Forecast Friday: Subhuman

“Captain, although your abilities intrigue me, you are quite honestly inferior. Mentally, physically. In fact, I am surprised how little improvement there has been in human evolution. Oh, there has been technical advancement, but, how little man himself has changed.” – Khan Noonien Singh, Star Trek: Space Seed

Khan is referring to man’s progress under normal evolution, which is a very slow and unpredictable process. If there is going to be a noticeable change in man, it will happen because WE force it (that’s how Khan came about.)

What will it mean to be HUMAN?

Will it be like in Blade Runner? The skin-jobs were considered human in appearance only – they created near (even superior) humans and treated them as subhuman because they built them in the lab, or in a factory.

What of enhancements we foist on our children – will those children be considered subhuman, too? Will it be the same as the way we handle Genetically Modified Organisms? GMOs have patents – if a farmer grows corn from seed with the patented marker, the corn isn’t his. Even if the errant seed goes off on its own into a parcel of land where no one has a claim, the corn will still belong to the inventor. I’m sure whoever starts fiddling with the human genome will patent their work as well, and whoever is gifted with it will be – at least partially – someone else’s property. And when they pass on that trait to their own children, they will be property, too.

Imagine – you have a fatal, hereditary disease, and you have gene therapy to correct the problem. The company that creates the therapy has saved your life, and now you owe them a life debt. Or maybe a Big Brother Government will mandate that everyone subject to their jurisdiction be treated, like today’s vaccinations. You and your children are theirs, now.

There will be some genetic test to look for these GMO markers in supposed humans, too. And I wonder – if you were a GMO and produced offspring that didn’t have those markers, would your children be free? Or would they be ruled subhuman, too?

I was reading Orson Scott Card’s Prentice Alvin, in which there are finders whose “nack” is to be able to hunt down fugitive slaves (the finders are just asserting property rights, after all.) That’s an alternate history fiction, but it’s built on reality (as is Blade Runner) – we humans have a sad history of seeing the different as less than ourselves – regardless of how little that difference might be. How human does someone have to be before we treat them as such?

Just saying…


The June 30th ePub will be “Victimless” – it’s just a short story, so there won’t be a preorder campaign – 7 days to format, figure out and design a cover.


JD2DowntownBluesCoverWilliam Mangieri’s writing, including his most recent publication Downtown Blues:  Detective Jimmy Delaney Collection #2,  can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords:
• His Amazon Author page:
• Barnes & Noble:
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books):
• His site on WordPress:
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:
• His Goodreads author page:
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri


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