Category Archives: senses/space

“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

“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

“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

“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

“Billenium,” J. G. Ballard, 1961

“Billenium,” J. G. Ballard, 1961 – (Alternate title: “Billennium”)  Overpopulation has sensitized everyone to space, including Ward, who measures his ceiling to make sure the upstairs neighbor isn’t pulling a fast one.  When he discovers a hidden room and shares … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, overpopulation, senses/space | Leave a comment

“The First Days of May,” Claude Veillot, 1961

“The First Days of May,” Claude Veillot, 1961, trans. Damon Knight — An alien species (dubbed Shrills) fills a conquered earth with horrific and deadly sounds.  Their natural ability to produce supersonics gives them an advantage, and they rout humanity … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, favorites, horror, international, invasion, love/family/children, senses/space | Leave a comment

“The Room,” Ray Russell, 1961

“The Room,” Ray Russell, 1961 – (short short) A man desperately tries to find a space that hasn’t been invaded by advertising and finds it in the slums. Comments: Read in 100 Great Science Fiction Short Short Stories. Author: Wikipedia: … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, media/advertising, senses/space | Leave a comment

“The Ship Who Sang,” Anne McCaffrey, 1961

“The Ship Who Sang,” Anne McCaffrey, 1961 – A woman with severe disabilities is offered the chance to become a “shell person”—a human brain encased in a machine–after which she will work off her debt as a ship with a … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, class/labor/"work", cyborgs/posthumans, death/immortality, disability, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, freaks/misfits, function/utility/skeumorphs, gender, identity/authenticity, love/family/children, senses/space, the body | 1 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 Sound-Sweep,” J. G. Ballard, 1960

“The Sound-Sweep,” J. G. Ballard, 1960 — Ultrasonic music is the new fashion and phonographs and live performances are a thing of the past.  It is a world where the echoes of music remain in their concert halls, where conversations … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, aesthetics/beauty, artists/creativity, cities/architecture/habitats, communication, disability, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, freaks/misfits, hubris/pride, love/family/children, memory, music, progress/obsolescence, senses/space | Leave a comment

“Plenitude,” Will Worthington (Will Mohler), 1959

“Plenitude,” Will Worthington (Will Mohler), 1959 —  A family ekes out a hard life on the mountainside.  Opens with a young boy, Mike, asking his father “why, why,” as the father works on his garden. The child’s curiosity is deceptively … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, catastrophe, class/labor/"work", consumerism, gender, identity/authenticity, love/family/children, male anxiety, masculinity, museums/artifacts, natural/artificial, progress/obsolescence, reality/VR/surreal, senses/space, television, Uncategorized, violence | 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

“Ullward’s Retreat,” Jack Vance, 1958

“Ullward’s Retreat,” Jack Vance, 1958 – Lamaster (Landmaster) Ulward dazzles his house guests with his apartment’s elaborate wall-holograms, which provide the illusion of space, and his priceless tree, with its exotically-real dirt.  But Ulward finds he needs more.  When circumstances … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, class/labor/"work", identity/authenticity, overpopulation, reality/VR/surreal, senses/space | Leave a comment

“Call Me Joe,” Poul Anderson, 1957

“Call Me Joe,” Poul Anderson, 1957 – A psychologist watches in alarm as a disabled scientist is asked to explore the surface of Jupiter via the mind of a genetically-engineered animal. Comments: Read in A Century of Science Fiction, ed. … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, disability, distance, favorites, masculinity, psych/mind/madness, reality/VR/surreal, senses/space, space exploration, spectatorship/voyeurism, the body, the scientist | Leave a comment

The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester, 1956 (Novel)

The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester, 1956 (Novel)  — Gulley Foyle, the last survivor of The Nomad, has been ‘shipwrecked’ in space.  The possibility of rescue appears, but the ship deliberately continues on, leaving him to die.  His quest for … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, bureaucracy/corporations, class/labor/"work", distance, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, senses/space, speed/slowness, violence | Leave a comment

“The Man Who Lost the Sea,” Theodore Sturgeon, 1959

“The Man Who Lost the Sea,” Theodore Sturgeon, 1959 – A dying astronaut reviews his life, beginning with childhood. Comments: Inspired Clarke’s “Transit of Earth.”  Read in Great Tales of SF.   The collection by the same name contains a forward … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, astronauts, death/immortality, dreams/hypnosis, love/family/children, memory, mourning/grief, psych/mind/madness, reality/VR/surreal, senses/space | 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

“The Game of Rat and Dragon,” Cordwainer Smith, 1955

“The Game of Rat and Dragon,” Cordwainer Smith, 1955 – A story of the partnership created by a human and animal mind interface.  The telepaths Underhill, Woodley, Father Moontree, and the girl,Wes, are Partnered with modified cats that are able … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, animals/insects, communication, favorites, gender, psych/mind/madness, senses/space, space exploration | 1 Comment

“I Made You,” Walter M. Miller, Jr., 1954

“I Made You,” Walter M. Miller, Jr., 1954 – Tense story of a malfunctioning robot, as it seeks to destroy all sound and motion on the moon. Comments: The dialogue is terrible, but the robot’s observations of the human as … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, automata/robots, senses/space, the Other | Leave a comment

“The Man With English,” H. L. Gold, 1953

“The Man With English,” H. L. Gold, 1953 – A rocket-paced short about a dry cleaner who has brain surgery and wakes up to find his senses “reversed.” Comments: Similar to Gold’s “Warm, Dark Places” and “The Trouble With Water,” … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, humor, male anxiety, senses/space | Leave a comment