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Aliens, Robots, Mutants, and Others

  • Russell Blackford
Chapter
  • 537 Downloads
Part of the Science and Fiction book series (SCIFICT)

Abstract

Science fiction tells stories of Intelligent Others: non-human or evolved-human beings with intelligence and (perhaps) moral significance. These may take the form of extraterrestrial or more local alien species, robots (and other artificially intelligent beings), or mutants. SF authors deploy all these for a range of effects and with a range of meanings, though the archetypal stories involve invasion by aliens, rebellion by robots, and the social rejection of mutants. These stories can present a mirror to humanity and human societies, displaying their faults and their dubious assumptions. Though Intelligent Others are most often threatening or monstrous, they also have a certain allure and are often depicted sympathetically. This creates a pressure for science fiction writers to move beyond anthropocentric ethics.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Russell Blackford
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Humanities and Social ScienceUniversity of NewcastleCallaghanAustralia

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