Home > Reading > The Transhumanist Wager by Zoltan Istvan

The Transhumanist Wager by Zoltan Istvan

transhumanist wager




Philosopher, entrepreneur, and former National Geographic and New York Times correspondent Zoltan Istvan presents his bestselling visionary novel, The Transhumanist Wager, as a seminal statement of our times.

Scorned by over 500 publishers and literary agents around the world, his indie philosophical thriller has been called “revolutionary” and “socially dangerous” by readers, scholars, and religious authorities. The novel debuts a challenging original philosophy, which rebuffs modern civilization by inviting the end of the human species—and declaring the onset of something greater.

Set in the present day, the novel tells the story of transhumanist Jethro Knights and his unwavering quest for immortality via science and technology. Fighting against him are fanatical religious groups, economically depressed governments, and mystic Zoe Bach: a dazzling trauma surgeon and the love of his life, whose belief in spirituality and the afterlife is absolute. Exiled from America and reeling from personal tragedy, Knights forges a new nation of willing scientists on the world’s largest seasteading project, Transhumania. When the world declares war against the floating city, demanding an end to its renegade and godless transhuman experiments and ambitions, Knights strikes back, leaving the planet forever changed.



Ok, it took me a while to finally get to this book. I can see where controversy would surround it. Transhumanists are a minority, just like any other. The difference is, they’re a minority of scientists and philosophers openly admitting to what many wish to achieve, immortality. They want to become immortal. They don’t want to die in hopes of some glorious afterlife. They want to extend their lives infinitely. They are mostly met with scorn, especially by America and Judeo-Christian  cultures. For some reason, they take offense to the experiments to elongate life. And of course one evangelist takes the lead to cast them down as the scum of society.

Jethro is an extremist. There’s really no other way to describe him. He doesn’t do the moderation thing. He’s aggressive and at times, I like him because he doesn’t concern himself with the superficial idea of modern man, but at other times I hate him because he’s so unyielding. Zoe is a nice counterpart for him. She believes in transhumanism, but she also believes in death. She’s a bit more realistic and clearly spiritual. She believes there is a possibility of an afterlife, and should she die she’s ready to meet it.  Jethro cannot accept death. It just feels wrong to him and it tends to make him a bit of an asshole, to put it nicely.

The story itself interest me. Because honestly this is the way humans react to what they don’t understand. This is especially true in America. If a movement like this gained widespread fame here, I could see this book being the way we would react. This book had me quite angry in some points, to the point that I had to remind myself it was fiction and not current events. Very absorbing, very thought provoking.


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