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"Desertion"

    "Desertion", written by Clifford D. Simak in 1944, follows the story of an army commander and his dog. The story is set on Jupiter, where a military commander, Harold Fowler, has been losing men in his attempt to colonize the planet. The men have been lost when they are biologically turned into aliens called lopers. Fowler's base on Jupiter is doomed to fail due to the inhospitable conditions of the planet if new materials cannot be discovered to withstand Jupiter's environment. For this reason it is necessary to convert people into lopers, the only naturally living creatures on jupiter, in hopes that these people lopers can learn more about the planet.
    Fowler, unable to bear sending more of his subordinates to possible deaths, volunteers himself to be converted. Through a futuristic machine Fowler and his dog are turned into Lopers. They have a single task which is to go to  a specific point and return to base. When the pair become lopers they most obviously discover their ability to telepathically communicate, reviling Fowler's dog to be a sentient begin capable of a
dvanced thoughts. Very quickly the two realize how limited their prior existence was, and decide not to return to base of fear of being turned back into man and dog. 

"Because our human bodies were poor bodies. Poorly equipped for thinking, poorly equipped in certain sense that one has to have to know. Perhaps even lacking in certain senses that are necessary to true knowledge" (Slmack 187 ).

"'They would turn me back into a dog,' said Towser.
'And me,' said Fowler, 'back into a man.'" (Simak 188).

    "Desertion" is an interesting story because of the philosophical post-/anti- humanism questions it raises with ought ever really examining any specific technology that is considered a core of H+ futuristic visions. Instead of modifying themselves and their human functions through technology Fowler and his dog completely change species. This change is outside the realm of H+ because it completely discards human existence in any recognizable form, and the characters mode of existence is un-relatable and beyond imagination in the realm of the fantastic. On a philosophical level however this story has more in common with post-/anti- humanism than one might think. By rejecting human existence for the alien, the characters subvert our preconception that human existence is special and tangibly worth living i
n comparison to other creatures. Rather than accepting humanity as flawed and modifying himself to reach  higher existence, Fowler does away with his human existence all together.  This goes beyond post-humanism in its subversion of human existence, the characters are not concerned with what it means to be human, but have rather found a more ideal existence outside human experience. The stories take on human existence is driven home by the existence of Fowler's dog Towser. When in loper form, Towser and Fowler exhibit equal mental capacity, stripping humanity of the uniqueness of reason. This denial of humanities intrinsic virtue is in itself characteristic  of anti-humanism. This story lacks however, any characteristic post modern nihilism, making it hard to categorize. By destroying human notions of our own importance through upbeat story telling "Desertion" takes on a unique anti- and post-humanist outlook, which uses technology not so that we can become more human, but so we can become something totally alien.
    
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