inefficient.  Eventually, he realizes that the human form is a skeuomorph. Comments: Read in Adventures in Time and Space. (Golden Age … Continue reading

Posted in 1940-1945, automata/robots, function/utility/skeumorphs, race/civil rights, the body | 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

“The Tweenie,” Isaac Asimov, 1940

“The Tweenie,” Isaac Asimov, 1940 – (variant title, “Half-Breed”)  A Martian-human hybrid aids an inventor working on atomic energy.  In gratitude, the inventor takes him in as his foster-son, then adopts a woman and two young Tweenie girls to serve … Continue reading

Posted in 1940-1945, race/civil rights, the body, the Other | 2 Comments

“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

“Mars Colonizes,” Miles J. Breuer, 1935

“Mars Colonizes,” Miles J. Breuer, 1935 – Extremely “white” Martians arrive on Earth and begin buying up real estate. Eventually, the technologically-superior Martians move the humans, who have become addicted to the food, drink, and “Screens of Life” of Martian … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, consumerism, Native Americans, photo/film/image, primitive/civilized, race/civil rights, satire | Leave a comment