The term is in general use, not only in sf Terminology but in common parlance, to mean a Monster that ultimately turns and rends its irresponsible creator. Note that in the original novel Frankenstein was the name of the creator and not of the monster, though in popular usage it is often assumed that the monster itself is Frankenstein; note also that the novel's monster, though ghastly in appearance, begins life as a gentle soul who is gradually made monstrous by his creator's and humanity's horrified rejection. In critical talk, Frankenstein is often equated with Prometheus and Doctor Faustus, two other legendary Icon figures who were guilty of hubris in their quest for knowledge, and struck down. Isaac Asimov's Robot stories refer repeatedly to the "Frankenstein Complex" – a term he introduced in "Little Lost Robot" (March 1947 Astounding) – generalizing the Paranoia-spawned fear of retribution for impious creation from biological to mechanical beings. Discussions of future AI possibility are likewise frequently tinged with the Frankenstein complex. Relevant anthologies include The Ultimate Frankenstein (1991) edited by Byron Preiss and (anonymously) Martin H Greenberg and The Frankenstein Omnibus (anth 1994) edited by Peter Haining. [PN/DRL]
see also: Frankenstein; Horror in SF; Monster Movies; Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley; Zombies.
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