I've been pretty dismissive of blogs as a social medium; largely because they encourage people to use their idealised inside-on-the-outside persona to interact with the idealised icons of others in a substitute for real social interaction or actually developing social skills. (Not that I engage in much of that "real developing social skills" - it's just that I'm making a conscious choice.)
So naturally my girlfriend, a long-time blogger, had some mocking to do when I started The Dust Forms Words. "But there'll be actual content!" I pleaded; it was all as nought in the face of her tofu-fuelled powers of mockery.
As an incentive for my girlfriend to read my blog (and also because the idea is just cool) I offer the following evidence that Margaret Atwood Must Destroy All Humans (courtesy of Collision Detection, which I found through the wonderful Grand Text Auto).
Margaret Atwood, in what is either:
a) an act of inspired genious,
b) a clever marketing scam, or
c) a blatant act of contempt towards humanity
has taken to signing books via a telepresence robot. She sits in, say, Florida, wiggling a robo-pen, and the miracle of modern technology recreates her movements in, say, Sydney into the book of some unsuspecting plebian. A touch impersonal, you say? Never fear, there's a webcam. You can see her smiling face in all its two-dimensional glory and talk to her while she wiggles the robo-pen.
This elevates the already surreal book-signing phenomenon to a whole new meta-level of absurdity, and I love it. If the search for meaning in getting geniouses with poor social skills to deface your clean expensive product with their bizarre scrawls was a game, then this is (to me) like a whole expansion pack jammed with robot-orientated content goodness.
I plan on making use of this telepresence signing thing. I can happily exhibit a copy of the Blind Assassin, and say, "Look, it was signed by a robot driven by the insane disembodied presence of Margaret Atwood! This proves that I bought the book, attended an Atwood-themed event, and was sufficiently insignificant to her that she saw no need to direct her paper-signing killbot to extinguish my life!" I'll be the talk of town, and small children will envy me.
Now we need to get some of our more youth-challenged bestsellers like William Gibson and Ray Bradbury into these things as soon as possible and record the results; with a little foresight, we can get Stephen King scribbling "To My Constant Reader" to devoted fans long after his rotting corpse has been safely disposed of. Celebrations are in order.