Category Archives: simulacra

“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 Masked World,” Jack Williamson, 1963

“The Masked World,” Jack Williamson, 1963 — An astronaut searches for his wife, Lilith.  Lilith was part of a survey tasked with “reading” the genetic code of the life there with advanced genetic probes.  Upon reconstructing Lilith’s work, the protagonist … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, astronauts, identity/authenticity, interior/exterior, love/family/children, natural/artificial, simulacra, space exploration, the body, the Other, the scientist | Leave a comment

“All of Us Are Dying,” George Clayton Johnson, 1961

“All of Us Are Dying,” George Clayton Johnson, 1961 – A drifter who is able to assume the appearance of people from other people’s pasts makes his way through life by playing upon their desire for closure.  Some want to … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, death/immortality, emotions/intimacy/empathy, greed, identity/authenticity, interior/exterior, memory, multiplicity, simulacra, theatre/performance | 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

“The Other Celia,” Theodore Sturgeon, 1957

“The Other Celia,”  Theodore Sturgeon, 1957 – A recluse spies on his neighbor and discovers that she takes off her human “skin” at night. Comments: Another story by Sturgeon about the invasion of a woman’s privacy, though “weirder” than “A … Continue reading

Posted in favorites, gender, interior/exterior, natural/artificial, simulacra, spectatorship/voyeurism, surveillance, the gaze, the Other, the uncanny, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Dead Ringer,” Lester Del Rey, 1956

“Dead Ringer,” Lester del Rey, 1956 — (Alternate title: “And the truth…”)  Dane Phillips is a journalist trying to alert people to the presence of alien doppelgangers that can resurrect after death, but he’s treated as a crackpot.  After being … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, death/immortality, identity/authenticity, invasion, paranoia/schitzophrenia, psych/mind/madness, simulacra, suicide | Leave a comment

“The Tunnel Under the World,” Frederik Pohl, 1955

“The Tunnel Under the World,” Frederik Pohl, 1955 – Jingles intrude everywhere, saturating a community’s homes and dreams.  The denizens of a town assisted by robots eventually realize they are living advertisements, built in miniature by a media executive after … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, automata/robots, consumerism, dreams/hypnosis, media/advertising, simulacra | Leave a comment

“The Father-Thing,” Philip K. Dick, 1954

“The Father-Thing,” Philip K. Dick, 1954 – A boy’s father is replicated and replaced by a “thing.” Comments: Read in A Treasury of Great Science Fiction, Volume One.  See also Bradbury’s “Zero Hour.” Author: Wikipedia: “Philip Kindred Dick (December 16, … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, identity/authenticity, love/family/children, natural/artificial, paranoia/schitzophrenia, simulacra | 1 Comment

“Second Variety,” Philip K. Dick, 1953

“Second Variety,” Philip K. Dick, 1953 – A soldier discovers that his self-replicating, mechanical enemies have discovered a new, thoroughly disorienting form of camouflage—the imitation of human beings. Comments:  Online text at Project Gutenberg; Librivox recording also available. Themes include … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, cyborgs/posthumans, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, identity/authenticity, interior/exterior, natural/artificial, paranoia/schitzophrenia, religion/soul/spirituality, simulacra, the body, the uncanny, theatre/performance, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“Warm,” Robert Sheckley, 1953

“Warm,” Robert Sheckley, 1953 – Anders is about to meet his fiancé, Judy, whom he describes as a “reactive machine,” when he hears a disembodied voice calling for help. Comments: Read in Great Tales of SF.  A story of “performing” … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, automata/robots, emotions/intimacy/empathy, gender, identity/authenticity, interior/exterior, love/family/children, male anxiety, masculinity, mechanization, natural/artificial, psych/mind/madness, reality/VR/surreal, simulacra, the body, the gaze, the Other, theatre/performance | 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

“Feedback,” Katherine MacLean, 1951

“Feedback,” Katherine MacLean, 1951 – Opens with a discussion between teacher and students about why Leonardo Da Vinci wrote backwards.  The nonconformity-loving teacher is turned in by a student’s parent when the student declares that he wants to “wear his … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, american culture, difference/tolerance, freaks/misfits, simulacra | Leave a comment

“Contagion,” Katherine MacLean, 1950

“Contagion,” Katherine MacLean, 1950 – Colonists land on a planet only to discover that it has already been colonized by humans who arrived generations ago.  The humans they encounter are strangely altered, having adapted to the local environment by altering … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, disease/plague, favorites, gender, identity/authenticity, love/family/children, masculinity, simulacra, the body, the scientist | Leave a comment

“The Veldt,” Ray Bradbury, 1950

“The Veldt,” Ray Bradbury, 1950 – (Alternate title: “The World the Children Made”) Two children use a virtual reality nursery in their HappyLife Home, to which they are telepathically connected, to deal with their inconvenient parents. The family has just … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, distance, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, identity/authenticity, love/family/children, mechanization, psych/mind/madness, reality/VR/surreal, simulacra, violence | 1 Comment

“Evening Primrose,” John Collier, 1941

“Evening Primrose,” John Collier, 1941 – Mannequins in a department store are refugees from society. Comments:  A bit surreal, fantastical.  Theme of alienation.  Read in The Worlds of Science Fiction. Author:  Collier was a favorite of Henry Kuttner and, when … Continue reading

Posted in 1940-1945, difference/tolerance, exiles/"home"/displacement, freaks/misfits, identity/authenticity, international, simulacra, spectatorship/voyeurism, the Other, theatre/performance | Leave a comment

“Vault of the Beast,” A. E. van Vogt, 1940

“Vault of the Beast,” A E van Vogt, 1940 – Adventure tale of a shape-shifting alien sent to consult Earth’s greatest mathematician in order to unlock an alien researcher trapped in the “vault of the beast.”  The alien intelligence is … Continue reading

Posted in 1940-1945, identity/authenticity, paranoia/schitzophrenia, simulacra, the body | Leave a comment

“The Four-Sided Triangle,” William F. Temple, 1939

“The Four-Sided Triangle,” William F. Temple, 1939 – Three friends engaged in an art-replicating business realize that they can also replicate human bodies.  One creates a duplicate of the female member of the trio, who is in love with the … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, aesthetics/beauty, gender, identity/authenticity, interior/exterior, international, love/family/children, natural/artificial, photo/film/image, simulacra, suicide | Leave a comment

“Who Goes There?,” Don A. Stuart (John W. Campbell, Jr.), 1938

“Who Goes There?,” Don A. Stuart (John W. Campbell), 1938 – Scientists in Antarctica discover the ship of a crash-landed alien who can mimic their bodies. Comments: Made into The Thing from Another World (1951) and The Thing (1982).  An  … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, horror, identity/authenticity, simulacra | Leave a comment