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.
Author of the bestseller Ghost Soldiers, Sides was in his hometown Memphis when Weeks called, but he was about to meet with his fact-checker on his latest book, Blood and Thunder. Its about Kit Carson, Navajo chief Narbona, and the winning of the American West (for the white man.) Look for the book in October.
In the meantime, if youre in Grapevine, Texas, this weekend, check out the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Writers Conference of the Southwest. Sides will be there on Friday and addressing the issue of fact versus fiction. Read more about it here.