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Singularities:  Technoculture, Transhumanism, and Science Fiction in the 21st Century

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Singularities: Technoculture, Transhumanism, and Science Fiction in the 21st Century

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Author: Joshua Raulerson
Publisher: Liverpool University Press, 2013
Series: Liverpool SF Studies: Book 45
Book Type: Non-Fiction
Genre: Science-Fiction
Sub-Genre Tags: Singularity
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Synopsis

In a time of protracted economic crisis, failing political systems, and impending environmental collapse, one strand in our collective cultural myth of Progress - the technological - remains vibrantly intact, surging into the future at ramming speed. Amid the seemingly exponential proliferation of machine intelligence and network connectivity, and the increasingly portentous implications of emerging nanotechnology, futurists and fabulists look to an imminent historical threshold whereupon the nature of human existence will be radically and irrevocably transformed. The Singularity, it is supposed, can be no more than a few years off; indeed, some believe it has already begun. Technological Singularity - a trope conceived in science fiction and subsequently adopted throughout technocultural discourse and beyond - is the primary site of interpenetration between technoscientific and science-fictional figurations of the future, a territory where longstanding binary oppositions between science and fiction, and between present and future, are rapidly dissolving.

In this groundbreaking volume, the first to mount a sustained and wide-ranging critical treatment of Singularity as a subject for theory and cultural studies, Raulerson draws SF texts into a complex dialogue with contemporary digital culture, transhumanist movements, political and economic theory, consumer gadgetry, gaming, and related vectors of high-tech postmodernity. In theorizing Singularity as a metaphorical construct lending shape to a range of millennial anxieties and aspirations, Singularities also makes the case for a recent and little-understood subgeneric formation -- postcyberpunk SF -- as a cohesive body of work, engaged in a shared literary project that is simultaneously shaping, and shaped by, purportedly nonfictional technoscientific discourses.


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