he story behind Spielberg's new film A short story first published more than 30 years ago is the inspiration for this summer's most anticipated movie, A.

I.: Artificial Intelligence
. The film, due in theaters June 29, was directed by Steven Spielberg, who took over the project after the death of filmmaker Stanley Kubrick in 1999.

Moviegoers who want a sneak preview can read the story that sparked the film in a new collection, Supertoys Last All Summer Long, by English writer Brian Aldiss. Two recent follow-ups to the 1969 sci-fi story are included, along with 11 other futuristic tales.

The title story features a boy named David, who is worried that his mother doesn't love him. Although his teddy bear reassures him, the boy's fears are well founded: she can't love David because he's a robot. Looking far into the future, Aldiss creates a world where having children requires government permission and where real-looking "supertoys" can take their place until happy couples win the "parenthood lottery." In the same quiet tone as the original, Aldiss' new stories explore what happens to David and Teddy. Throughout the collection, the strength is in the characters. We want David and his teddy to come safely through their strange journeys because we care about them.

Kubrick worked on and off for years to develop Supertoys into a movie, eventually concluding that the technology then available could not match his vision. After discussing the idea with Kubrick during phone conversations and late-night fax exchanges, Spielberg was certain he could bring to life Kubrick's vision of a Pinocchio-type story in a future-flooded New York. When the film debuts this summer, we'll see if he succeeded.

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