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On Sunday, March 7th 1999 the world lost one of the most daring and independent movie directors of all time. It isn?t easy to make entertaining films that don?t have happy endings.
My novella A Yesterday of Toys pays homage to Stanley Kubrick, for he stars in it as a super-animatronic AI robot.
I began researching his interest in AI long before the release of Eyes Wide
Shut and before it was even known that Steven Spielberg would film AI based on Kubrick’s own unfinished materials, an 800 page treatment and numerous storyboards.
When Kubrick died, I decided to write my own version of AI, what I thought he was looking for from clues I was able to gather from different websites, articles, and biographies. I imagined myself as one of his charmed and captive collaborators. And as I did research on the subject of artificial intelligence, I discovered something startling: I found myself in total opposition to the ideas of my beloved director. I pressed on, nevertheless, with a cautionary tale, when it seemed unlikely that Mr. Spielberg would do the film, rumors suggested he was more interested in doing PKD’s Minority Report instead. So I thought I would market the novel as a satirical critique plus tribute to the director’s unfinished film and the dream of AI.
My, perhaps arrogant, attempt was to checkmate Kubrick’s avowed desire to make us ?love them? these AI androids/robots ?as our children?.
But, as is often the case, things did not go as planned and the book took on a life of its own. Mine is a totally original plot, owning nothing to AI or its inspiration Brian Aldiss? Super-Toys Last All Summer Long. It influences are wide ranging, however, from Disney and Collodi’s Pinocchio, Tezuka’s Metropolis, Jack Kirby, Moebius, The Beatles, Japanese anime and manga, to the Wizard Of Oz, as well as the mournful poetry of Juan Chi. Yesterday became a satirical ironic commentary on ideas around artificial intelligence, and Kubrick’s interest in Pinocchio, also Kubrick’s famous pessimism. I attempted to out Kubrick Kubrick in his supposed nihilism, offering my satanic interpretation of the circular logic of 2001: A Space Odyssey.
It is both science fiction and horror. It is an exciting over the top novella
that may even be funny--can we ever stop worrying and learn to love the idea of human progress and future transcendence? Are we someone else's entertainment?
This is a picture of Monsta, the villain in the book, and like all fictional characters, he shares some of his creator’s fascination if not obsession, namely Stanley Kubrick.
A bibliophile and musical composer interested in films, theater, graphic novels and audio drama and books. This is my third novel.