Category Archives: tourists

“The Big Pat Boom,” Damon Knight, 1963

“The Big Pat Boom,” Damon Knight, 1963 – Alien tourists on Earth create a boom in the sale of cow patties.  Unexpectedly, they leave, causing a crash; new aliens arrive, creating a market for apple cores. Comments: Read in Laughing … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, capitalism/Marxism, humor, tourists | 2 Comments

“A Rose for Ecclesiastes,” Roger Zelazny, 1963

“A Rose for Ecclesiastes,” Roger Zelazny, 1963 – A poet, Gallinger, is given the privilege of viewing and translating the sacred texts of an alien culture.  He discovers that their religion is deeply fatalistic.  After impregnating a temple priestess, he earns … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, aesthetics/beauty, artists/creativity, culture clash, death/immortality, emotions/intimacy/empathy, gender, language/libraries, love/family/children, mourning/grief, myth, primitive/civilized, religion/soul/spirituality, suicide, the Other, tourists | 1 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

“The Drowned Giant,” J. G. Ballard, 1964

“The Drowned Giant,” J. G. Ballard, 1964 — A giant human(oid) male washes ashore.  The protagonist, a librarian, is assigned by his peers to investigate and make sense of what’s happened.  He notes that, after initial period of wonder and … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, consumerism, fantasy/fable/fairy tale, function/utility/skeumorphs, knowledge/truth/epistemology, the body, time/history/causality, tourists | 5 Comments

“Alpha Ralpha Boulevard,” Cordwainer Smith, 1961

“Alpha Ralpha Boulevard,” Cordwainer Smith, 1961 — In the “first years of the Rediscovery of Man, when the Instrumentality dug deep in the treasury, reconstructing the old cultures, the old languages, and even the old troubles,” Paul and Virginia tour … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, agency/will/freedom, animals/insects, cities/architecture/habitats, class/labor/"work", cyborgs/posthumans, death/immortality, difference/tolerance, disease/plague, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, hubris/pride, identity/authenticity, love/family/children, museums/artifacts, myth, natural/artificial, primitive/civilized, spectatorship/voyeurism, the Other, time/history/causality, tourists | Leave a comment

“The Oldest Soldier,” Fritz Leiber, 1960

“The Oldest Soldier,” Fritz Leiber, 1960 –Friends discuss the history of weapons while having drinks at their favorite hang out, Sol’s Liquor Shop in Chicago.  After, the narrator reflects on his hatred of war, complicated as it is by his … Continue reading

Posted in 1960-1969, favorites, genrecraft, masculinity, media/advertising, nationalism, psych/mind/madness, surveillance, the uncanny, time/history/causality, totalitarianism/fascism, tourists, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“The Gentlest Unpeople,” Frederik Pohl, 1958

“The Gentlest Unpeople,” Frederik Pohl, 1958 — (alternate title: “The Gentlest Venusian”) Popagator and The Slide are playing whirlarang, a popular game and one that is integral to their culture.  Since their society has done away with war, they’ve relegated … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, american culture, communication, culture clash, emotions/intimacy/empathy, gaming, greed, law, tourists, Uncategorized, violence, war/soldiers | Leave a comment

“Seat of Judgment,” Lester del Rey, 1957

“Seat of Judgment,” Lester del Rey, 1957 — Eli Judson, an official from Earth, visits Sáyon, a planet of “marsupial” aliens ruled by a religious matriarchy.  Judson is answering the distress call of the temple priestess, who is struggling to … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, gender, love/family/children, masculinity, matriarchy, primitive/civilized, religion/soul/spirituality, sex/reproduction/sterility, the body, the Other, tourists, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

“The Menace from Earth,” Robert Heinlein, 1957

“The Menace from Earth,” Robert Heinlein, 1957 –  Holly is a tour guide in Luna City, but she has plans to be a spaceship designer, along with her partner and love interest, Jeff.  When Ariel, a platinum blonde beauty, a … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, gender, love/family/children, myth, tourists | 2 Comments

“The [Widget], the [Wadget], and Boff,” Theodore Sturgeon, 1955

“The [Widget], the [Wadget], and Boff,” Theodore Sturgeon, 1955 – (Novella) Two alien anthropologists observe the lonely inhabitants of a boarding house and study Synapse Beta Sub Sixteen, a trait which allows all sentient beings to step outside of their … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, aesthetics/beauty, american culture, class/labor/"work", communication, consumerism, difference/tolerance, emotions/intimacy/empathy, exiles/"home"/displacement, favorites, freaks/misfits, gender, language/libraries, love/family/children, male anxiety, masculinity, media/advertising, natural/artificial, photo/film/image, progress/obsolescence, spectatorship/voyeurism, surveillance, the body, the gaze, the Other, theatre/performance, tourists | Leave a comment

“Letters from Laura,” Mildred Clingerman, 1954

“Letters from Laura,” Mildred Clingerman, 1954 – Looking for a thrill, Laura purchases a trip to ancient Greece from a sleazy salesman.  Once there, she realizes that the salesman has made an arrangement with the Minotaur to supply him with … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, sex/reproduction/sterility, spectatorship/voyeurism, time/history/causality, tourists | Leave a comment

“The Fire and the Sword,” Frank M. Robinson, 1951

“The Fire and the Sword,” Frank M. Robinson, 1951 – Templin is sent to investigate the suicide of Don Pendleton, who had been sent to live with the primitives of Tunpesh.  He gradually comes to understand that the world of … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, communication, difference/tolerance, emotions/intimacy/empathy, exiles/"home"/displacement, favorites, language/libraries, primitive/civilized, suicide, the Other, tourists | Leave a comment

“Vintage Season,” C. L. Moore, 1946

“Vintage Season,” Moore and Kuttner, 1946 – Time travelers who consume “catastrophe” as an aesthetic experience visit a city about to be destroyed by an asteroid.  With them is a composer who will memorialize the event through a 3D “operatic” … Continue reading

Posted in 1946-1959, aesthetics/beauty, artists/creativity, atomic bomb/Hiroshima, catastrophe, distance, emotions/intimacy/empathy, favorites, knowledge/truth/epistemology, music, photo/film/image, spectatorship/voyeurism, the body, the gaze, the Other, time/history/causality, tourists | Leave a comment

“The Conquest of Gola,” Leslie F. Stone, 1931

“The Conquest of Gola,” Leslie F. Stone, 1931 — Earthmen (Detaxalans) arrive on cloud-covered Gola with the intent of plundering its treasures and “commercializing” it for the benefit of their Federation.  Gola, however, is ruled by a formidable matriarchy composed … Continue reading

Posted in 1926-1939, aesthetics/beauty, capitalism/Marxism, communication, favorites, gender, greed, hubris/pride, invasion, masculinity, matriarchy, the body, the Other, tourists | Leave a comment

“Young Archimedes,” Aldous Huxley, 1924

“Young Archimedes,” Aldous Huxley, 1924 — An English couple on holiday in Italy rents lodging from the avaricious Signora Bondi, whose greatest pleasure is to “do in” her trusting tenants.  Despite the Signora, the two city-dwellers find themselves in the … Continue reading

Posted in 1926 and earlier, aesthetics/beauty, favorites, intelligence, international, mathematics, primitive/civilized, suicide, tourists | Leave a comment