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bad one?) but its artificial creature is a landmark.Although the possi- bility of Rotwangs robots supplanting human workers seems not to have been developed in all versions of the film, the weirdly alluring female robot that becomes the debased double of a human is a fantas- tic intersection of human and machine, with powerful emotional un- derpinnings.

For all the impact of the robotic Maria, however, few female arti- ficial beings appeared in the 1930s and 1940s. One exception was in the 1935 film Bride of Frankenstein (the first of the spate of Franken- stein films that followed the original 1931 film, continuing up to contemporary film and television productions made as recently as 1998). But a relatively unknown story from the 1940s presents a dif- ferent image of a female artificial creature, and of cyborg aesthetics.

In the 1944 short story, No Woman Born,C.L. (Catherine Lucille) Moore, who wrote science fiction and fantasy when few women did so, created a female cyborg. Deirdre is a beautiful, interna- tionally famous dancer and singer.When she is terribly burned in a fire, the world mourns. Her brain, however, is undamaged, and the decision is made to house it in a new body. But what kind of body? Rather than reproduce her old form, the scientist Maltzer works with a team of other scientists and artists to devise an audacious alterna- tivea body that suggests female humanity but does not copy it.

The cyborg is made of golden metal that hints at Deirdres human skin tones, and sees through a masklike crescent colored the aquama- rine of her original eyes. Otherwise, the head is featureless, a smooth, delicately modeled ovoid . . . [with] the most delicate suggestion of cheekbones. . . . Brancusi himself had never made anything more simple or more subtle.Her limbs are made of bracelets that taper in diameter to fit one inside the other, giving a supple grace.The brace- lets are linked by neural currents, and so when Deirdres brain ages, she will die a clean and somehow enviable death as she dissolves in a shower of tinkling and clashing rings.Her voice, also under neural control, is the old Deirdres; along with the body, it is compelling.

Although Deirdre lacks touch, smell, and taste, and has trouble adapting to her new body, she seems to weather the experience well.

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