Future Media Short Story Reviews: Tomorrow’s TV, ed. Isaac Asimov, Martin Harry Greenberg, and Charles Waugh (1982) (Isaac Asimov, Jack C. Haldeman II, Ray Bradbury, Robert Bloch, Ray Nelson)

The seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth stories in my series on the science fictional media landscape of the future appear in the anthology Tomorrow’s TV, ed. Isaac Asimov, Martin Harry Greenberg, and Charles Waugh (1982).

Previously: Two short stories by Fritz Leiber.

“The Girl with the Hungry Eyes” (1949) in The Girl with the Hungry Eyes, and Other Stories (1949). You can read it online here.

“A Bad Day for Sales” (1953) in Galaxy Science Fiction, ed. H. L. Gold (July 1953). You can read it online here.

Up Next: Ann Warren Griffith’s “Captive Audience” (1953) in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, ed. Anthony Boucher and J. Francis McComas (August 1953). You can read it online here.

3.25/5 (collated rating: Above Average)

Tomorrow’s TV (1982) gathers together five short stories published between 1951 and 1979 on future speculations and disturbing manifestations of the tube of the future. The extensive number of TV-related science fiction from these decades (especially the 50s and early 60s) should not come as a surprise. According to Gary R. Edgerton’s magisterial monograph The Columbia History of American Television (2007), no “technology before TV every integrated faster into American life” (xi). Isaac Asimov speculates on the nature of education and the role of the “teacher” if every kid goes to school on their TV. Ray Bradbury imagines a frosty world where everyone turns inward towards the hypnotic glow of their TV sets. Robert Bloch explores the intersection of programming as escape and its collision with the real world. Ray Nelson narrates a hyperviolent expose of the alien entities behind subliminal messaging. And Jack Haldeman II imagines what will happen when the human mind reaches a moment of information overload.

Continue reading