There’s nothing more bewilderingly mind-numbing than watching a science-fiction movie franchise get butchered and killed then brought to life again, re-butchered and murdered once again. It’s sad in a way because I really love this time-bending, robot monster, chase story. The potential, even without branching away from the hunter and the hunted plot device, is endless. Bewildered? With all this goodwill and talent, and money involved, how the hell could they get it so wrong? This is a major iconic brand. “The Terminator” is embedded in the brains of at least two or three generations of consumers. There is no shortage of creative talent nor money that prevent this story from working its magic, yet the IP owners have achieved nothing else but toss stools of shit at audiences across the globe. Sure, the movie industry wins, artists, technicians and executives got jobs, and the marketing machine scored, but tossing shit at the audience’s faces was still the end result.
Now the next time Skynet returns to threaten our future chances are audiences will be a little suspect before handing over money, or even waste time and bandwidth to illegally download it. Skynet will hopefully learn from past mistakes and deliver the killer blow they’ve been trying to throw since it first hatched up the plan to go back in time and kill John Conner.
Scientists are anxious these days about the advent of artificial intelligence. They all seem to infer that as soon as one such cyber entity awakens, it’ll deem humanity evolutionary and intellectually inferior and will plot to exterminate its creator.
The genesis of this project began way back in 2004. Working as a corporate audio visual technician, sitting through endless conferences and business meetings, I posed the question; what if some of these corporate cats around me, who behaved almost like scheming gangsters and money pirates, were indeed genuine gangsters and pirates. How would they fare in this corporate environment? What economic conditions would spawn such a corporate breed?
I wrote a draft script for a short film. Then made the mistake of fleshing it out into feature film. I don’t know how but somehow the story took a life of its own. Soon, I realised a screenplay was not going to be enough. It could never be made and would therefore never find an audience. So I decided to unshackle the story from the constraints of a screenplay and found myself on a long odyssey trying to complete a novel.
This book was written on notepads, scraps of paper, on the back of receipts, on desktops, laptops, numerous smartphones, Nokia phones, iPhones, stored on hard drives, miniSD cards, in clouds. Entire technological inventions and innovations would come and go. I worked on it on trains going to work, during work, underneath the bed covers, in dreams within dreams.
In the end, after finding exciting answers to my inciting questions, and raising new questions and attempting to answer these, I believe this is a story that delves into a near future that is loathsomely familiar, unwelcome, divisive, and yet one we all know is coming.