Science Fiction – The Posthuman Future

The Posthuman Future
Dark Intelligence: Transformation Book One
by Neal Asher

Space Opera. Set in author Neal Asher’s Polity Universe, this trilogy opener stars Thorvald Spear, who died at the hands of rogue A.I. “Penny Royal” during the Prador-Human War over a century ago. Resurrected via his memory implant, his consciousness placed in a clone body, Thorvald now seeks revenge. He hires cybernetically enhanced Isobel Satomi to track down his nemesis, in the process jeopardizing his second life. For another dramatic, action-packed, and intricately plotted space opera with a large cast of characters, check out Kevin J. Anderson’s Saga of Seven Suns series.

by Greg Egan

Hard SF. By 2975, Homo sapiens has evolved into three distinct subspecies: two, the disembodied polises and the robotic gleisers, are sentient AIs who exist in a purely digital state; the third, fleshers, possess human brains encased in organic bodies. Diaspora follows Yatima, a spontaneously generated, agender orphan whose consciousness evolves as ve searches for the Transmuters, an ancient and incorporeal race with profound knowledge of the universe. For more SF that explores issues of identity and the nature of existence, check out Ann Leckie’s Imperial Radch trilogy, which begins with Ancillary Justice.

by Ramez Naam

SF Thriller. Just six months after the release of Nexus 5, a nano-drug that enables communication by linking minds, society teeters on the brink of chaos. While the Post-Human Liberation Front hijacks the brains of ordinary people and transforms them into unwitting assassins, agents from the ERD (Emerging Research Directorate) attempt to locate and eliminate the software that makes Nexus possible. Meanwhile, scientist Kaden Lane must decide whether to protect his creation or assist in its destruction. For the full experience of this highly connected futuristic world, start at the beginning of the series with Nexus; the suspenseful, thought-provoking trilogy concludes with the Philip K. Dick Award-winning Apex.

Saturn’s Children: A Space Opera
by Charles Stross

Space Opera. Humanity’s extinction leaves femmebot Freya Nakamichi 47, a concubine android designed for human clients, sadly out of work. In the centuries after humanity’s end, android society develops an all-too familiar class system: “slave-chipped” lower-class droids work for a wealthy minority of “aristo” droids, who continue their human creators’ dreams of space exploration. Super-sexy Freya struggles to remain a free agent, and — fleeing the unwanted attention of a powerful aristo — accepts work ferrying a mysterious package between Mercury and Mars. Author Charles Stross (a two-time Hugo winner) received a 2009 Hugo nomination for this old-school, adults-only (warning: explicit android sex), pulpy SF/space mystery praised by Booklist as “one of the most stylishly imaginative robot tales ever penned.”

by Peter Watts

Hard SF. Daniel Brüks is obsolete. He’s a field biologist in a scientific community that’s gone computational, an atheist in a faith-based society, and a mortal man trying to survive in an increasingly post-human civilization. Boarding the Rapture-guided ship Crown of Thorns, Brüks joins the hive-like Bicameral Order of monks and a genetically engineered vampire who are following in the footsteps of the Theseus mission, which vanished years ago after reaching the edge of our solar system. En route, Brüks and the crew discover a post-biological organism that challenges everything they know about the nature of life in the universe. Echopraxia serves as a companion novel to the Hugo Award-nominated Blindsight, although this book can be enjoyed without having read its predecessor.

List created 6/12/16 – James Hartmann

Adapted from Nextreads.

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