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Not too many years ago, back when I was studying useless but fun subjects in uni, an assignment for a Women’s Studies class forced me to contemplate a cybernetic future.

As it was pointed out to me, many of us are already walking cyborgs with our contact lenses, pacemakers and, I’m sure it would have been said had they been invented then, Google glasses.

Flash forward a couple more years and I found myself interviewing Max Barry, author of such books as Jennifer Government, Company and Syrup – the latter of which was made into a movie starring Amber Heard. Max also wrote Machine Man, which was the book I spoke to him about in 2011 in the lead up to his appearance at the Melbourne Writers Festival that year.

Machine Man takes cybernetics to its logical conclusion – a future in which we’ll be merrily doing away with our real parts so we can fit machine parts that do the job better. It’s also a book that he wrote by committee, sorta. He posted one page at a time online, and let the story be shaped by feedback from his fans.

Anyway, it’s a fun book and an interesting conversation, so have a listen.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Machine Man is published by Scribe.

Interview broadcasted on ArtSound FM.
Interview date: 23 August 2011.

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