Transhumanist SF

GURPS Transhuman Space
GURPS Transhuman Space roleplaying game system. Written by David L. Pulver, Cover art by Christopher Shy. This seminal book and the others in the series broke away from the old style Space Opera of earlier GURPS science fiction rulebooks and tech levels, in favor of a more rigorous hard SF worldbuilding.

By Transhumanist Science Fiction I mean a genre usually included under Hard SF,and tending to be infused with tropes such as Technological Singularity, Dry Nanotech, Mind Uploading, and, at its most extreme, a sort of radical dualism and detachment from the body, according to which consciousness is a sort of ghost that can easily be uploaded and transferred from one meat body to another.

An example of this latter is the sleeving and cortical stacks of the Eclipse Phase roleplaying game, with its ease of consciousness transference between “sleeves” (bodies).  This is actually my only criticism of this otherwise excellent, creative commons licensed, roleplaying and worldbuilding project

As with the brain in the vat metaphor of philosophy, virtual existence is considered just as real and authentic as physical, as shown positively in the works of Greg Egan, and negatively in the Matrix movies

While there is some overlap with 1980s and 90s Cyberpunk, Transhumanist SF has a distinctive feel, especially with its downplaying or rejection of the urban noir setting and computer hacker ethos in favour of an emphasise on nanotech (matter hacking) and mind uploading technologies, a more optimistic, less dystopian, outlook, and a tendency towards libertarian political ideology.

On the whole, The Alcioneverse presents a much more biological, cyborgised, and embodied universe than a lot of cyberpunk-influenced, dualistic, body-negating, virch-heavy transhumanist SF/scifi.  I will say personally that this bloodless, dualistic, type of worldview leaves me cold; I much prefer the visceral, squishy, biological, immersive approach and my “biopunk” style of writing will reflect that.  A big influence here is the Bel Dame series of Kameron Hurley (God’s War and sequels)