Sci-fi novelist Philip K. Dick may have died over 20 years ago, but in a twist that seems ripped from the plot of one of his novels a robot version of him is still kicking. Well, its brain is still alive. And it calls Memphis home.
As reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, in advance of the new film adaptation of Dicks work A Scanner Darkly (read Chris Herringtons review here), a Dallas-based robotics company worked in conjunction with scholars from University of Texas at Arlington and Memphis FedEx Institute of Technologys Institute for Intelligent Systems at the University of Memphis to create a life-sized android of the author for promotional purposes.
After the robots body was lost in transit from Las Vegas to San Francisco in December 2005, only the brain of the robot remains: In Memphis on the laptop of the FedEx Institutes Andrew Olney.
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One very famous reader could answer: the White House. You see, in 1999, Governor George Bush of Texas told reporters that The Very Hungry Caterpillar was his favorite book growing up. Trouble is, The Very Hungry Caterpillar was published in 1969 when Bush was 23 years old.
The man, Alex, laughed. The woman, named Marybeth, said, 'I'm an animal lover, and let me tell you that it's detrimental to give a dog beer. It should be against the law.'
... Watt said, 'Yes. Yes it is. I know that. It was a joke, Marybeth. I was only kidding.'
Marybeth looked at the camera and said, 'Okay. Well. Twenty-four puppies! Coming up next, we're going to show y'all how to bake the perfect peach cobbler.'
Watt Pinson would remember this segment as being the most effortless, the easiest, the most almost lifelike."
You read it here, in "Runt," the opening story in George Singleton's new collection of short stories, Drowning in Gruel. He'll be signing in Memphis at Burke's Book Store on Wednesday, June 28th.