Adam Moonborn Wishes He Was a Blade Runner
My thoughts on "Death of the Author" are well-documented. I’m a firm believer that writers are free to comment on their work but that, beyond the text itself, anything the author says can be disregarded.
During a discussion about The Moonborn and interpretation and author’s voice, a musician friend compared Death of the Author and the relationship between writer and reader to that of composer and conductor. It is for the writer to create the work and for the reader to interpret the work for their own internal audience.
Now, with Blade Runner 2049 in theaters as of this weekend, I feel compelled to comment on the relationship between the original film, its source material, and my novel The Moonborn. There is an immediate, obvious connection between Adam Moonborn and Rick Deckard. Their motives may differ, but their missions are similar: to destroy.
Rather than provide any analysis beyond this, I’ll only note that Blade Runner is a film that Adam Moonborn has apparently seen. We know this not because I’m telling you here, but because he references it within The Moonborn. I refer to the sixth canto, in which we get extensive excerpts from Adam Moonborn’s “Killing Robots, Historically Regarded.”
Here are a few of the excerpts I refer to. First, in the first chapter of the sixth canto, we get Moonborn’s version of the history of man and robot. This includes:
Who is Talos, you ask? Why, Talos is the original robot. A man, made of bronze. What we today would call an AIP (which, as you’ve learned, signifies Artificial Intelligence Person.) How did they defeat this creature, this pretender? Jason melted him with a sword, destroyed him in the heat of the midday sun.
The blade runners of Blade Runner are robot-killers, a profession greatly admired by Moonborn. He identifies the first robot-killer as a character from literature not typically recognized as such…
And then we have, on the tails of da Vinci, our first great fiction of a robot-killer. Doctor Frankenstein, our doctor who fashioned himself a robot and then realized his mistake--and killed it.
After more of Moonborn’s editorializing, we get:
But as the century progressed and the pages of time turned, we began to create robots in both our fictions and our realities. Our fictions were where we first learned them to be demons. Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein, James Cameron and Ridley Scott and Arnold Schwargenegger, Harrison Ford and Sigourney Weaver and Justin Vernon and Lucius West; all these men and women realized that robots are dangerous, and they made the fictions to teach us.
Finally - in a passage modeled very closely after a similar passage in Moby-Dick - we get his roll call:
Consider da Vinci. Consider Shelley. Consider Kubrick. Consider Jason, that gallant knight. A fraternity of heroes, saints, demigods, and prophets; authors and actors and liberatores, our order of robot-killers.
Jason, da Vinci, Weaver, Ford, Kubrick, and Frankenstein! There’s a member roll for you. What club but the robot-killers can boast of such members?
The only real question is why Adam Moonborn forgot to mention Philip K. Dick, Denis Villeneuve or Ryan Gosling in the list above. And if you have not read The Moonborn yet but would like to get the context for the passages above, you can check it out here.