Tags » Psych/mind/madness

"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.  97 more words


“Stanley Toothbrush,” Terry Carr, 1962

“Stanley Toothbrush,” Terry Carr, 1962 – A man contemplates the absurdity of the sounds of language.  In doing so, he “disbelieves” his shelves out of existence.  262 more words


"The Pi Man," Alfred Bester, 1959

“The Pi Man,” Alfred Bester, 1959 — Bester’s pyrotechnic prose describes the agonized existence of the Pi Man, a man who must always find balance in numbers and patterns–and elude those who wish to use his abilities for their own fanatical ends.  261 more words


“A Kind of Artistry,” Brian Aldiss, 1962

“A Kind of Artistry,” Brian Aldiss, 1962 – The story of adventurer Derek Ende who leaves his demanding Mistress to make contact with the Cliff, an exotic species born of an asteroid.  441 more words


"Something Strange," Kingsley Amis, 1960

“Something Strange,” Kingsley Amis, 1960 — Bruno, Clovis, Myri, and Lia are amnesiacs on a “spaceship” which is being besieged by surreal threats (e.g., a near-miss with a comet).  110 more words


“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 able to communicate as one mind.  583 more words


"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 “liberal” tendency to see both sides of the question, and his early notions of soldiers, picked up from texts in which characters like “Tros of Samothrace and Horatio Hornblower became new secret heroes, along with Heinlein’s space cadets and Bullard and other brave rangers of the spaceways.”  He recalls longing for a means to gain a more substantive perspective and relates his delight in meeting Max, a real “soldier-of-history” who is able to speak with authority on the training and mindset of a soldier, of “Copenhagen and Copernicus and Copeybawa.”  During the discussion of weapons, Max drops the comment that he’s fought wars on Mars, that he’s actually a soldier from the future on a special kind of furlough, and that he’ll be returning to his time soon if the enemy (giant black dogs?) doesn’t find him and eliminate him first.  728 more words