transhuman n.

a person who has gained abilities (as through genetic engineering or cybernetic augmentation) sufficiently advanced that they are regarded as a different species

In 1953 quot. referring to a normal human child raised by aliens.

SF Encyclopedia

  • [1953 ‘M. Leinster’ in Science Fiction + Dec. 4 (title of story) Murray Leinster bibliography

    The Trans-Human.]

  • 1978 R. C. W. Ettinger Introduction: Transhuman Condition vii R. C. W. Ettinger

    Now that some of us are beginning to take seriously and personally the prospect of life extension and radical improvement of people, we need more. If we are to become practicing immortals and nascent transhumans, we need at least rough outlines and a few details.

  • 1979 G. Rix Immortal in Science Fiction Review Jan. 50/1

    ‘Chanson Perpetuelle’, from a work in progress by Thomas M. Disch is one of these. It is used to lead off this transhuman future anthology; a bit of a mistake since you hate for this tale to end.

  • 1979 G. Rix Immortal in Science Fiction Review Jan. 50/3

    The story of Joseph Tyba, an immortal learning to need someone, is skilfully meshed with a tale of transhumans being molded into new patterns.

  • 1988 V. Vinge The Blabber in Threats…and Other Promises 253 Vernor Vinge

    I suppose she could be an ego frag. But most of those are brain-damaged transhumans, or obvious constructs.

  • 1991 E. Regis Great Mambo Chicken & Transhuman Condition 276

    Ah, but the skeptic might now observe that there was something dark and desperate about the new picture we had before us, where people were proposing schemes for…becoming supermen, making themselves into transhumans, and God only knew what other insane blasphemies.

  • 1997 Interzone May 12/2

    It is the century when it became possible to become transhuman, when humanity made the first steps beyond the surface of a single planet.

  • 1999 R. Rucker Saucer Wisdom 241 Rudy Rucker bibliography

    A saucer moves out of the TV screens and envelops Frank. He groans with joy. Unlike the other times, the masters of this saucer rotate themselves into Frank’s field of view without even being asked. To Frank’s great surprise, they’re humans, or rather transhumans: Our descendants from the fifth millennium.

  • 2001 M. Pesche in True Magic in True Names & Opening of Cyberspace Frontier 225

    We understand nothing of their motivations, only that they serve as the midwives who attend the birth of a trans-human who could—with a wish—destroy the world. The forces that pull humanity into the transhuman—as characterized in science fiction—represent that liminal zone between artifact and infinity, the phase transition between two states of undifferentiated regularity.

  • 2001 Dreamwatch Oct. 10/1

    Cameron reveals that Dark Angel will play upon its ‘biopunk’ theme by introducing a new range of mutant characters called ‘trans-humans’.

  • 2003 T. Antrim Does That Mean We Can Defrost Walt? in N.Y. Times Book Review 9 Mar. 19/3

    Though she’s around for only a few pages, Zed is one of Doctorow’s best inventions, a ‘transhuman…with a bewildering array of third-party enhancements: a vestigial tail, eyes that saw through most of the R.F. spectrum, her arms, her fur, dogleg reversible knee joints and a completely mechanical spine.’

Research requirements

antedating 1978

Earliest cite

R.C.W. Ettinger

Research History
Douglas Winston submitted a 1999 cite from Rudy Rucker's "Saucer Wisdom". Malcolm Farmer submitted a 1994 cite from Charles Platt's "Taking the N Out of Entropy". Malcolm Farmer submitted a 2001 cite from Mark Peschke's "True Magic". Malcolm Farmer submitted a cite from a 1991 reprint of Ed Regis' "Great Mambo Chicken and the Transhuman Condition"; we would like to check the 1990 first edition. Malcolm Farmer submitted a 1988 cite from Vernor Vinge's "The Blabber". Jeff Prucher submitted a 2003 cite from a review by Taylor Antrim in the New York Times Review of Books. Malcolm Farmer submitted a 1979 cite from a review by Gretchen Rix of the 1978 anthology "Immortal: Short Novels of the Transhuman Future (ed. by Jack Dann), and Irene Grumman submitted a 1978 cite from R.C.W. Ettingers's introduction to this anthology.

Fred Galvin found a reference in the ISFDB to a 1953 story by Murray Leinster, "The Trans-Human". Derek Hepburn confirmed the reference, but noted that the word is only used in the story title; Fred also located a paper copy and commented that the subject of the story is a kidnapped child raised by aliens, who is not augmented in any way.

Last modified 2021-01-08 03:56:20
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.