Alistair Brown
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Is posthuman incest possible?
Science fiction and the futures of the body
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In evaluating the interplay of biological and social interpretations of the incest taboo, most literary commentaries have used fiction to show how notions of incest have changed historically through the variable of culture; in these accounts, the biological body remains a constant, whilst society adapts its parameters for what counts as incest. However, science fiction introduces material embodiment itself as a variable, as it hypothesises bodies that can be altered (e.g. through genetics) or even eliminated (e.g. through virtualising the mind via a computer). Through comparing three science fiction novels, this chapter evaluates whether such changing types of embodiment will also change the way in which society approaches the incest taboo, or even remove it entirely.

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