I stumbled across this article from Canada’s Globe and Mail this afternoon, “Atwood adds ‘inventor’ to CV.” After an exhausting book tour, Atwood had an idea:
The machine, created in consultation with computer experts under Atwood’s newly created company Unotchit Inc., is still in the development phase, but at the moment it will comprise two units. The first will consist of a screen, where the author can see and speak to the book reader in real-time, and a tablet on which the author will write the inscription. The second unit will be with the book reader, and will also include a screen to communicate with the author in real-time, and will have a flat book holder as well as an electronic arm and pen that will scrawl out the autograph.
The system will allow the inscription to be edited or spell-checked before being committed to paper and the quality of the signature should be identical to one done in person, Atwood says. The book reader will also be able to keep a record of the on-screen interaction with the author for posterity.
As far as I can tell, this is not a joke. And to me, it seems a pretty weird idea, especially since it comes from a writer who has a decidely dystopian view of technology in her fiction….