Super Toys Last All Summer Long is a short story first published in 1969 by Harper’s Bazaar magazine and which was later serialised in 2001.
It tells the story of Monica and Henry Swinton who live in a dystopian future in which it is necessary to apply for permission to have children in a world which is over populated. The story centres around Monica’s relationship with her son David, a child with whom she cannot bond. She turns to Teddy, David’s machine companion to try to understand why she cannot feel love for her son.
Henry Monica’s husband works for a company called Synthank which develops artificially intelligent humans. Soon, it transpires that David is an artificial human and this is used as an explanation for why Monica cannot love her son.
Exploring the effects of overpopulation, technology, artificial intelligence and how all of these factors can lead to loneliness and isolation.
Inspiration for the film AI: Artificial Intelligence directed by Stephen Spielberg, this story is a must read for anyone interested in what AI can mean to humanity.
Super Toys Last All Summer Long is available in an anthology edition, published by Orbit.
Watch the trailer for AI: Artificial Intelligence here: