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    Isa, Noor Munirah and Hj Safian Shuri, Muhammad Fakhruddin 2018. Ethical Concerns About Human Genetic Enhancement in the Malay Science Fiction Novels. Science and Engineering Ethics, Vol. 24, Issue. 1, p. 109.

    Wiegandt, Kai 2017. The Fascination with Unknown Time. p. 273.

    Covelo, Roxanne 2017. The Genetic Fluke in Zadie Smith and Philip Roth: Order, Chaos and Utopia. Neophilologus, Vol. 101, Issue. 4, p. 621.

    Strachan, Christopher Gordon 2016. Design, fiction and the medical humanities. Medical Humanities, Vol. 42, Issue. 4, p. e15.

    Bollinger, Laurel 2009. Containing Multitudes: Revisiting the Infection Metaphor in Science Fiction. Extrapolation, Vol. 50, Issue. 3, p. 377.

  • Print publication year: 2003
  • Online publication date: May 2006

12 - Science fiction and the life sciences

from Part 3 - Sub-genres and themes

Since humans are innately biological, and since most sf concerns human beings or other biological life forms, sf writers inevitably make biological assumptions - if only the default assumptions that the planets their fictional space travellers visit will have adequate gravity, air and exotic natives with the right number of chromosomes to interbreed. Such crude assumptions are commonly taken for granted in so-called 'hard science' stories that focus on the physics of space travel or interstellar warfare. Over the past decade, however, writers more often have turned to biology as the 'hard science' frontier of the future. The quest for outer space has given way to the quest for the genome. The great adversary is no longer an alien superpower, but the enemies within - cancer, AIDS, and bio-weapons - as well as the accidental results of genetic manipulation, and our own lifestyle destroying our biosphere. The engineering challenge of the future is less a matter of machines replacing living organisms than of machines imitating life's complexity.

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The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction
  • Online ISBN: 9780511998805
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