Category Archives: the scientist

“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

“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

“Uncalculated Risk,” Christopher Anvil, 1962

“Uncalculated Risk,” Christopher Anvil (Harry Crosby), 1962 — General Berenger is skeptical about the roles of science and technology will be able to play in maintaining America’s military advantage.  In fact, he’s of the opinion that the world might be … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, ecology/the environment, economics, hubris/pride, scientific ethics, the scientist, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“The First Men,” Howard Fast, 1960

“The First Men,” Howard Fast, 1960 – (Alternate title: “The Trap”) A scientific experiment in a controlled environment produces telepathic, hyper-intelligent superchildren from different races, proving that environment is “total.”  The children’s abilities progress to the point where they are … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, biological determinism, communication, difference/tolerance, education, eugenics/heredity, evolution, generational conflict, intelligence, love/family/children, psych/mind/madness, race/civil rights, scientific ethics, superhumans, the scientist | 1 Comment

“Cease Fire,” Frank Herbert, 1958

“Cease Fire,” Frank Herbert, 1958 — An operator at an outpost near enemy territory is nearly killed by enemy fire.  Both sides possess a device that can detect the other. The operator has scientific training and has come up with … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, scientific ethics, the scientist, violence, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“The Men Who Murdered Mohammed,” Alfred Bester, 1958

“The Men Who Murdered Mohammed,” Alfred Bester, 1958 – Henry Hassel discovers his wife is cheating on him and he murders her.  Unsatisfied, the genius invents a time travel machine in order to eliminate her from the timeline altogether.  After … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, humor, love/family/children, male anxiety, the scientist, time/history/causality, violence | 1 Comment

“Aristotle and the Gun,” L. Sprague de Camp, 1958

“Aristotle and the Gun,” L. Sprague de Camp, 1958 – A scientist travels back in time to try to teach Aristotle the scientific method and, thus, change his present.  He pretends to be a traveler from India–replete with marvelous, new … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, alternate history, knowledge/truth/epistemology, the scientist, time/history/causality | Leave a comment

“Two Dooms,” Cyril M. Kornbluth, 1958

“Two Dooms,” Cyril M. Kornbluth, 1958 – Los Alamos, May 1945: Edward Royland is a theoretical physicist pondering the ethics of creating the atom bomb.  He’s transported by a Native American fable/ritual (and peyote) to a world where the Nazis … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, alternate history, american culture, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, communication, drugs/pharma, eugenics/heredity, fantasy/fable/fairy tale, favorites, gender, genocide/Holocaust, intelligence, knowledge/truth/epistemology, nationalism, Native Americans, satire, scientific ethics, the body, the Other, the scientist, time/history/causality, totalitarianism/fascism, violence, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“No, no, not Rogov!” Cordwainer Smith, 1959

“No, no, not Rogov!” Cordwainer Smith, 1950 – Cherpas and Rogov are good Soviets who doggedly carry out Stalin’s orders for a machine that can read all EM radiation, including thoughts, for the purpose of spying and suppressing thought.  With … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, capitalism/Marxism, communication, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, gender, hubris/pride, intelligence, love/family/children, music, nationalism, psych/mind/madness, scientific ethics, superhumans, surveillance, the scientist, totalitarianism/fascism, war/soldiers | 1 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

“You Were Right, Joe,” J. T. McIntosh, 1957

“You Were Right, Joe,” J. T. McIntosh, 1957 — An unidentified man is transported to the future, an idyllic place where the only rules are “don’t annoy anyone and try not to be easily annoyed.”  He finds himself in a … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, sex/reproduction/sterility, the scientist, time/history/causality | Leave a comment

“Ideas Die Hard,” Isaac Asimov, 1957

“Ideas Die Hard,” Isaac Asimov, 1957 — Two astronauts are on a mission to the moon. They discuss how ideas (e.g., age of earth or that the earth is round, a fact which this trip will truly prove with direct … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, astronauts, hubris/pride, knowledge/truth/epistemology, psych/mind/madness, reality/VR/surreal, scientific ethics, the scientist | 3 Comments

“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

“Critical Factor,” Hal Clement, 1953

“Critical Factor,”  Hal Clement, 1953 – Sentient creatures live beneath the soil. To them, our air is outer space. Comments: Geology sf and classic of hard sf.  Read in Star Science Fiction Stories No. 2. Author: Wikipedia: “Harry Clement Stubbs … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, geology, knowledge/truth/epistemology, logic/reason, the scientist | Leave a comment

“Disappearing Act,” Alfred Bester, 1953

“Disappearing Act,” Alfred Bester, 1953 – America is caught up in the rhetoric of General Carpenter, who appears to be waging a war to save Culture:  “We must dig in against the hordes of barbarism,” he intones to potential donors.  … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, american culture, artists/creativity, bureaucracy/corporations, dreams/hypnosis, favorites, mechanization, nationalism, politics/politicians/elections, reality/VR/surreal, satire, scientific ethics, spectatorship/voyeurism, the scientist, time/history/causality, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“God and the Machine,” Nigel Balchin, 1951

“God and the Machine,” Nigel Balchin, 1951 — Uncle Charles relates to his nephew the story of Professor Plumreach and his draughts-playing automaton.  Arrogant, misanthropic, abusive to his family, Plumreach appears to be a rigid man of absolutes.  Charles notes … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, emotions/intimacy/empathy, hubris/pride, international, logic/reason, mathematics, scientific ethics, the scientist | Leave a comment

“Breeds There a Man…?” Isaac Asimov, 1951

“Breeds there a man…?,” Isaac Asimov, 1951 — (Wikipedia) “Elwood Ralson, a brilliant but psychologically disturbed physicist, becomes convinced that humanity is a kind of genetics experiment being run by an alien intelligence. His behaviour becomes more erratic and suicidal … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, agency/will/freedom, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, disease/plague, evolution, intelligence, invasion, paranoia/schitzophrenia, psych/mind/madness, suicide, the scientist | 1 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 Pyramid in the Desert,” Katherine MacLean, 1950

“The Pyramid in the Desert,” Katherine MacLean, 1950 – (Alternate title: “And Be Merry”) A female scientist conducts “immortality” experiments on herself and develops a paralyzing fear of accidental death.  She gradually loses touch with reality and sequesters herself.  Her … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, death/immortality, favorites, gender, love/family/children, psych/mind/madness, scientific ethics, the scientist | Leave a comment

“Peacebringer,” Ward Moore, 1950

“Peacebringer,” Ward Moore, 1950 – A chemist becomes a self-proclaimed messiah, bent on world peace and the proper utilization of lignic, a wood product. Comments: Humor, satire.  References to Isaiah.  Read in The Classic Book of Science Fiction. The introduction … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, humor, religion/soul/spirituality, satire, the scientist | Leave a comment