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Old 04-05-2015, 05:23 AM   #1
GM Joe
 
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Default The best Transhuman sci-fi novels?

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?
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Old 04-05-2015, 12:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: The best Transhuman scii-fi novels?

These six are my 6 favorite writers

Neal Asher
Stephen Baxter
David Brin
Peter F Hamilton
Alastair Reynolds
Dan Simmons
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Old 11-30-2015, 08:45 PM   #3
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Default Re: The best Transhuman scii-fi novels?

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Originally Posted by Gadget View Post
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, 01:11 PM   #4
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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, 08:45 AM   #5
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Default Re: The best Transhuman scii-fi novels?

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, 11:25 AM   #6
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Default Re: The best Transhuman scii-fi novels?

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 04-05-2015, 12:25 PM   #7
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Default Re: The best Transhuman scii-fi novels?

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Originally Posted by GM Joe View Post
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?
Just about anything Vernor Vinge has written, with the Ann Leckie ANCILLARY series coming up, though it is debatable whether the Leckie novels actually give a favorable presentation of transhumanism.

Greg Bear's EON series is good, as are his other works like BLOOD MUSIC and STRENGTH OF STONES, though again the transhumanist message is not always supportive, if that's what you are asking.
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Old 04-05-2015, 07:05 PM   #8
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Charles Stross' Children of Saturn and Neptune's Brood are the safetech version: technically transhumanist, but not alienating.
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Old 04-10-2015, 04:15 AM   #9
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Default Re: The best Transhuman scii-fi novels?

Bladerunner

Dark Angel tv series

Universal Solider (ok not that good)

I, Robot

Splice

Ex Machina
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Old 04-12-2015, 01:48 PM   #10
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Default Re: The best Transhuman scii-fi novels?

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Charles Stross' Children of Saturn and Neptune's Brood are the safetech version: technically transhumanist, but not alienating.
Vs. Accelerando, which is a lot more alarming. Glasshouse is also transhumanist, or posthumanist? Singularity Sky and Iron Sunrise.

Ken MacLeod's Star Fraction and the other three, Newton's Wake, and Learning the World. Cosmonaut Keep, less so, I think.

I think Varley's Eight Worlds stories can be called transhumanist, though with older and maybe different roots.

_Silicon Man_, Charles Platt.

Greg Egan's _Diaspora_ is waaay posthuman. So is Schild's Ladder, and maybe later. _Permutation City_. A lot of his short stories sort of feature biotech or neurotech transhumanism or related issues.

I feel bad about the plethora of male authors but Leckie has already been mentioned and I can't think of others. Cherryh sort of touches on things: _Voyager in Night_ has uploads (by aliens), _Cyteen_ has people playing with people (azi tape-raised clones, attempts to recreate geniuses) and _Serpent's Reach_ has some wonky background stuff, but none stand out as Transhuman Novels. Bujold has some: social effects of uterine replicators, and full blown sex change in a sexist society; also the transhuman haut, but they're usually not a focus.
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