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Old 11-29-2015, 11:32 AM   #21
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Default Re: The best Transhuman scii-fi novels?

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There was a short-lived TV series, Century City, focused on a mid-twenty-first century law firm in Los Angeles, that exemplified that principle quite beautifully.
I think it's an underutilized side of fantastic fiction. You rarely see an author take a literary style story and place it into science fiction or fantasy. I had an English professor who looked down on "genre fiction" and made us read some absolutely horrendous "contemporary literary" short stories and I couldn't help but think about Isaac Asimov writing Caves of Steel to prove a similar critic wrong. (He also claimed "contemporary literary" outsold genre fiction, which is apparently news to the publishing industry who almost unanimously agree romance outsells everything else.)
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Old 11-29-2015, 12:56 PM   #22
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I missed out on the transhumanism trend in sci-fi, but the GURPS setting interests me so I bought it. I'd like to understand the genre better, though. Which are the best transhumanist sci-fi novels?
Wasn't Frankenstein basically a Transhumanist novel? Think about it. Victor Frankenstein was basically trying to create a superior human. In many ways the creature is superior to ordinary humans, he just looks bad and never got to learn social skills.
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Old 11-30-2015, 01:19 AM   #23
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Wasn't Frankenstein basically a Transhumanist novel? Think about it. Victor Frankenstein was basically trying to create a superior human. In many ways the creature is superior to ordinary humans, he just looks bad and never got to learn social skills.
Phil Masters did rant thusly in the last year or so, yes. The chief failure of Victor was to provide no parenting to Adam.
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Old 11-30-2015, 09:45 PM   #24
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These six are my 6 favorite writers

Neal Asher
Stephen Baxter
David Brin
Peter F Hamilton
Alastair Reynolds
Dan Simmons
[I]Revelation Space[I] by Alistair Reynolds is quite good. Its sequels fail to live up to the high bar it sets, but the second book in the trilogy offers some interesting glimpses into Conjoiner (sort of like a hive-mind) society and uplifted animals. The related book The Prefect deals even more directly than Revelation Space with whether a simulation is a person or not.

Somewhat nearer-future, but definitely in the crunchy hard SF spirit of Transhuman Space, is Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson, which details colonizing Mars.

If you've not read Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, do so, even if it is Earthbound, and then give Blade Runner another watch.

Not a book, but the film Moon is worth watching, especially for the psychological aspects.
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Old 12-01-2015, 02:11 PM   #25
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Donald Kingsbury's Psychohistorical Crisis has notable transhumanist aspects. It's primarily a deconstruction of the Foundation series; but its setting is a future Galactic Empire where the human race has radically diversified, and virtually all the new races have improved cognitive abilities. There's a sequence where the hero visits Earth and is amazed at the unimproved brains of the locals. And the opening scene has the hero being sentenced to death—which means that they leave his organic body untouched, but take away his cybernetic attachment and vaporize it, leaving him bereft of most of his cognitive abilities and a substantial part of his memories, and thus unable to function normally in his society.
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Old 12-02-2015, 09:45 AM   #26
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It's not a novel, but if you like GURPS Transhuman Space you will love the Orions's Arm Universe Project:
http://www.orionsarm.com/
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Old 12-05-2015, 12:25 PM   #27
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When you think of it, many early pieces of Sci-Fi were Transhumanist.

Rappaccini's Daughter involves a profound biological transformation of two young people.

Coppelia has a lifelike android.

The Invisible Man, The Island of Doctor Moreau, and The Time Machine are just three of Wells works with heavy transhumanist themes.

I'd say that most science fiction from before 1930 that still gets read tends toward strongly Transhumanist themes in some basic way.
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Old 12-05-2015, 09:01 PM   #28
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The Invisible Man, The Island of Doctor Moreau, and The Time Machine are just three of Wells works with heavy transhumanist themes.
I'm baffled at that opinion. The Time Machine does propose that human nature can be changed, but (a) the change takes place through natural selection rather than intelligent design and (b) it is not an enhancement but the loss of human capabilities. And The Island of Dr. Moreau is a Swiftian satire that says that "humanity" has not truly been attained even in humans: that we are half-humanized animals enslaved to a code of law imposed on us by pain and terror.
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Old 12-06-2015, 01:12 PM   #29
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I'm baffled at that opinion. The Time Machine does propose that human nature can be changed, but (a) the change takes place through natural selection rather than intelligent design and (b) it is not an enhancement but the loss of human capabilities. And The Island of Dr. Moreau is a Swiftian satire that says that "humanity" has not truly been attained even in humans: that we are half-humanized animals enslaved to a code of law imposed on us by pain and terror.
Uplifting animals into neo-humans is a Transhumanist theme, even if it shouldn't be.

Also, humanity evolving into clades, and Morlocks and Eloi are clearly different species, is also a Transhumanist theme.

Wells wrote a lot of Utopias, Transhumanism is the 21st century equivalent of Utopian fiction. They cover similar themes and ask the same kind of big questions.
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Old 12-07-2015, 12:38 AM   #30
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Uplifting animals into neo-humans is a Transhumanist theme, even if it shouldn't be.

Also, humanity evolving into clades, and Morlocks and Eloi are clearly different species, is also a Transhumanist theme.

Wells wrote a lot of Utopias, Transhumanism is the 21st century equivalent of Utopian fiction. They cover similar themes and ask the same kind of big questions.
I'm not talking about Wells's utopias in general. I'm talking about the specific novels you named, none of which is a utopia. And I don't think either of those I discussed is transhumanist. Uplifting animals may appear in transhumanist fiction, but it isn't what makes it transhumanist; and this is doubly so in a story of a tragically failed experiment in uplift. And while transhumanist fiction could have humanity evolving into clades, not all such evolution is transhumanist; surely it's required that the clades should be forms of Homo superior. Both Eloi and Morlocks are, if anything, Homo inferior.
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