The supersoldier (or super soldier) is a fictional concept soldier, often capable of operating beyond normal human limits or abilities either through genetic modification or cybernetic augmentation.
Supersoldiers are common in military science fiction literature, films, and video games. Examples include Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein and The Forever War by Joe Haldeman. Supersoldiers are also prevalant in the science fiction universe of Warhammer 40,000 and The Horus Heresy. Critic Mike Ryder has argued that the supersoldiers depicted in these worlds serve as a mirror to present-day issues around sovereignty, military ethics and the law.
Fictional supersoldiers are usually heavily augmented, either through surgical means, eugenics, genetic engineering, cybernetic implants, drugs, brainwashing, traumatic events, an extreme training regimen or other scientific and pseudoscientific means. Occasionally, some instances also use paranormal methods, such as black magic or technology and science of extraterrestrial origin. In entertainment, the creators of such programs are viewed often as mad scientists or stern military personnel depending on the emphasis, as their programs would typically go past ethical boundaries in the pursuit of science or military might.
Some fictional supersoldiers can also be categorized as cyborgs or cybernetic organisms because of augmentations that are intended to enhance human capabilities or to exceed physical human restrictions.
In the book The Men Who Stare at Goats (2004), Welsh journalist Jon Ronson documented how the U.S. military repeatedly tried and failed to train soldiers in the use of parascientific and pseudoscientific combat techniques during the Cold War, experimenting with New Age tactics and psychic phenomena such as remote viewing, astral projections, "death touch" and mind reading against various Soviet targets. The book inspired also a war comedy of the same name (2009) directed by Grant Heslov, starring George Clooney.
- First Earth Battalion
- Future Soldier 2030 Initiative
- Human enhancement
- List of psychoactive drugs used by militaries
- Project MKUltra
- Archetypes in fiction
- Space marine
- Fictional examples
- Adeptus Astartes
- Captain America
- Winter Soldier
- Bloodshot (comics)
- Clone trooper
- Master Chief (Halo)
- Soldier Boy
- Starship Troopers
- ↑ The future soldier. A Soldier Domain for Full Spectrum Warfare. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
- ↑ Ryder, Mike (2021). "Conscripts from birth: war and soldiery in the grim darkness of the far future". Fantastika 5 (1). https://www.fantastikajournal.com/_files/ugd/25b7cd_00c235625eec42eeb2fa47fc01ce51be.pdf. Retrieved 12 November 2022.
- ↑ Armin Krishnan (24 October 2013). "The Cyborgization of Human Soldiers". Footnote1. http://footnote1.com/robots-soldiers-cyborgs-the-future-of-warfare/.
- ↑ Tim Adams (21 November 2004). "Acting the giddy goat.". Book review. Guardian News. https://www.theguardian.com/theobserver/2004/nov/21/politics. "The Men Who Stare at Goats by Jon Ronson, Picador, pp.240."
- ↑ Heussner, Ki Mae (Nov 9, 2009). "Psychic Spies: Any Truth in 'Men Who Stare at Goats?'". ABCnews.com. https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/psychic-spies-truth-men-stare-goats/story?id=9032019#.UeHh31V7P2E. "Ronson, Jon (2009). The Men Who Stare at Goats. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1439181775. "
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