The Desire for Immortality: The Posthuman Bodies in Ken Liu’s The Waves

Journal of Science Fiction and Philosophy 6 (2023)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In the industrial era, advanced science and technology make immortality-obsessed human beings constantly develop, modify, and reshape their bodies and consciousness, to overcome the fragility and transience of their bodies and approach the dream of immortality. The transformation of the body, in turn, drives society to confront the co-existence of cyborg, transhuman, information subject, nomadic posthuman and other life forms. Focusing on Chinese-American writer Ken Liu’s science fiction the Future Trilogy, Arc, and The Waves, this paper attempts to explore the metamorphosis of the body and the ethical choices in the tension between death and immortality, embodiment and disembodiment. Immortality is not a Utopian paradise but causes many ethical problems and loss of continuity of time, space, history, and identity. Liu’s works suggest that the solution to the problem of posthuman disembodiment involves embracing embodiment and recognizing the importance of memory and social interaction in the formation of one’s identity, affirming that memory and the interaction with others are necessary conditions for the formation of the subject’s identity. Blending genesis myths and technological immortality, Liu explores the possibility of creating new life different from human beings. The posthumans depicted are always in the status of becoming, eager to discover the new world, and indicate the author’s expectations for the bright new future.


Added to PP

301 (#42,793)

6 months
301 (#3,659)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?