Today I’ve reviewed the sixteenth story in my series on the science fictional media landscape of the future. John D. MacDonald tortures a time-traveler with an immersive TV experience!
Thank you “Friend of the Site” John Boston for suggesting I track this one down for my media series. “Friend of the Site” Antyphayes also brought up the story in a discussion way back in 2018…
Up Next: TBD
John D. MacDonald’s “Spectator Sport” first appeared in the February 1950 issue of Thrilling Wonder Stories, ed. Sam Merwin, Jr. You can read it online here. Note: this is a very short story and my review will contain unavoidable spoilers.
John D. MacDonald (1916-1986), best known for his massive Travis McGee series (1964-1985) and the twice-adapted psychological thriller The Executioners (1957), wrote three SF novels and was a regular in SF magazines in the 40s and 50s (with a handful appearing later). SF Encyclopedia claims erroneously that none of his later “ebullient pessimism” is present in his early SF. “Spectator Sport” embodies “ebullient pessimism” by creating a future where everyone is excited about slipping into delusion.Continue reading