Clarkesworld publisher Neil Clarke collects a
reprint anthology of artificial human-themed short fiction.
The idea of creating an artificial human is an old one. One
of the earliest science-fictional novels,
Frankenstein, concerned itself primarily with the
hubris of creation, and one’s relationship to one’s creator.
Later versions of this “artificial human” story (and indeed
later adaptations of Frankenstein) changed the focus
to more modernist questions… What is the nature of humanity?
What does it mean to be human?
These stories continued through the golden age of science
fiction with Isaac Asimov’s I Robot story cycle, and then
through post-modern iterations from new wave writers like
Philip K. Dick. Today, this compelling science fiction trope
persists in mass media narratives like Westworld and
Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, as well as twenty-first
century science fiction novels like Charles Stross’s
Saturn's Children and Paolo Bacigalupi’s The
The short stories in More Human than Human
demonstrate the depth and breadth of artificial humanity in
contemporary science fiction. Issues of passing . . . of
what it is to be human . . . of autonomy and slavery and
oppression, and yes, the hubris of creation; these ideas
have fascinated us for at least two hundred years, and this
selection of stories demonstrates why it is such an alluring
and recurring conceit.
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