Category Archives: religion/soul/spirituality

“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

“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 Streets of Ashkelon,” Harry Harrison, 1962

“The Streets of Ashkelon,” Harry Harrison, 1962 – (Alternate title: “An Alien Agony”)  John Garth, a trader, lives peacefully with a “primitive” but promising alien culture called Weskers.  All is well until a Christian missionary (Father Mark of the Missionary … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, culture clash, primitive/civilized, religion/soul/spirituality, the scientist | Leave a 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

“Thought Control,” Herbert W. Franke, 1958

“Thought Control,” Herbert W. Franke, 1958 (?) – (short short) (Original title: “Gedankenkontrolle“) A human is imprisoned in a cage by an alien machine which can’t distinguish between him and his gear.  He escapes by suppressing his “soul” and acting … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, international, religion/soul/spirituality, senses/space, the body, the Other | Leave a comment

“The Advent on Channel Twelve,” C. M. Kornbluth, 1958

“The Advent on Channel Twelve,” C. M. Kornbluth, 1958 – (short short) A biblical-style recounting of how the children’s tv icon, Poopy Panda, did come to build his media empire and rule over all the land. Comments: Themes: Satire, children’s … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, american culture, consumerism, favorites, humor, love/family/children, media/advertising, religion/soul/spirituality, satire, television | Leave a comment

“Old Hundreth,” Brian Aldiss, 1960

“Old Hundreth,” Brian Aldiss, 1960 – A story of far earth and the human calvacade that marched through time to reach it, now transcended (uploaded) to a static plane of mingled personality.  This long-forgotten human civilization has left behind its … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, animals/insects, cyborgs/posthumans, evolution, favorites, museums/artifacts, music, religion/soul/spirituality, speed/slowness, the body, violence, war/soldiers | 1 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 Cold Green Eye,” Jack Williamson, 1953

“The Cold Green Eye,” Jack Williamson, 1953 — A boy is left with monks by his parents so that he might live a simple life in harmony with life and nature, sequestered from consumerism and Western conventions.  His aunt in … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, american culture, animals/insects, consumerism, culture clash, death/immortality, difference/tolerance, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, love/family/children, primitive/civilized, religion/soul/spirituality, the Other | 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

“A Death in the House,” Clifford D. Simak, 1959

“A Death in the House,” Clifford D. Simak, 1959 – Old Mose Abrams–a stubborn widower, bad neighbor, and bad housekeeper–finds an alien and its “birdcage” ship in the woods.  The alien is repulsive-looking, smelly, but Abrams can’t leave a thing … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, death/immortality, difference/tolerance, emotions/intimacy/empathy, fantasy/fable/fairy tale, love/family/children, mourning/grief, religion/soul/spirituality, the Other, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Unhuman Sacrifice,” Katherine MacLean, 1958

“Unhuman Sacrifice,” Katherine MacLean, 1958 — A missionary and two crewman arrive on an as-of-yet uncolonized planet.  The missionary–who thinks he’s been given a great honor–is obnoxious, nearly oafish in his over-eager attempts to open a dialogue with his future … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, communication, death/immortality, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, language/libraries, love/family/children, mourning/grief, primitive/civilized, religion/soul/spirituality | 1 Comment

“Space-Time for Springers,” Fritz Leiber, 1958

“Space-Time for Springers,” Fritz Leiber, 1958 – Gummitch the super-kitten struggles to understand his human “parents” and their malevolent daughter, doomed by her cruelty (as only Gummitch can reason) to one day become a cat. Comments: Themes/images of intelligence, animals, … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, animals/insects, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, intelligence, logic/reason, religion/soul/spirituality | Leave a comment

“Seat of Judgment,” Lester del Rey, 1957

“Seat of Judgment,” Lester del Rey, 1957 — Eli Judson, an official from Earth, visits Sáyon, a planet of “marsupial” aliens ruled by a religious matriarchy.  Judson is answering the distress call of the temple priestess, who is struggling to … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, gender, love/family/children, masculinity, matriarchy, primitive/civilized, religion/soul/spirituality, sex/reproduction/sterility, the body, the Other, tourists, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

“Tool of Creation,” J. F. Bone, 1958

“Tool of Creation,” J. F. Bone, 1958 —  Adventure tale that opens with men traveling at Cth speed.  Their bodies are distorted into fun house images, a disconcerting experience that compels them to pass the time talking.  Eventually, they argue … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, religion/soul/spirituality, space exploration | Leave a comment

“Stranger Station,” Damon Knight, 1956

“Stranger Station,” Damon Knight, 1956 – Paul Wesson is stationed on Stranger Station, which will be visited by an overwhelmingly alien consciousness. His only companion is the robot (female) Aunt Jane. His purpose is to establish contact with the alien, … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, automata/robots, communication, death/immortality, difference/tolerance, economics, emotions/intimacy/empathy, evolution, language/libraries, post/colonialism, religion/soul/spirituality, the Other | 2 Comments

“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

“The First Canticle,” Walter M. Miller, Jr, 1955

“The First Canticle,” Walter M. Miller, Jr, 1955 — Wikipedia: “Set in a Catholic monastery in the desert of the southwestern United States after a devastating nuclear war, the story spans thousands of years as civilization rebuilds itself. The monks … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, catastrophe, favorites, knowledge/truth/epistemology, language/libraries, memory, museums/artifacts, primitive/civilized, religion/soul/spirituality, scientific ethics, the scientist, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“The Star,” Arthur C. Clarke, 1955

“The Star,” Arthur C. Clarke, 1955 — Three thousand light-years away from the Vatican, a Jesuit astrophysicist comments on the depression of the crew, now that they have learned a disturbing truth which is initially concealed from the reader.  He … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, astronauts, catastrophe, hubris/pride, mourning/grief, religion/soul/spirituality, space exploration, time/history/causality | Leave a comment