This eye-opening debut is a compelling investigation into the implications of the cutting-edge technologies that aim to deliver the perfect partner, the perfect gestation, the perfect meat and the perfect death. The sceptical Kleeman makes a witty and tenacious guide as she probes unsettling visions of our human future; interviewing a sex robot, eating a lab-grown chicken nugget, watching foetuses growing in plastic bags, and meeting people determined on "rational suicide".
Kleeman approaches her subject with a winning scepticism. When McMullen loftily recalls his early years experimenting with latex and the female form in his garage (“I found that sculpture was my medium”), she privately notes how he talks “as if he were Rodin rather than the man behind the RealCock2”... It’s important to know that, of the innovations discussed here, no functional versions currently exist. So is Kleeman worrying us over nothing? Not entirely, since it seems likely they will go on the market one day, even if there’s no guarantee they will be desirable, let alone affordable. Reading her book, you are left dismayed not so much by what lies ahead as by the current reality of the men with planet-sized egos vying with one another to control birth, food, sex and death. It’s a habit that’s as old as the hills.