Not long after I wrapped work on Flight of the Vajra, a friend of mine commented that the universe I'd created was rich with other possibilities -- that it could be mined in much the same way Iain Banks (RIP) had mined his "Culture" universe for a whole slew of different stories.
"I don't think I want to do that," I said, and almost immediately felt terrible for doing so.
Two competing and conflicting impulses were at work within me. The first was the sense that he was right -- the universe of Vajra was (and is) a huge and rich one, from which any number of other stories could be derived. After all, why go through all the trouble of creating a whole new setting from scratch when I already had one all dolled up and ready to deliver?
The second was a far more complicated impulse, rooted in why I had created the Vajra universe in the first place.
A transhumanist should ask ‘What is this “me” that I’m trying to preserve and enhance? What is the point of what I’m doing? Who am I doing this for?’ The ultimate question of Transhumanism is one of identity.
The title I slapped on this is of course a callback to the magnificent David Gerrold, and the whole question of "Which 'I' am I?" is one that wove itself through most any book I found myself picking up, from Zamyatin's WE (the source of those very words, in fact) to most anything Phil Dick sneezed in the direction of.
The real issue for me here is how transhumanism too often boils down to leaving the rest of the human race behind -- that it is not about a rising tide that lifts all boats, but rather getting there firstest with the mostest, and about having yet another excuse to coddle and sanctify one's own ego above all else.