Virtual Love in the Posthuman Age: A Discussion of Electronic Lovers in the Science Fiction of Lu Ping and Shi-Kuo Chang
Chiang Hsin-Li (Institute of Sinophone Studies, National Tsing Hua University)
The science fiction novels Record of Artificial Intelligence (written by Lu Ping, 1989), Golden Silk Dress and Portrait of Jenny (written by Shi-Kuo Chang, 1993) explored the emotional entanglements between human males and female robots. Lu Ping and Shi-Kuo Chang further collaborated on an experimental novel Spy Catcher, and afterward these two writers separately speculated on gender relations in human-robot romance in the posthuman age; therefore, similar to Spy Catcher, the three afore-mentioned science fiction novels, Record of Artificial Intelligence, Golden Silk Dress, and Portrait of Jenny demonstrated the divergent perspectives of male and female writers on the same issue. This paper aims to discuss love construction, gender relations, and utopian imagination in the posthuman age through three texts, Body Narratives of a Female Robot, Construction and Deconstruction of Virtual Love, and Gender Utopia in the Posthuman Age, all science fiction novels. In these books, written near the end of the twentieth century, we seem to see their predictions for the current lonely generation that refuses to reproduce and is emotionally isolated; we may project that these traits will intensify over time and be realized in the apocalyptic post-human era depicted in this science fiction.
Golden Silk Dress, Portrait of Jenny, Record of Artificial Intelligence, body narratives, gender utopia