Electronic pen allows Atwood to reach the world from home
For many authors, book- signing tours to promote their latest work can be an arduous task - a tedious slog around the less glamorous parts of Britain or America, an exhausting round of airplanes and anonymous hotel rooms.
Now Margaret Atwood has devised a method of limiting the amount of touring, while maintaining the vital task of keeping their fans happy with signed books.
The award-winning Canadian author, has developed an electronic remote signing device that allows writers to stay at home but sign books almost anywhere in the world.
"It is simply a very long pen ... with a nib in another place,'' Ms Atwood said yesterday, launching the device, officially known as The Long Pen, at the London Book Fair. She demonstrated its potential with a remote signing of her latest book of short stories, The Tent, between the stand of her publisher's Bloomsbury and a room elsewhere in the exhibition hall.
But plans for an inter-continental signing between London and Ontario and New York were scrapped amid technical difficulties.
The idea came to Ms Atwood, who is in her sixties, during lengthy tours around Britain to promote her book Oryx and Crake two years ago. She said: "I am just finding the whole business very wearing now that I am an old age pensioner.''
Developed by a company of which Ms Atwood is now president, the Long Pen consists of two connected video screens and an electronic pen at one end and a document or book holder at the other, together with an electronic arm wielding a pen.
The author and the recipient can see and hear each other on the screens, while the arm replicates accurately the movements made with the electronic pen. Unotchit, the company, stresses that the device is not an automatic pen - because it can only operate when the signer is present - or an electronic signature.
The company says that while The Long Pen was developed at the behest of Ms Atwood, its potential applications were far reaching and could have a variety of uses whereever a remote signature was needed.
Game of Thrones
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 President Obama leaves touching comment on Humans of New York photo from Iran
- 2 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 3 The Chinese city where men have 'three girlfriends because there are so many women'
- 4 German police forced to ask public to stop bringing donations for refugees arriving by train
- 5 Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
First Look at Bryan Cranston transformed into LBJ for HBO’s ‘All the Way’ film
The real reason Eddie Redmayne was cast as a trans woman in The Danish Girl
Star Wars: New action dolls launched on Force Friday ahead of The Force Awakens release
Ricki And The Flash, film review: Meryl Streep's rock'n'roll creation steals the show
Photographer captures the beauty and intensity of his girlfriend giving birth at home
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up