Supermen: Tales of the Posthuman Future

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Mind-expanding explorations of the future of the human form

Our bodies and minds are malleable, and only the imagination is the limit to the possible improvements. From genetics to artificial enhancements, humanity will alter the course of its own evolution. Included here are more than twenty stories from the most imaginative writers in the field, including:

Poul Anderson

• James Blish

• Eric Brown

• Ted Chiang

• Tony Daniel

• Samuel R. Delany

• Greg Egan

• Joe Haldeman

• Geoffrey A. Landis

• Paul McAuley

• Ian MacLeod

• David Marusek

• Tom Purdom

• Robert Reed

• Joanna Russ

• Robert Silverberg

• Brian Stableford

• Bruce Sterling

• Charles Stross

• Michael Swanwick

• Liz Williams

• Gene Wolfe

• Roger Zelazny

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Entertaining and thought-provoking."

Kirkus Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Another theme-centered SF anthology from the prolific Dozois: writers offer cautionary examinations of the dubious, horrific, and comic possibilities of human engineering. Though the scientifically tweaked human being goes at least as far back as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, the Übermenschen in these 26 previously published stories reflect the more modern science fictional concern of what James Blish, in his own story "Watershed," calls "pantropy": the ability to use technology to alter human beings so they can thrive in new environments. Avoiding two familiar genre classics, Daniel Keyes's weepy "Flowers for Algernon" and Philip Jose Farmer's salacious "The Golden Man," Dozois makes selections that are mostly about how pantropic wish-fulfillment brings ironic results: Roger Zelazny's half-man, half machine in "Halfjack" finds interfacing with a spaceship more fulfilling than sex with a woman, while drug-enhanced, dueling supergeniuses learn to kill with a single word in Ted Chiang's "Understand." Gene Wolfe posits a nightmare race of feral human cannibals preying on the few survivors of planet-wide bio-catastrophe in "Werewolf as Hero," while the pantropically pumped-up mass murderer in Bruce Sterling's "Spook" loves his job because being normal is no fun. But being super is not fun to the alienated spacemen of Samuel Delaney's "Aye, and Gomorrah" or to the burned-out, technologically obsolete cyber wizards in Charles Stross's hilarious "Toast: a Con Report." Dozois ends with a trio of short social satires culminating in Robert Charles Wilson's "The Great Goodbye," where the human condition is defined as being content with the way things are. Entertaining and thought-provoking companionto Worldmakers, Dozois's collection of terraforming stories (p. 1460).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312275693
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 1/15/2002
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 450
  • Sales rank: 1,318,218
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Gardner Dozois edits the Year's Best Science Fiction anthologies and Asimov's SF magazine from his home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has won the Hugo Award for Best Editor many times.

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Table of Contents

The Chapter Ends 1
Watershed 18
Slow Tuesday Night 26
Aye, and Gomorrah 32
Nobody's Home 41
The Hero as Werwolf 54
Halfjack 66
Dancers in the Time-Flux 71
Spook 85
Understand 97
None So Blind 125
Mortimer Gray's History of Death 133
Brother Perfect 181
A Child of the Dead 223
Nevermore 229
The Wisdom of Old Earth 246
Toast: A Con Report 255
The Gardens of Saturn 267
Grist 294
Fossil Games 340
The Wedding Album 373
Steps Along the Way 413
Border Guards 421
Epilogue 440
Homo Sapiens Declared Extinct 442
A History of the Human and Post-Human Species 444
The Great Goodbye 449
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