Visions of the virtual : the role of computers and artificial intelligence in a selection of Australian young adult fiction
journal contributionposted on 2005-09-01, 00:00 authored by Elizabeth Braithwaite
Advances in computer technology over the last twenty years have resulted in a number of different visions of what it means to be real, and of what it means to be human. This paper will explore how computers and artificial intelligence are used as major themes in four Australian novels written for young adults: Gillian Rubinstein’s Space Demons trilogy — comprising Space Demons, Skymaze and Shinkei — and Michael Pryor’s The Mask of Caliban. In so doing, the paper will look at how these texts explore the relationship between increasingly developed technology and visions of a better world. By comparing a series of oppositions that occur in all four books, this paper will look at how the theme of technology is used to privilege particular values and to advocate particular beliefs.