With the astounding advances in biotechnology, superhuman powers that were once the stuff of legend or comic-strip fantasy now seem within our reach. Science fiction is fast becoming science fact, and many believe that the cyborg, an organism enhanced by mechanical, electronic, or chemical means, will produce the next leap forward in human evolution.
Ever since Daedalus strapped on wings, human beings have invented countless ways of overcoming their bodily limitations. Today silicone or collagen implants and plastic joints and valves cheat the aging process. Sophisticated medicines, pacemakers, and organ transplants defy death; and genetic engineering promises to bring major breakthroughs. With the harnessing of brain waves, paralyzed limbs will move again, and artificial limbs will do exactly what the wearer wants.
Marie O'Mahony is the guide on this amazing and excitingly illustrated voyage through metamorphoses, fictional and factual, from werewolves to cloning, from Frankenstein's monster to the scientist whose arm is controlled by another's thoughts, from the enhanced humans of science fiction to Cog, the robot sensitive to human moods.
The implications of the innovations to come, whether for good or evil, are also considered. What would it mean to be human if robots could do all the work? If our brains could be transplanted or uploaded, our worn-out bodies rejuvenated and beautified, and our natural powers and senses enhanced or manipulated? What if we could live forever?