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Dread TridentTabletop Role-Playing Games and the Modern Fantastic$
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Curtis D. Carbonell

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781789620573

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789620573.001.0001

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The Posthuman in the Schismatrix Stories and Eclipse Phase

The Posthuman in the Schismatrix Stories and Eclipse Phase

(p.56) Chapter 2 The Posthuman in the Schismatrix Stories and Eclipse Phase
Dread Trident

Curtis D. Carbonell


This chapter examines exemplary texts within science fiction, Bruce Sterling’s Schismatrix stories and the TRPG, Eclipse Phase (EP). It begins by looking at SF as a mythic form of storytelling, one rooted in modernity. It uses literary theorist Istvan Csicsery-Ronay’s ideas in The Seven Beauties of Science Fiction (2008) to argue that tropes within SF are often highly fantastic, the cyborg transforming into posthuman tropes far beyond simple human-machine interfaces. In Sterling’s stories we see this dynamic in extreme forms of posthuman imaginings. With Sterling, he represents both transhuman and posthuman possibilities, some as extreme as biological space stations. In EP, players can choose a variety of characters to play that go beyond normative human forms into the strange and exotic. This provides a template for posthuman subjectivity.

Keywords:   Bruce Sterling, Schismatrix, Science fiction, Fantasy, Tabletop role-playing games, Posthumanism, Transhumanism, Posthumanization

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