Aliens, Robots & Virtual Reality Idols in the Science Fiction of H. P. Lovecraft, Isaac Asimov and William Gibson


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(as of Sep 20,2020 20:22:54 UTC – Details)


H. P. Lovecraft’s aliens are extra-terrestrial, terrestrial & trans-dimensional entities, totally unlike any other aliens in science fiction literature. In contrast, Isaac Asimov's and William Gibson’s aliens are human created positronic robots and virtual reality constructs, or 'idols'. Lovecraft’s great theme is alien indifferentism, tinged with a malevolence that escalates into an existential, apocalyptic threat against humankind, while for Asimov and Gibson, alien inclusionism is the norm. The robots and the VR idols integrate into society and their influence appears to be beneficial. But this is only on the surface. In this book, John L. Steadman demonstrates that there is ultimately little difference between alien indifferentism and alien inclusionism in the fictional works of these three great writers. For in fact, the robots and the VR idols evolve into monsters whose actions bring about outcomes which are every bit as terrifying as anything in Lovecraft’s work. Humans tend to be isolates ('alien'-ated). The reader is invited to question this, and to consider the possibility that an alien perspective, or platform, might, perhaps, be crucial if we intend on seeing ourselves clearly and understanding exactly what it means to be human.


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