Artificial Intelligence, Technology, Queerness, and Desire in Chris Moriarity’s Spin Trilogy

There is an alien encounter at the heart of cyberpunk, despite the genre’s usual lack of actual aliens. In accordance with cyberpunk’s central concern, its obsessive fixation on the fluid boundary between technology and humanity, the alien lurking in the genre’s secret heart is a technological alien: the artificial intelligence. The encounter between the technologically enhanced (or technologically invaded, take your pick) but nevertheless still-human (we think) protagonists and a defiantly inhuman—but often startlingly humane—AI is a stock plot point in the cyberpunk arsenal. And there is a stock character type belonging to these AIs who encounter cyberpunk’s human protagonists: a flirtatious, fluid, and emotionally labile type, an AI who seems, quite often, to have a larger emotional range than the humans it interacts with. This model of AI emerges…


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