Iain M. Banks – Human, Posthuman and Beyond Human
Keywords:Iain M. Banks, Culture series, science fiction, posthuman, artificial inteligence
Iain M. Banks has been at the forefront of the space opera science fiction scene since the publication of the first Culture novel, Consider Phlebas, in 1987. Upon Banks’ death in 2013, the culture series became a complete body of work. Whilst some criticism has focused on the social and political implications of the culture universe, little has engaged with the philosophical concepts that underpin it in relation to the current debate regarding our posthuman future. This paper seeks to show how Banks problematises the relationship between the human and posthuman through an exploration of the representation of the posthuman body. Furthermore, it also seeks to address the implications of current concepts of what it means to be human by exploring the relationship between the posthuman and form of Artificial Intelligence that Banks presents. to illustrate these arguments, three culture texts will be discussed: The Player of Games (1988), Excession (1996), and “The State of the Art” (1989).
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