Abstract

This article sketches some of the relationships between the technosciences (primarily biotechnology and biomedicine) and science fiction. Taken as a discursive practice, science fiction constructs futurological narratives of progress as well as conditions the very techniques and research that may have taken place. The tensions and inconsistencies within the biotech industry are considered as a zone where science fiction is put to work as negotiator and mode of legitimization. However, as cultural theorists such as Fredric Jameson and Jean Baudrillard suggest, science fiction can also fulfill a critical function, highlighting the contingencies and limitations in biotech's self-fulfilling narrative of future-medicine. A consideration of the emerging category of “net.art” provides one starting point for a critical science fiction practice.

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