It’s been a busy month or two of reading the six wonderfully varied books shortlisted for this year’s Wellcome Book Prize. The judges will announce their result on Monday, but today our informal shadow panel is posting its winner, and our winner is:
TO BE A MACHINE by MARK O’CONNELL
Here’s what the shadow panel say about this brilliant book:
The concept of transhumanism may not be widely known or understood yet, but O’Connell’s engaging and fascinating book explains the significance of the movement and its possible implications both in the distant future and how we live now.
My brain feels like it’s been wired slightly differently since reading To Be A Machine. It’s not just about weird science and weird scientists, but how we come to terms with the fact that even the luckiest of us live lives that are so brief.
An interesting book that hopefully will provoke further discussion as we embrace technology and it envelops us.
Rarely have I been so surprised to love a book. It’s a delight to read, and no matter what your background or beliefs are, it will give you plenty to think about. It goes deep down, beneath our health and ultimately our mortality, to ask what the essence of being human is.
And me (read my full review here):
O’Connell, as a journalist and outsider in the surprisingly diverse field of transhumanism, treats everyone with respect: asking the questions, but not judging, to get to the heart of the transhumanists’ beliefs. For a subject based in technology, To Be a Machine is a profoundly human story.
We can’t wait to see what the judges pick… Meanwhile, I’ve enojoyed the process hugely, and thank you to Rebecca for organising it all.