Frankenstein Syndrome

". . . from that moment I declared everlasting war against the species, and more than all, against him who had formed me and sent me forth to this insupportable misery."
— The Monster, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Many of the uninformed believe the story of Frankenstein to be historical. Scholars have in fact identified it as a cautionary tale from the late Industrial Age on Old Earth, before the technical ability to create such situations had actually arisen. Nevertheless this prescient work of fiction underlines a stark truth: created beings, particularly unhappy ones, may come to hate and despise their creators, and may even seek to destroy them. Not all of the less than perfect clades finish as protected and and relatively content minorities in some Keterist or Utopia Sphere preserve. Some are dangerous.

The story of Frankenstein, and its various echoes and re-tellings in the millennia since, has many parallels in fact and history. Practitioners of provolution, designers of new vec or neogen models, and programmers creating new AIs and virtuals study such cases if they are wise, and learn from them. Though the incidence of botched creations has fallen steadily since the first AIs, tweaks, and provolves were developed, and the number of corresponding suicides, murders, or even genocides has fallen with it, there are always those who refuse to learn from the mistakes of others, or those who attempt something radically new and fail.

For reasons best known to the Archailects, the creation of new forms of sapient life (biont, vec, AI, cyborg, or "other") is often left in the hands of SI:<1 beings or lower level transapients in the Sephirotic sphere. However the higher powers seem to survey these processes from afar. Sometimes they intervene, usually to avert some disaster. This is not necessarily the case elsewhere. Even with thousands of years of history to guide them, some clades and individuals along the leading edge of Terragen expansion, where controls are lax or nonexistent, blunder. Some pay a high price for folly.

One of the best known instances of mass Frankenstein Syndrome is the Children of Moreau movement of 5576. That situation spawned a cult and terrorist group among hominid splices that survives to this day. Some other famous historical incidents are the Angelnet Massacres of 7048, and the Crystalline Murders of 8840. The hideous subsumptions that took place in Paradys MCMVII are the most notorious instance of Frankenstein Syndrome in a virtual world.

"You are my creator, but I am your master. Obey!"
— The Monster to Frankenstein

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Development Notes
Text by Stephen Inniss
Initially published on 01 June 2005.