Mankind now has within its grasp the power to synthesize true artificial life, playing out Dr Frankenstein's dream in both cyberspace and the real world. In this book, Steve Grand, a leading exponent of artificial life, provides the first authoritative and comprehensive tour of the frontiers of this burgeoning new creation. He surveys what has been achieved so far and looks at future possibilities for generating autonomous, intelligent, even conscious living things. The fundamental questions he tackles range widely: what is life? What should the minds, brains and bodies of these new life forms be like? What philosophical guidelines and computational frameworks are necessary? At the heart of this brilliantly accessible and thought-provoking book is the author's unique imaginative vision - a vision based on his experience of making some of the most advanced artificial life currently available.