‘Amazed anew’: The Posthuman Dream, the Repetitive System, and Novum Decay in Modern Works of SF
AuthorsHay, Jonathan D.
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AbstractThis study contends that modern texts within the Science Fiction genre can be seen to espouse a posthuman dream, and so to encourage the (post)human reader, viewer, listener, or player to consider the posthuman potentialities of our species’ future in correspondence with their own social present. Modern Science Fiction texts achieve this figurative function through the employment of repetitive systems, through which they prominently depict recognizable elements of the (post)human present within their otherwise radically defamiliarizing posthuman milieu. Therefore, whilst the newnesses within Science Fiction texts have commonly been presumed to be the predominant element of the genre, this study enjoins that the mundane, quotidian or banal elements of the genre are just as vital to its constitution. This radical rereading of the genre is not heedlessly contrarian, but rather comprises an important critical intervention within the fields of Critical Posthumanism and Science Fiction Studies. By arguing that Science Fiction readers phenomenologically experience the nova of the genre decaying in imaginative potency at an intratextual level, this study proposes that the (post)human engagement with the genre is an extension of our species’ penchant to rapidly become entirely habitualized to emerging technologies, despite them originally containing a quality of awe-inspiring novelty. Therefore, the ample ability of readers to become habitualized to the newnesses within the genre exposes the vast imaginative potential of our species, even as it emphasises the absolute reliance of the posthuman future on the (post)human present. As such, through the textual analysis of a range of works published during the last quarter-century, this study asserts than modern works of Science Fiction have a calculated posthuman purpose. To be exact, modern Science Fiction texts invite an understanding that posthuman concerns should be dictated by a number of pressing species-wide concerns of the (post)human present, as opposed to the dictates of any fanciful conception of the future.
CitationHay, J. D. (2018). ‘Amazed anew’: The Posthuman Dream, the Repetitive System, and Novum Decay in Modern Works of SF. (Masters thesis). University of Chester, United Kingdom.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
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