Utopian Studies 29 (1):21-43 (2018)

ABSTRACT Lovecraft and Stapledon imagined alien societies as utopias whose order and destiny derive from their citizens' eugenically altered physiologies. Stapledon's focus on eugenics as a means for achieving utopia during the interwar period is well known, but Lovecraft's worldview is generally understood to be dysgenic and dystopian in its obsession with racial and cultural degeneration. Lovecraft's fullest depiction of an alien civilization, the Old Ones in At the Mountains of Madness, relies upon a eugenic prehistory that is never explicitly narrated. The Old Ones' implicitly eugenic origin accounts for the utopian features of their society but also foreshadows their fall to their genetically engineered slave species, the shoggoths, which supplant their creators through their superior adaptability. The failure of the Old Ones' eugenics of homogeneity contrasts with the triumph of the eugenic project of diversification pursued by the Symbiotic civilization, which leads the cosmos to utopia in Stapledon's Star Maker.
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DOI 10.5325/utopianstudies.29.1.0021
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