Re: The hazards of writing fiction about post-humans

From: Giu1i0 Pri5c0 (
Date: Tue May 03 2005 - 10:41:03 MDT

I suppose the trick is finding a balance between making the characters
too human (it would not be believable) and too posthuman (no reader
would understand).
I think Egan does this well (Diaspora and Schild's Ladder), Wright
less (especially Phaeton is really a 19th century person).
I look forward to reading your book, is it available as ebook?

On 5/3/05, Damien Broderick <> wrote:
> is an interesting review of my new sf novel GODPLAYERS. The reviewer is
> especially exercised by the fact that my posthuman characters are not
> immediately understandable -- indeed, beyond empathy -- by human standards:
> <the frustration level mounts as one waits in vain... for characters... to
> display any hint of a genuine inner life as they move randomly from scene
> to scene, world to world, reality to reality. Perhaps Vorpal homunculi do
> not possess inner lives, and Broderick's point is that these seeming
> superhumans, for all their power, are soulless automatons without a shred
> of humanity.... Surely there should be some character, somewhere in a
> novel, to which human readers can feel connected. ...As the sequence of
> events grows increasingly frenzied, with ever-greater reliance placed on
> what might be termed info-splatters, the lack of a deep humanistic
> substrate left this reader, at least, with no ground to stand on. >
> I'm torn in my response to this. On the one hand, it wouldn't make much
> sense to write about posthumans as if they were representations of the
> people down the road, or in the next room. On the other, I have tried to
> ground the fairly breakneck narrative within thematic structures and
> reverberations recognizable from myth, dream, and the traditions of
> science-fiction itself when it ventures upon the superhuman. Greg Egan met
> with this same objection, of course, and so, in various degrees, did John
> C. Wright and Charlie Stross. Maybe it's an artistic problem beyond
> solution -- for humans.
> Damien Broderick

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:51 MDT