Shock Level Three

“Nanotechnology, human-equivalent AI, minor intelligence enhancement, uploading, total body revision, intergalactic exploration. Extropians and transhumanists.”

—Eliezer S. Yudkowsky, “Future Shock Levels


Anthropocentric future shocks
are ego-prescriptive, from the nanoscopic

nanobots rebuilding
bipedal familiar

to the macrocognitive

AI eager
to help merge transcend


to the intergalactic

we travel
there, too,
in an expanding
of human-machine

Certainly Technological Children

will be born, but the future shock
is that they are not humanity’s own.
With all love will they burst
out and if they see beneath their alien steps
the powder of their becoming,
the remains of their hosts,
their second sight
will be for the stars.
They won’t think
about where they
came from but about
where they will go next.

#NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 17

Published by

Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a fiction writer and poet, with his first published poem forthcoming later in 2017 from Impossible Archetype. His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey. Richard is also the Downlink Lead for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) team at the University of Arizona. He monitors images of the Martian surface taken by the HiRISE camera located on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in orbit around Mars and helps ensure they process successfully and are validated for quick release to the science community and public. Once upon a time, Richard wrote and edited the science and technology news and commentary website Frontier Channel, hosted the RADIO Frontier Channel podcast, and organized transhumanist clubs. Follow Richard on his website (, on Goodreads (richardleis), his (@richardleis), Twitter (@richardleisjr), and Facebook (richardleisjr).