Cyborgs in fiction

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Cyborgs are a prominent staple in the science fiction genre. This article summarizes notable instances of cyborgs in fiction.


Examples in history

In 1966, Kit Pedler, a medical scientist, created the Cybermen for the TV program Doctor Who, based on his concerns about science changing and threatening humanity. The Cybermen had replaced much of their bodies with mechanical prostheses and were now supposedly emotionless creatures driven only by logic.

Isaac Asimov's short story "The Bicentennial Man" explored cybernetic concepts. The central character is NDR, a robot who begins to modify himself with organic components. His explorations lead to breakthroughs in human medicine via artificial organs and prosthetics. By the end of the story, there is little physical difference between the body of the hero, now called Andrew, and humans equipped with advanced prosthetics, save for the presence of Andrew's artificial positronic brain. Asimov also explored the idea of the cyborg in relation to robots in his short story "Segregationist", collected in The Complete Robot.

The 1972 science fiction novel Cyborg, by Martin Caidin, told the story of a man whose damaged body parts are replaced by mechanical devices ("bionics"). This novel was adapted into a TV series, The Six Million Dollar Man, in 1973, and a spin-off, The Bionic Woman in 1976. Caidin also addressed bionics in his 1968 novel, The God Machine.

In 1974, Marvel Comics writer Rich Buckler introduced the cyborg Deathlok the Demolisher, and a dystopian post-apocalyptic future, in Astonishing Tales #25. Buckler's character dealt with rebellion and loyalty, with allusion to Frankenstein's monster, in a twelve-issue run. Deathlok was later resurrected in Captain America, followed by two others in 1990 and 1999.

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