The Human Future?

Artificial Humans and Evolution in Anglophone Science Fiction of the 20th Century

This study investigates the artificial human as a central motif in Anglophone science fiction of the 20th century. It explores how robots, cyborgs, androids, clones and digital subjects are represented as constitutive parts of the human future within the modern metanarrative of evolution, ranging from utopian hopes for greater human agency to dystopian fears of unprecedented determinism.

This book discusses the artificial human as a focal point for multiple, intersecting discourses on human identity in relation to fundamental 20th-century developments. The analysis of a representative selection of novels, short stories and plays sets out to unravel the complex visions of future humanity at the intersection of literature and science. The study demonstrates how an evolutionary perspective serves to dramatize the human condition, from early stories of bioengineering and machine ethics to narratives of postmodern cyborgisation and a posthuman digital humanity.


Johannes Rüster in: Inklings, 38 (2021), 161-163

Natalie Roxburgh in: Anglistik, 32.2 (2021), 176-177