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Supertoys Last All Summer Long: And Other Stories of Future Time Paperback – June 27, 2001
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In fairness, Aldiss has never seen his original story--nor the two pieces added later, "Supertoys When Winter Comes" and "Supertoys in Other Seasons"--as a Pinocchio fable at all. As he recounts in the wry, revealing foreword to this collection, "I could not or would not see the parallels between David, my five-year-old android, and the wooden creature who becomes human.... Never consciously rewrite old fairy stories." But the interpretation of the stubbornly eccentric Kubrick prevailed until Aldiss was "wheeled out of the picture."
These three excellent stories occupy just the first 35 pages of this compilation, but they accurately capture one of the great voices of British SF at his prime, with a plaintive, thoughtfully nuanced story about existence and the meaning of being human. The remaining tales range from intriguing to distractingly strident to borderline mawkish, but make no mistake about what's the main attraction here. In fact, the foreword alone, with Kubrick exposed at his curmudgeonly worst ("[To Aldiss:] You seem to have two modes of writing--brilliant and not so damned good"), makes this a collection worth picking up. --Paul Hughes
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
To start off Aldiss apparently hates humanity, or at the very least human vanity and self-centeredness. He also seems to think that humankind will not grow out of these flaws, instead humanity will become more and more self-centered as time goes on, so be prepared for a future that is at the same time utopia and distopia...
Aldiss's writing style does seem to swing between brilliant and not so good, but there is enough brilliant to make up for the rest. III was particularly grim (the image of what humanity does to the inhabitants of Triton will stick with you), and "A Matter of Mathematics" could possibly be made into a decent screenplay. All told, "Supertoys..." is an incredible collection of eerily plausible sci-fi that just about everyone should read once, if not more. (if just to avoid turning the inhabitants of Jupiter's moon Europa into Campbell's Canned ET)
Most of the stories have down-beat endings. Whenever anybody has a good time they get their come-uppance, so it's a pessimistic view of the future. Even "The Marvels of Utopia" is dystopic - at least it's far from Thomas More. In spite of they're enjoyable because of Aldiss's sheer good writing,excellent jokes, wild imagination and page-turning action.I
"Supertoys Last All Summer Long," the lead story, was followed by two other sequels in the same book, but they also don't really have anything to say, no characters to latch onto, and no satisfying conclusions. Unfortunately, this basically describes the stories in the book overall.
Writing short stories is difficult: Having a beginning, middle, end...and feel "done;" and, as aforementioned, having characters that we as readers find interesting and remember. However, the stories in this book read as if they were ideas that still needed developing.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The title story was released as "AI" by Steven Spielberg in 2015. That is a good indication of the strength of the story - and also of how far fiction is ahead of film:... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Robin Helweg Larsen
It was better then the movie. I love how David and Teddy were partners and the spoiled brat son wasn't mentioned!Published 12 months ago by Janell
The first three stories, which were used as the basis for A.I., are pretty good, albeit too short. The rest of the book is dreadful. Aldiss tries too hard and fails. Read morePublished on June 16, 2014 by Alfredo Hurtado
Adds to my enjoyment of an already remarkable writer. The stories make you think, think, think. So different from the Helliconia series, but opens up a whole new look at things.Published on February 23, 2014 by Ira Jacobs
I really like all of the short stores that this book had to offer. At first i got it because i wanted to get the background of A. Read morePublished on May 6, 2013 by Penny
Started reading book, liked it. May look for more, if I still like it when I finish it. The endPublished on February 19, 2013 by Sharon Dornberg
Way back in the mid-1970s director Stanley Kubrick was looking for a new project and ran across Brian Aldiss' short story, 'Supertoys Last All Summer Long', in which a childless... Read morePublished on January 23, 2009 by A. Whitehead