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Supertoys Last All Summer Long (2001)

by Brian W. Aldiss

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498743,293 (3.19)18
The title story, Supertoys Last All Summer Long, soon to be a major film directed by Steven Spielberg, tells of a young boy who, whatever he does, cannot please his mother. He is puzzled by this, not realising that he is an android, a cunning construct of artificial intelligence - as is his one ally, his teddy bear. It was a story that hugely affected Stanley Kubrick (director of 2001) and Steven Spielberg (who perhaps saw in his forthcoming movie AI (Artificial Intelligence) a complement to his ET!). The other stories in the collection, whether SF, utopian fantasy or dark fable show a master writer at the peak of his considerable powers.… (more)
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Showing 5 of 5
After not being too fond of the first book I read by Brian Aldiss, this was a pleasant surprise. The trilogy of Supertoys stories were probably my favorites, but there were a lot of very interesting titles in here, and the variety in his style was great. Some stories were narratives, while others were written in the style of conversations or essays; some were scientific and embraced the ideas of research and exploration while others were more mystical or straight-up strange. Sex was also a factor in some of the stories, as one seemed mainly just to set up a giant 80-person orgy.

I was a little torn about my feelings for the ideals behind the stories. While I loved the subtle inclusion of LGBT characters (including a story about a trans woman, which may have been the first trans character I've found in fiction), I was bothered by the fact that the lead character of one of his stories just casually rapes someone and nothing really comes of it. Some of his stories also seem to be poorly-disguised rants about his beliefs (in particular, "Beef," which very strongly recommended vegetarianism).

In short, his work is very contradictory: representative, yet problematic; fantastical, yet preachy. However, the good stories far outweighed the bad, and this collection definitely renewed my interest in the author. I will probably give another of his novels a shot someday. ( )
  NovelInsights | Sep 21, 2019 |
As histórias mais interessantes são as que foram adaptadas no filme A.I. As restantes são por vezes meta-filosóficas religiosas, mas existem algumas interessantes. Confesso que estava à espera de mais. ( )
  bruc79 | Jul 31, 2015 |
A very mixed bag. The stories that everyone seems to buy this book for are the first 3, which are the best of the bunch. After that some of the stories are just down right preachy about vegetarianism. Also I didn't realize that descriptions of settings could be classified as "short story." There was one very good and haunting story about life after death, and I enjoyed the forward and the insights into the writing attempts on the AI script. ( )
  Rosenectur | Oct 17, 2013 |
Showing 5 of 5
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The title story, Supertoys Last All Summer Long, soon to be a major film directed by Steven Spielberg, tells of a young boy who, whatever he does, cannot please his mother. He is puzzled by this, not realising that he is an android, a cunning construct of artificial intelligence - as is his one ally, his teddy bear. It was a story that hugely affected Stanley Kubrick (director of 2001) and Steven Spielberg (who perhaps saw in his forthcoming movie AI (Artificial Intelligence) a complement to his ET!). The other stories in the collection, whether SF, utopian fantasy or dark fable show a master writer at the peak of his considerable powers.

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Source Material for Steven Sielberg's movie "AI"
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