Sunday, February 19, 2006

Tele-Signing Robot Invented By Author

By Anthony Barnes

Next month the Booker Prize-winning writer, Margaret Atwood, will unveil a machine she has invented which means authors will never have to meet their adoring public again.

Ms Atwood, the Canadian author of The Handmaid's Tale, The Blind Assassin and Oryx and Crake has created a machine that will allow her - without leaving the comfort of her home - to autograph the pages of her books while she is in another continent.

The imminent arrival of the gadget, called Unotchit LongPen, has prompted fears it could kill off the grand tradition of the book-signing tour.

Yet the threat has led to a backlash by other authors. D J Taylor called it "an absolutely feeble idea - another example of fatuous modern technology."
[That's what makes it great!]

Ms Atwood, 66, is to launch the device - which has been seen by only a select few at secret testings - at the London Book Fair a fortnight from today, where publishers and authors from around the world will be given a demonstration. The writer will be in Canada but will create what is being billed as the world's first transatlantic autograph.

"You don't have to be in the same room as someone to have a meaningful exchange," she said.

Independent Online Edition > News

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