Plain China

Transhuman Microfiction

by Emily Mesev · Grinnell College
A New World of Light, Jacob Fisher · Bard College

Transhumanism

the belief or theory that the human race can evolve beyond its current physical and mental limitations, especially by means of science and technology

 

1)     Cryonics

I wore my best dress for God because God knew what I’d done with the body beneath it. I worried that I wouldn’t see God until I died. I worried that I wouldn’t die. For years, I lay in a box without feeling. My body and my brain were frozen, and God was taking his time.

 

2)     Megascale Engineering

The world the engineers built was: vast; beautiful; cold; wonderful; frightening; visionary; grandiose; inhabitable; a paradise; grossly over-populated but not as over-populated as the Earth; only for the intelligent (which is to say all of us); of paramount importance; too expensive to create, and too necessary not to.

 

3)     Artificial Intelligence

Legs: Operational

Arms: Operational

Head: Operational

Brain: Operational

Sympathy: Operational

Jealousy: Operational

Creativity: Operational

Pain: Operational

Love: Operational

Remorse: Operational

 

4)     Gene Therapy

On the fourteenth of June, Mrs. Thompson went for anti-aging therapy.

‘This should add an extra eleven months to your lifespan,’ said her doctor.

The following year, Mrs. Thompson went for anti-aging therapy.

‘This should add an extra twelve months to your lifespan,’ said her doctor.

The following year, Mrs. Thompson went for anti-aging therapy.

‘This should add more than a year to your lifespan,’ said her doctor.

Every year thereafter, Mrs. Thompson went for anti-aging therapy. That is how Mrs. Thompson lived forever.

 

5) Autonomous, Self-Replicating Robots

     I. Build a robot and go to the moon.

     II. Set up a factory (it can produce whatever you like) and teach the robot how to work your factory.

     III. Leave the robot for ten years. Go have fun on Earth. Drink a lot, and spend a lot of money. Run a marathon. Direct a short independent film. Be afraid of things. Love something.

     IV. Repeat. 

 

6)     Cybernetics

Before the implant, I heard differently than you. I heard the weight of silence and its heat. I heard the feel of skin on my skin, the taste of the rain, and the sound of the dark. I heard the aches in my brain, and I heard my blood.

After the implant, I heard.

 

7)     Space Exploration

Some people wanted to go to places that were too hot, and some people wanted to go to places that were too cold. I asked my father, ‘Daddy, why can’t we stay here?’ I was little at the time, and I didn’t understand the big matters of life. My father just smiled and rubbed my head. We had to upgrade our bodies before we left Earth.

 

8)     Molecular Manufacturing

I punctured a lung. The surgeons put me on an operating table, and left the room. Is that all you do? I thought. Then the nano-robots went to work.

 

9)     My Brain Has Been Uploaded to a Computer

01101101 01111001 00100000 01100010 01110010 01100001 01101001 01101110 00100000 011010000 01100001 01110011 00100000 01100010 01100101 01100101 01101110 0010000 01110101 01110000 01101100 01101111 01100001 01100100 01100101 01100100 00100000 01110100 01101111 00100000 01100001 00100000 011000011 01101111 01101101 01110000 0110101 01110100 01100101 01110010

 

10) Virtual Reality

Every day I wake up on the ocean.

 

About the Author

Emily Mesev · Grinnell College

Originally from Northern Ireland, Emily Mesev graduated from Grinnell College in 2015 with a double major in English and Biochemistry. She now does biomedical research at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. "Transhuman Microfiction" first appeared in The Grinnell Review

About the Artist

Jacob Fisher · Bard College

Jacob Fisher is graduate of Bard College and an Installation Artist living and working in New York City. Jacob creates temporary installations that work at redefining the aesthetics of a space through a combination of unconventional materials, repetitive forms, and transformative light. He strives to create a visceral experience for viewers, something that is approachable to all. "A New World of Light" first appeared in Bard Papers