EMSIAC Wars : Re-inserting the Human in Bernard Wolfe’s Limbo

Ryder, Mike (2020) EMSIAC Wars : Re-inserting the Human in Bernard Wolfe’s Limbo. Extrapolation, 61 (3). pp. 249-267. ISSN 0014-5483

[thumbnail of E61.3 Ryder EMSIAC Wars - Accepted Manuscript for PURE]
Text (E61.3 Ryder EMSIAC Wars - Accepted Manuscript for PURE)
E61.3_Ryder_EMSIAC_Wars_Accepted_Manuscript_for_PURE.docx - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (67kB)


Bernard Wolfe’s dystopian satire Limbo (1952) remains a critically under-discussed work, and despite its many controversies, offers important insight into the ethical dilemmas surrounding modern-day drone warfare and human-machine relations. While the EMSIAC war computers in Limbo may be blamed for World War III, they are only ever a scapegoat to shift blame away from the humans who follow orders blindly, and themselves behave much like machines. To this end, this paper will explore the ethical implications of Wolfe’s novel and what it means for the way we wage wars with robotic drones controlled by humans from afar.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Additional Information:
This is the accepted version of the following article: ‘EMSIAC Wars: Re-inserting the Human in Bernard Wolfe’s Limbo’, which has been published in final form in Extrapolation, vol. 61, no. 3. [doi.org/10.3828/etr.2020.14]. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with the Liverpool University Press Self-Archiving Policy
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? limboautonomydroneseniacbernard wolfescience fictionplayer pianomachineethicsdecision-makingrobotrobotisationchamayouderridacultural studiesliterature and literary theory ??
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
19 Oct 2020 12:30
Last Modified:
03 Jan 2024 00:26