“Supertoys Last All Summer Long”


“Supertoys Last All Summer Long”
(1969)
   The source for the STANLEY KUBRICK– STEVEN SPIELBERG film, A. I. , appeared in 1969 in BRIAN ALDISS’s story collection Moment of Impact. It was later reprinted in Man In His Time:The Best Science Fiction Stories of Brian W. Aldiss (1988). Although it is but an eight-page sketch, it is profound in its implications. The story is set in a vaguely defined near-future, when overpopulation has necessitated strict State control of reproduction. Prospective parents must wait in line for governmental permission to have children. Monica and Henry Swinton have had to wait four years for their number to come up. In the meantime, they have acquired a substitute child, three-year-old David, a computerized android, the product of biochemistry and synthetic flesh. David is no mere machine, however; he is capable of aesthetic pleasure and love. This places him apart from the standard artificial life-forms that have been developed—“plastic things without life, supertoys,” as his “father,” Henry, describes them. Puzzled by his own awakening consciousness, David feels alienated from a “mother” who does not love him, who is incapable of fostering love for a machine. Clumsy and inarticulate in his uneasy posture between human and machine—repeatedly, he asks himself, “Am I real?”—David’s future is uncertain with the imminent arrival of the Swinton baby. Perhaps,muses Mr. Swinton,“[David will] have to go back to the factory again. ” The revelation of David’s true identity as an artificial life-form comes only at the very end of the story. It is a shock, poignant and bittersweet. “Toys” perfectly embodies Aldiss’s definition of SCIENCE FICTION, which appears in Aldiss’s history of science fiction, The Billion Year Spree (1973): “Science fiction is the search for a definition of man and his status in the universe which will stand in our advanced but confused state of knowledge. ”
   References
   ■ Aldiss, Brian, The Billion Year Spree: The True History of Science Fiction (Garden City, N. Y. : Doubleday, 1973);
   ■ ———Man in His Time (London: House of Stratus, 2001).
   J. C. T.

The Encyclopedia of Stanley Kubrick. . 2002.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Super-Toys Last All Summer Long — is a short story by science fiction author Brian Aldiss, first published in 1969. The story deals with an overpopulated world where child creation is controlled, and the artificial superficiality of the American lifestyle has become more… …   Wikipedia

  • A. I. Artificial Intelligence —    Warner Bros. , 143 minutes, June 2001 Concept: Stanley Kubrick; Executive Producers: Jan Harlan,Walter F. Parkes; Producers: Bonnie Curtis, Kathleen Kennedy, Steven Spielberg; Director: Steven Spielberg; Screenplay: Steven Spielberg, Ian… …   The Encyclopedia of Stanley Kubrick

  • Aldiss, Brian — (1925– )    The author of “SUPERTOYS LAST ALL SUMMER LONG” (1969), the basis for the STANLEY KUBRICK–STEVEN SPIELBERG film, A. I. , is a distinguished SCIENCE FICTION writer, critic, and anthologist. A superb stylist and a socially committed… …   The Encyclopedia of Stanley Kubrick

  • Brian Aldiss — en 2005 Nom de naissance Brian Wilson Aldiss Activités Romancier …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Brian Aldiss — Infobox Writer name = Brian Aldiss caption = Brian Aldiss at Interaction in Glasgow, 2005 pseudonym = Jael Cracken birthdate = Birth date and age|1925|8|18|mf=y birthplace = East Dereham, Norfolk, England deathdate = deathplace = occupation =… …   Wikipedia

  • Spielberg, Steven — (1947– )    Spielberg was born in Cincinnati in 1947, but was raised in Arizona. He began making short films as a teenager in Phoenix, Arizona, and he made five student films while he was earning a degree in English at California State College.… …   The Encyclopedia of Stanley Kubrick

  • Brian W. Aldiss — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Brian Wilson Aldiss es un escritor británico de ciencia ficción nacido en Norfolk en 1925. Brian W. Aldiss …   Wikipedia Español

  • A.I. Intelligence artificielle — Pour les articles homonymes, voir AI. A.I. Intelligence artificielle Données clés Titre original Artificial Intelligence: AI Réalisation Steven Spielberg Scénario …   Wikipédia en Français

  • List of fictional robots and androids — This list of fictional robots and androids is a chronological list, categorised by medium. It includes all depictions of robots, androids and gynoids in literature, television, and cinema; however, robots that have appeared in more than one form… …   Wikipedia

  • Aldiss — Brian Wilson Aldiss (* 18. August 1925 in East Dereham, England) ist ein britischer Science Fiction Autor. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Biographie 2 Zitat 3 Bibliographie (Auswahl) 3.1 …   Deutsch Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.