Speculations about new medical advances have been a crucial aspect of science fiction since its origins in the 19th century, when such novels as Frankenstein and The Island of Dr. Moreau provided powerful mythic images of doctors with godlike abilities to create and transform human life. This book is the first full-length study of the speculative literature of medicine, with contributions by two science fiction novelists and several noted scholars. Chapters examine how science fiction stories have commented on and influenced the medical establishments of the past and present. But the volume also considers the strangely marginalized status of medical science fiction, concluding that the doctor's traditional focus on maintaining the health of the human body conflicts at a fundamental level with the genre's desire to transcend the human body. The first section provides broad surveys of the history of medical science fiction, ranging from 19th-century classics to major films of the 1990s. The second offers detailed examinations of important texts and series, including Guy de Maupassant's Le Horla, George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, James White's Sector General stories, the Alien films, and the Terminator films. A concluding bibliography lists more than 500 science fiction and fantasy novels, stories, films, and television programs involving disease and medicine as well as relevant nonfiction works and critical studies.