Category Archives: television

“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

“Requiem,” Edmond Hamilton, 1962

“Requiem,” Edmond Hamilton, 1962 — A world-weary captain presides over the group of reporters and “sentimentalists” gathered to witness the last moments of Earth. Comments:  Read in The Best of Edmond Hamilton.   Describes how the captain’s body “fits” the planet … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, emotions/intimacy/empathy, media/advertising, memory, museums/artifacts, progress/obsolescence, spectatorship/voyeurism, television, the body, time/history/causality, tourists | 1 Comment

“You Are With It!,” Will Stanton, 1961

“You Are With It!,” Will Stanton, 1961 — A man in the midst of his normal domestic routine leaves for work and is accosted by a man who declares himself “the host.”  For the next ninety minutes, while the clock … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, american culture, consumerism, genrecraft, identity/authenticity, love/family/children, male anxiety, masculinity, psych/mind/madness, reality/VR/surreal, satire, spectatorship/voyeurism, speed/slowness, surveillance, television, theatre/performance, time/history/causality, violence | 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

“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

“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

“The Prize of Peril,” Robert Sheckley, 1958

“The Prize of Peril,” Robert Sheckley, 1958 — Raeder is a contestant on The Prize of Peril, a reality tv show who is being hunted by killers for a live television audience.  Although the audience participates by calling in Good … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, american culture, emotions/intimacy/empathy, media/advertising, photo/film/image, spectatorship/voyeurism, surveillance, television, violence | Leave a comment

“Every Day is Christmas,” James Gunn, 1957

“Every Day is Christmas,” James Gunn, 1957 — A man trades three years of his life in exchange for $150,000 to go into space, where he’s kept alone, in silence.  For him, the experience is unbearable, but he toughs it … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, american culture, astronauts, bureaucracy/corporations, capitalism/Marxism, economics, emotions/intimacy/empathy, gender, globalization/world government, love/family/children, media/advertising, television | Leave a comment

“The Anything Box,” Zenna Henderson, 1956

“The Anything Box,” Zenna Henderson, 1956 – A schoolteacher observes with puzzlement a quiet young pupil in her class who appears to be staring into an invisible box cupped in her hands.  She discusses the student with another teacher who … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, artists/creativity, difference/tolerance, freaks/misfits, interior/exterior, love/family/children, psych/mind/madness, television | Leave a comment

“Dreaming is a Private Thing,” Isaac Asimov , 1955

“Dreaming is a Private Thing,” Isaac Asimov , 1955 – Jessie Weill, is the manager of a firm specializing in private dreamies (similar to films or DVDs) that can be viewed at home by individual users.  He encourages a ten-year … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, artists/creativity, class/labor/"work", consumerism, dreams/hypnosis, economics, emotions/intimacy/empathy, freaks/misfits, genrecraft, love/family/children, media/advertising, photo/film/image, reality/VR/surreal, spectatorship/voyeurism, television, the Internet | 1 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

“Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow,” Kurt Vonnegut, 1954

“Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow,” Kurt Vonnegut, 1954 — Gramps is a tyrant, disinheriting relatives over and over on a whim, and his relatives anxiously wait for him to die in order to inherit his wealth and space.  Life in … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, death/immortality, drugs/pharma, generational conflict, love/family/children, overpopulation, television | Leave a comment

“Cost of Living,” Robert Sheckley, 1952

“Cost of Living,” Robert Sheckley, 1952 – A man sells his son’s future in exchange for modern conveniences he can enjoy during his own lifetime. Comments: Themes include debt, consumerism, generational conflict, advertising, family.  Read in Galaxy: Thirty Years of Innovative … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, american culture, consumerism, economics, generational conflict, love/family/children, media/advertising, satire, television | Leave a comment

“The Fun They Had,” Asimov, 1951

“The Fun They Had,” Asimov, 1951 –  Margie, who has never read anything except moving text on a screen interface, learns that Tommy has found a book in his attic.  The book concerns the schools of the past, where humans, … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, education, language/libraries, love/family/children, television, the Internet, time/history/causality | 1 Comment

“The Pedestrian,” Ray Bradbury, 1951

“The Pedestrian,” Ray Bradbury, 1950 – Society’s norm is the nuclear family and its preferred activity is watching television at home as a unit.  The protagonist is out for a nightly stroll when his pastime draws the attention of the … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, american culture, cars/pedestrians, difference/tolerance, exiles/"home"/displacement, love/family/children, television, the Other | 6 Comments

“Coming Attraction,” Fritz Leiber, 1950

“Coming Attraction,” Fritz Leiber, 1950 – The protagonist is a British citizen named Wysten Turner who is in a post-nuclear New York to procure grain in exchange for electronic equipment that will probably be used to build an American military … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, american culture, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, consumerism, favorites, gender, genrecraft, identity/authenticity, interior/exterior, masculinity, photo/film/image, satire, sex/reproduction/sterility, spectatorship/voyeurism, television, theatre/performance, utopia/dystopia, violence, war/soldiers | 1 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

“A Logic Named Joe,” Murray Leinster, 1946

“A Logic Named Joe,” Murray Leinster, 1946 – Logics are androids with screens that can access the “tank,” an enormous warehouse with every fact known to man.  As advertised, simply use the keys to type in your request or question, … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, function/utility/skeumorphs, knowledge/truth/epistemology, logic/reason, media/advertising, television, the Internet | Leave a comment

“No Woman Born,” C. L. Moore, 1944

“No Woman Born,” C. L. Moore, 1944 – The famous dancer Deirdre is horribly burned in a theater fire and her mind is transplanted into a golden, robotic body.  After much time spent recovering under the care of the physician … Continue reading

Posted in 1940-1945, aesthetics/beauty, american culture, artists/creativity, cyborgs/posthumans, difference/tolerance, favorites, freaks/misfits, gender, male anxiety, masculinity, media/advertising, music, natural/artificial, photo/film/image, psych/mind/madness, senses/space, sex/reproduction/sterility, spectatorship/voyeurism, television, the body, the gaze, the Other, theatre/performance | 1 Comment

“The Proud Robot,” Lewis Padgett, 1943

“The Proud Robot,” Lewis Padgett (Kuttner and Moore), 1943 – (Humor)  A heavy-drinking inventor creates a narcissistic robot to help him solve a problem. Comments: Presents a world where film and television are in direct competition; television is supplanting cinema, … Continue reading

Posted in 1940-1945, automata/robots, bureaucracy/corporations, humor, law, photo/film/image, television, the scientist | Leave a comment