Transhuman Page

Cultural Sphere


Transhumanist Reading

Transhumanists as a rule tend to read a lot. This is just a small sample of texts that are of transhumanist interest, are written by transhumanists or otherwise relate to transhumanism.


On-Line Texts
Book Reviews
Book Lists
Other Sites
See Also

The Integration of Literature and neuroscience... And Its Inhibitors by Dan Engber (The Harvard Brain, Spring 1996. PDF version). On the meeting between neuroscience and literature, and the problems that ensue.


The Myth of Prometheus, by Jean Lang. One of the central myths in transhumanism (and western culture).

Clarke's 2001. A explanation by Greg Burch about why he regards 2001 as one of the best transhumanist visions. Includes a very transhuman quote from the book.

Quotes from 'Neverness' by David Zindell

On-Line Texts

Short Stories

Steelhead by St. Boniface (CT 2:4).

Kadath in the Cold Waste by Edward Keyes. Short story covering many transhuman questions; both utopic and dystopic, depending on view.

Quicksilver by Anders Sandberg. A small nanotech nightmare.

Uploading -- A Little Wishful Fiction by Robert Munafo.

Charles Stross

Charles Stross has written several rather dark stories with themes of transhuman interest; see his Fiction Page.

The Boys. A disturbing science fiction story about a run-down posthuman space habitat.

Generation Gap Transhuman juvenile delinquents?

Greg Egan

The Extra by Greg Egan. What about using clone bodies as easy sources for transplants? (French translation as le Réserviste)

Closer by Greg Egan. Identity and intimacy can get rather bizarre in a transhuman society.

The Moral Virologist by Greg Egan. What happens when genetinc engineering gets in the hands of people with a cause? (Italian translation as Il Virologo Morale)

The Planck Dive by Greg Egan. Posthumans exploring the nature of spacetime - but can they stand the poet?

Yeyuka by Greg Egan. Are there medical problems that cannot be solved with a nanodevice that can cure nearly any disease?

TAP by Greg Egan. An implant enabling people to communicate entire concepts directly, who could object to that?

The Planck Dive by Greg Egan. Posthumans exploring the nature of spacetime - but can they stand the poet?

See also the list at Greg Egan's own home page.

Electronic Books

Out of Control: The Rise of Neobiological Civilization About how our technology is becoming more like biology, turning away from the old industrial era paradigm of rigidity and control towards a networked world of adaptability.

Scratch monkey by Charlie Stross. A dark novel set in a future where von Neumann probes build a growing interstellar computer network to house the uploaded minds of dead people, ruled by artificial intelligences. Mail the author for password.

Moths to the Flame: The Seductions of Computer Technology by J. E. Rawlins. See especially the final chapter A Creation Unknown.

The World, the Flesh & the Devil, an Enquiry into the Future of the Three Enemies of the Rational Soul, by J. D. Bernal (1929). A classic text that describes an early vision of transhumanism.

Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology by Eric K. Drexler. The classic book on nanotechnology and its possibilities.

Unbounding the Future: the Nanotechnology Revolution by Eric Drexler and Chris Peterson, with Gayle Pergamit.

Review of Unbounding the Future by John Murray.

Authors and Reviews of Transhumanist Books


Review of The World of 2044 (in gzipped LaTeX), by Phil Goetz.

Review of Rifkin's The Biotech Century by Charles Platt. A kind of warning against Rifkin and his followers.

Freeman Dyson

World-class physicist and thinker, showing that science and humanism can be combined into a whole. In many ways he represents the humanist side of transhumanism.

Books of transhuman interest include Disturbing the Universe, Infinite in all Directions, Imagined Worlds and Time Without End: Physics and Biology in an Open Universe

Who is Freeman Dyson? in the Dyson Sphere FAQ.

Marshall T. Savage

Founder of The First Millennial Foundation, an organisation devoted to his Millennial Project, a program for space colonisation based on first developing artificial islands, then ground-orbit accelerators, space colonies and in the long run a galactic civilization.

Review of the Millenial Project, by Phil Goetz.

Review of the Millennial Project by Jonathan Burns

Ed Regis

Review of The Great Mambo Chicken and the Transhuman Condition by Ed Regis, by Howard Rheingold.

Kevin Kelly

Out of Control: The Rise of Neobiological Civilization About how our technology is becoming more like biology, turning away from the old industrial era paradigm of rigidity and control towards a networked world of adaptability.

Review of ``Out of Control'' by Melanie Mitchell. (Postscript)

Review by Alison Stuebe (The Chronicle Online).

Review by Anders Sandberg (Extropy Magazine)

Mark Dery

Escape Velocity by Mark Dery. A critique of cyberculture. A tonic for Wired? See also Geert Lovink's interview with Mark Dery.

Damien Broderick

Books of transhumanist interest The Spike and The White Abacus.

Review of The Spike by Race Mathews.

Gregory Stock

Review of Metaman by Gregory Stock by Keith Schengili-Roberts.

Review of Metaman by Hans Moravec

Hans Moravec

Roboticist at Carnegie Mellon University, one of the most vocal proponents of strong AI and uploading.

Books of transhumanist interest Mind Children and Robot, Being.

Robot, Being: mere machine to transcendent mind, About Hans Moravec's forthcoming book.

Virginia Postrel Website for Virginia Postrel's The Future and It's Enemies.


Science fiction is relevant to transhumanism because it addresses questions raised by science about the possibilities and limits of technological (and other forms of) advancement.

Greg Egan

Greg Egan is one of the rising hard science fiction authors. Many of his stories touch themes or problems close to transhumanism, such as identity, ethics, uploading, genetics and modification of the mind.

Books of transhuman interest include Axiomatic, Quarantine, Permutation City, Distress and Diaspora

Greg Egan's Home Page

Greg Egan Fan Page

Eidolon on Egan. Links to interviews, fiction, nonfiction etc.

Danny Yee's Reviews of Greg Egan.

Interveiw with Greg Egan in Ibn Qirtaiba September 1996.

Review of Diaspora by Anders Sandberg.

Vernor Vinge

Vernor Vinge is a favorite of many transhumanists and the originator of the singularity concept.

Works of transhuman interest include True Names and Other Dangers, Across Realtime, A Fire Upon the Deep.

Page on Vernor Vinge

Reviews of Vinge's Books at Lysator

Charles Stross

Works of transhuman interest: Scratch Monkey, several short stories.

Charles Stross Home Page.

James P. Hogan

James P. Hogan

Linda Nagata

Books of transhuman interest: The Bohr Maker, Tech Heaven, Deception Well and Vast.

Linda Nagata's Home Page

Review of Tech heaven, The Bohr Maker and Deception Well.

Bruce Sterling

Works of transhuman interest: Schismatrix, the Shaper/Mechanist stories.

The Shapers -- and Mechanists -- of things to come. Review by Curt Wohleber of Schismatrix Plus by Bruce Sterling.

Review of Schismatrix

Walter John Williams

Works of transhuman interest: Aristoi.

Walter John Williams

David Zindell

Epic and philosophical science fiction set in a remote future where mankind has diverged into many nearly incomprehensible cultures and species, ranging from neo-neanderthals to jupiter brains.

Works of transhuman interest: Neverness, The Broken God, The Wild, War in Heaven.

Seekers of the Ineffable Flame. A David Zindell homepage.

Review of Neverness by David Zindell by Eric S. Raymond.

Stanislaw Lem

Polish philosophical science fiction author. His large production covers many areas of transhuman interest such as the development of technology, artificial intelligence, philosophy, science, nanotechnology, the singularity and alien intelligence. His works are frequently satirical and very funny, while at the same time deeply inte llectual.

Stanislaw Lem

Vitrifax: The writing of Stanislaw Lem by Matt McIrvin.

Iain Banks

Iain Banks is known both for his science fiction and non-sf works. In many of his sf works he describes the Culture, a transhuman interstellar civilization and how it interacts with other civilizations.

Culture Shock - the unofficial Iain Banks web site.

A Few Notes on the Culture by Iain M Banks. A discussion of Banks' imaginary transhuman Culture and how it works. Contains many interesting transhuman ideas.

Greg Bear

Greg Bear Page

Paul Di Filippo

Ribofunk: The Manifesto by Paul Di Filippo. Speculative acknowledging biology as the most relevant area of development. While the ribofunk movement so far has not taken off, it is a fun manifesto.


Book of the Week at Hedweb.

Mark/Space Interplanetary Review:

John Barnes: Mother of Storms
Greg Bear: Blood Music
Greg Egan: Quarantine, Permutation City, Axiomatic, Distress, Diaspora
Linda Nagata: The Bohr Maker, Tech Heaven, Deception Well
Olaf Stapledon: Last and First Men, Starmaker.
Neal Stephenson: The Diamond Age
Walter John Williams: Aristoi
Bruce Sterling: Schismatrix Plus


Sarah Marr's Transhumanist Booklist. An excellent booklist, with contributions from the subscribers of the transhuman and extropian mailinglists.

GBN Book Club selections. Many books here seem (or are) quite interesting. My own recommendations from their list:

Earth by David Brin.
Engines of Creation and Unbounding the Future by Eric Drexler.
Infinite in all Directions by Freeman Dyson
Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.
Mind Children by Hans Moravec.
Envisoning Information by Edward Tufte.
OUT OF CONTROL: The Rise of Neo-biological Civilization by Kevin Kelly.
The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson
The Case For Mars by Robert Zubrin and Richard Wagner.
At Home In the Universe by Stuart Kaufmann.

Burch's Readings Page

Extropian Reading List by Richard Johnson.

Important Literature Page by Damien Sullivan. I agree that most of these are important.

See also

Transhumanities Page
Philosophy Page

Anders Sandberg /