Category Archives: space exploration

“Harry Protagonist, Brain-Drainer,” Richard Wilson, 1963

“Harry Protagonist, Brain-Drainer,” Richard Wilson, 1963 – (short short) Over one-seventy million Americans are connected through a direct brain link to four astronauts on their way to Mars.  In their arrogance, the denizens of Earth never imagined Mars could be … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, astronauts, hubris/pride, invasion, media/advertising, nationalism, post/colonialism, space exploration, spectatorship/voyeurism, television, the Other | Leave a comment

“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

“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

“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

“Satellite Passage,” Theodore L. Thomas, 1958

“Satellite Passage,” Theodore L. Thomas, 1958 – American anxiously astronauts await the pass by of a manned Soviet satellite.  Will this be the time they plot a collision course?  But as the satellite passes, the Americans realize that there are … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, astronauts, nationalism, space exploration, the Other | 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

“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

“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

“Bulkhead,” Theodore Sturgeon, 1955

“Bulkhead,” Theodore Sturgeon, 1955 – A cadet and captain-in-training endures an extended “test run” simulation in a facsimile of a typical ship.  He’s been told that if he presses a button, he can communicate with another cadet, but he resists … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, astronauts, dreams/hypnosis, emotions/intimacy/empathy, love/family/children, masculinity, memory, paranoia/schitzophrenia, psych/mind/madness, space exploration, the Other | 3 Comments

“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

“End as a World,” F. L. Wallace, 1955

“End as a World,” F. L. Wallace, 1955 – A young boy’s community anxiously awaits “the end of the world,” a ubiquitous headline and refrain.  At the conclusion, it is revealed that the phrase refers to the successful Mars flight … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, genrecraft, space exploration | Leave a comment

“The Morning of the Day They Did It,” E. B. White, 1950

“The Morning of the Day They Did It,” E. B. White, 1950 – Technology has progressed to the point where food has become toxic, everyone must take Anti-Tri-D shots, euthanasia is advertised on television, culture has been “debased,” and visual … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, american culture, catastrophe, death/immortality, drugs/pharma, ecology/the environment, media/advertising, progress/obsolescence, space exploration, suicide, television, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“Forever and the Earth,” Ray Bradbury, 1950

“Forever and the Earth,” Ray Bradbury, 1950 – A washed up sf writer in the 23 century brings Thomas Wolfe to the future so that he might write a space-age novel for the time, since none of his contemporaries seem … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, artists/creativity, genrecraft, narrative, space exploration | 11 Comments

“Columbus Was a Dope,” Robert Heinlein, 1947

“Columbus Was a Dope,” Robert Heinlein, 1947 — Men in a bar discuss whether or not a space expedition should be allowed to include married couples and children.  The bartender makes a point that there are always naysayers who say … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, love/family/children, progress/obsolescence, space exploration | Leave a comment