Moon - the value of cyborgs

Bruce N H

Active Member
Hey all,

Trying to get caught up in the reading before tonight's class on Moon and ran across an interesting passage. I'm hoping Corey will pull this quote for class and if not I'll try to raise it in questions.

In chapter 11, right after Manny acts as a judge in the trial of Stuart, he is explaining Loonie customs to Stuart: "men without women don't care whether they stay alive or not. Except a Cyborg, if you regard him as a man, which I don't."

I did a word search* and the term cyborg has shown up before. It appears that there are pilots who are cyborgs (one piloted the ship that brought Wyoh to the moon, another flies Warden out to the catapult), and there is mention that a university in China is working on combining human brains with computers, so cyborgs are a thing in this world. But in class we've talked about Mannie as a human becoming a machine (with his arms), and Mike as a machine becoming human. So in a sense both of them are kind of cyborgs (if not technically so in Mike's case).

I don't have any conclusions, I just thought this was a really interesting quote from Mannie.


* I found a pdf at this link: It's probably violating copyright, but I've got a copy of the book that I bought fair and square sitting next to me, so I figure I've done my part.
Google for the definition of cyborg, and you get
"a fictional or hypothetical person whose physical abilities are extended beyond normal human limitations by mechanical elements built into the body."
By that definition, Mannie is a cyborg, so he must mean something else by the term. I think in this novel a cyborg is a human brain (or a bit more) that's built into a machine, and definitely not a human being enhanced by mechanical and/or digital additions.

I find your extension of the concept to a machine becoming human fascinating and original - not the thing about machines wanting and even succeeding in becoming human, because that's actually become a SF cliché -- but denoting such a machine as a cyborg makes it into a nice circle.