Post-Human Futures. "Transcension", by Damien Broderick and "Schild's Ladder", by Greg Egan. [review]
Since 1990 Australian science fiction (SF) has undergone an extraordinary renaissance. These new books by Broderick and Egan, "Transcension" and "Schild’s Ladder", are at the genre’s cutting edge. Both writers attempt to imagine worlds that have undergone truly radical change, as a result of which humanity itself has been superseded or deeply altered. Such post-human scenarios are now debated intensely within the genre, as its practitioners reflect upon the contemporary technological trajectory. Once the possibilities for powerful new technologies, such as nanotechnology and artificial intelligence (AI), become clearer, the debate will increasingly spill over into the intellectual mainstream, a process already underway. Today’s serious SF themes are tomorrow’s mainstream social and political issues.