The dilemmas of indefiniteness: Utopia, fluidity and subjectivity in Stone, by Adam Roberts

André Cabral de Almeida Cardoso, Carla de Figueiredo Portilho


Ae, the narrator-protagonist of the novel Stone, by Adam Roberts, is the only criminal in a post-human utopian society in which the use of nanotechnology has allowed humanity to reach its plenitude. Isolated from the rest of society, one day Ae is offered freedom and wealth if he agrees to kill the population of a whole planet. After accepting this offer, Ae must try to fulfil his mission at the same time that he questions himself and tries to discover who his employers are. In developing the conflict between this deviant individual and the utopia in which he lives, Stone examines the limits of the utopia itself, which is based on the idea of flux and indefiniteness. The novel also explores the models of subjectivity created in the context of this utopia. The notion of utopia as a well-defined social project is replaced by the image of utopian bodies, influenced by technologies that challenge the definitions of the human and of the post-human. In establishing this network of tensions and indefiniteness, the novel offers the possibility that the marginalized sociopath might be the only one capable of examining in depth the reality of a world anesthetized by its own comfort.


Adam Roberts; Utopia; Identity; Fluidity; Post-human; Metaphysical Detective


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