M. R. Carey’s unique novel The Girl with All the Gifts examines the intersection of human nature, natural rights, and the political future of transhumanism. Carey’s novel is rare in the canon of dystopian literature, in that it portrays humanity’s imminent extinction not as the result of human action—or inaction; there is no external, extraterrestrial force dismantling the world as we know it, nor has human technology escaped its masters’ control. In the context of the novel, the extinction of humanity is not necessarily a negative outcome. The creatures initially presented as zombies are revealed to be humanity’s successors: creatures with human intelligence that lack many human frailties. Carey’s novel posits that human things—literature, philosophy, reason, poetry—may transcend humanity itself. Through the lens of Carey’s novel, we examine the political and philosophical implications of a humanity ultimately bounded by the vicissitudes of nature.


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pp. 343-361
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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