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The giant Las Vegas robot of himself that Michael Jackson is contemplating having built by the entertainment consultancy Luckman Van Pier is an idea directly taken from Kris Saknussemm's novel ZANESVILLE published by Villard Books in 2005.
The novel, which The Austin Chronicle praised as "the most original novel of the year," specifically features the presence of giant robotic versions of celebrities in the book's satiric version of Las Vegas, and Jackson is one of the celebrities highlighted.
Said Saknussemm, "That the novel came out in 2005 and this element of the story has been widely reviewed and blogged about is convincing evidence that the idea put forward by Mike Luckman and Andre Van Pier is not original to them."
Lawyers for Mr. Saknussemm are considering raising an action against both the entertainment consultancy and Mr. Jackson. According to the author, "The book so clearly sets out the idea and places it in the deliberate context of Las Vegas, and specifically features Michael Jackson, it would be hard for anyone not to see the direct connection."
Regardless of any legal action, Saknussemm's novel may be predictive on other more worrisome levels. In ZANESVILLE, the giant robots malfunction and go on a rampage, destroying most of the city.
In describing the proposed Jackson robot, Mike Luckman has been widely quoted in the entertainment media as saying, "Laser beams would shoot out of it so it would be the first thing people flying in would see."
"I just hope it's not the last thing people see," responded Saknussemm. "Wouldn't it be ironic if a giant Michael Jackson robot goes haywire just like in my book?"
For further information consult page 309 of ZANESVILLE published by Villard Books.
Matt Bialer, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates
55 Fifth Avenue, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10003
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