The Transhumanist Wager
In a desperate world marred by religious fanaticism and political corruption, philosopher Jethro Knights seeks to usher in a shining new age. Through scientific and technological advancements, Knights claims that one day humans can achieve absolute immortality. However, when the governments of the world label this collective field of transhumanism as dangerous and delinquent, Knights and the world’s greatest scientific minds found their own nation to spark the Transhumanist Revolution.
Throughout the course of The Transhumanist Wager, author Zoltan Istvan demonstrates great adeptness at crafting complex characters. Jethro Knights, the novel’s principle protagonist, is especially compelling. He is fearless and unrelenting in both his dedication to his cause and the pursuit of his own immortality. This makes him quite admirable, but he is by no means perfect. He is prone to fits of frustration, rage, and even sorrow, which makes him seem more human and relatable. Equally impressive are the novel’s villains. Reverend Belinas, for example, leads the incredibly influential Redeem Church which commands enough sway to make or break American political careers. He acts as an excellent foil for Jethro Knights by balancing both amazing charm and cruelty.
The novel, unfortunately, does not fully succeed in its use of dialogue. In many chapters there are exchanges between characters that just seem stilted and unnatural, chiefly due to characters utilizing speech a bit too elevated for believable casual conversations. Furthermore, there are a few spots where characters deliver long, grandiose speeches that grind the progression of the story to a halt. However, Istvan breaks up these speech scenes with some admittedly satisfying action sequences.
Dialogue issues aside, The Transhumanist Wager is quite the rewarding overall read. The characters are well developed and exist in a competently built fictional world almost frighteningly similar to the real one. The plot may drag at times, but the mostly engrossing story will certainly appeal to philosophers and futurists alike.
|Futurity Imagine Media LLC
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|Science Fiction & Fantasy