Fafnir 1/2016

Fafnir – Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research 1/2016

Aino-Kaisa Koistinen, Jyrki Korpua & Hanna-Riikka Roine:
Editorial 1/2016

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Esko Suoranta:
The Ironic Transhumanity of William Gibson’s The Peripheral

Abstract: The article discusses transhuman futures in William Gibson’s 2014 novel The Peripheral. Through differing depictions of transhuman characters in two timelines coming into contact, Gibson presents various characters as metaphorical cyborgs. Some appear as ironic figures struggling with a capitalist system seeking to incorporate them, others follow a schizoid ethos, embracing, and sometimes embodying, the kleptocratic logic of Gibson’s worlds. Further, the novel examines the possibilities of technology to transform both individual experience and oppressive social structures. This interrogation reveals Gibson’s critical attitude toward technology alone as capable of overthrowing dystopian systems. Finally, the article interrogates the idea of mysterium tremendum et fascinans in relation to transformative technologies in the novel, in turn shedding light on Gibson’s criticism of singularity narratives. Through such an approach, the dystopian ironies of Gibson’s futures become clear: despite miraculous advancements, the dystopia remains the same for the characters inhabiting his worlds.

Keywords: William Gibson, The Peripheral, transhumanism, cyborg, embodiment, dystopia, tremendum.

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Victor Grech:
Remixing of individuals results in doomed new persons in Star Trek

Abstract: The science fiction genre is unique in that it allows almost magical remixes, including that of two separate physical individuals, such that the controlling mind becomes a single and seamless character. This occurs in three episodes within the Star Trek franchise. It will be shown that the circumstances leading to this event are validated in a pseudo-scientific way. The new, merged personality is shown to be increasingly reluctant to relinquish existence in order to allow the two previous personalities to re-exist. However, Star Trek’s respect for the sanctity of the individual’s boundaries forces this separation, reifying the old status quo even at the expense of a new entity that is greater than the sum of the original parts.

Keywords: merged personality, remixing of Individuals, science fiction, Star Trek.

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Marjut Puhakka:
A Book Review: James Burton – The Philosophy of Science Fiction. Henri Bergson and the Fabulations of Philip K. Dick.

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Jani Ylönen:
A United Effort on an Autonomous Island – A Report from Archipelacon

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