• Abstract

    This scholarly investigation aims to meticulously examine the various mechanisms employed by British science fiction writer Neal Asher in his works, including the Transformation trilogy (2015–17), Lockdown Tales (2020), and Lockdown Tales 2 (2023), to convey the erosion of humanity following profound physiological and cognitive changes. This research highlights how Asher skillfully combines elements of Lovecraftian grotesqueness with intricate portrayals of physical horror, thereby challenging conventional categorizations. These narratives feature a diverse ensemble of human and non-human protagonists, each subjected to transformative biotechnological, computational, and psychological enhancements. These processes raise questions about the feasibility of preserving even a semblance of humanity in an overwhelmingly advanced, distinctly post-human cosmological environment. While both biotechnological and Lovecraftian modes of horror explore humanity’s insignificance within a vast, indifferent, and often malevolent universe, Asher’s body of work consistently delves into the theme of how humans can retain their inherent humanity in the face of monstrous metamorphosis. Additionally, this investigation elucidates how such transformations give rise to the emergence of the “other” within oneself and the monstrous “Other” that takes center stage in the narrative. By exploring these themes, this study contributes to the scholarly discourse on the intersection of horror, transformation, and the preservation of humanity in science fiction literature.

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How to cite

Patra, I. (2023). Exploring the intersection of Lovecraftian monstrosity and techno-body horror in selected works of Neal Asher: an examination of (post-)humanity. Multidisciplinary Reviews, 6(1), 2023009. https://doi.org/10.31893/multirev.2023009
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