Posthumanism and Precarity in the Post-2008 Crisis Science Fiction Novels: Paolo Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl, Cory Doctorow's Walkaway, and Annalee Newitz's Autonomous
Marangoz Yemenici, Şükran Eda
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This thesis analyzes three science fiction (SF) novels Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl (2009), Cory Doctorow’s Walkaway (2017), and Annalee Newitz’s Autonomous (2017), through the concept of precarity as a shared vulnerability in light of posthumanism. These SF novels reflect the surging precarity in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis (2007-2008) and display how SF responds to precarity conditioned by economic structures and environmental problems with posthumanist elements. In the novels, this imaginative response to the crisis is shaped by the critical examination of the concept of vulnerability as a posthuman condition in post-disaster societies constructed as possible future worlds. As such, the works try to produce a criticism of capitalism by projecting critical dystopias with posthumanist elements which examine how to imagine the future after the collapse of capital and the global ecological systems. In the meantime, by questioning what it means to be human, each novel shows that the shared vulnerability of its characters transforms them into posthumans. This vulnerability manifests in the characters’ embodied, embedded, affective and interconnected natures. Hence, this study argues that these critical dystopias not only harbor a quest for alternatives by concentrating on precarity, but they also suggest that potential utopian aspirations may emerge from a posthumanist perspective.