This book will appeal to everyone who reads science fiction or thinks about science and its impact on our lives. It raises profound economic, ethical, political, sociological, and psychological questions. It explores our fears and fantasies as it examines a range of fictions, films, and TV programs that speculate about the possibilities of humans in the future. The contributions here ask central questions that have provoked the creators and readers of science fiction since Mary Shelley inaugurated the genre with her novel Frankenstein. What are the aims and limits of science and technology? What are our responsibilities toward the products of our advancing science and technology? What kinds of creatures will we produce or encounter in the future? What rights will we grant to these creatures or - more worryingly - will they grant to us? Do science and technology make us more civilized or more barbaric? How should we treat each other? Ultimately, what does it mean to be human?
Louisa MacKay Demerjian received her Master's degree in English from the University of Massachusetts at Boston. She edited The Age of Dystopia: One Genre, Our Fears and Our Future (2016), which grew out of a panel held at the annual convention of the Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA), of which she is a member.Karen F. Stein is a Professor Emerita of English and of Gender and Women's Studies at the University of Rhode Island. She received an MA from Pennsylvania State University and her PhD from the University of Connecticut. A member of Phi Beta Kappa and Beta Phi Mu honor societies, she was selected Woman of the Year by both the University of Rhode Island Association of Professional and Academic Women and the Rhode Island Commission on Women. A specialist in modern North American women writers, she has presented conference papers and written books and articles on Margaret Atwood, Toni Morrison, Rachel Carson, and Adrienne Rich, and essays on Octavia Butler, Janet Frame, Susan Glaspell, Margaret Laurence, and Alice Walker. Her publications also include Margaret Atwood Revisited (1999) and Reading, Learning, Teaching Toni Morrison (2009).