Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Bring me the head of Philip K. Dick

OK, I'm not making this up.

The Philip K. Dick android is missing.

Well, not the whole android. Just the head.

Hanson Robotics created the creepy/cool thing in 05. Big hit at Wired's NextFest that year. Thing had cam eyes and various text strings in a laptop brain from the works of PKD. Ask it about Valis and it would start rambling about gnosticism and past lives very much like ... Well.

Now it's gone missing. Creator David Hanson was flying with the thing in the overhead luggage compartment. Many allnighters, many connections. Than a surprise connection. To quote the NYT:

"He had been traveling for weeks, pulling all-nighters in a race between his work as a roboticist (he also made a much-discussed robotic head of Einstein); as the founder of a fledgling company, Hanson Robotics; and his doctoral work. But unlike his creation, Mr. Hanson is, apparently, distressingly human.

'They woke me up, I got my laptop from under my seat, and being dazed, I just forgot that I had the robot in there," said Mr. Hanson, referring to the head in a black, American Tourister roller bag, left in the overhead compartment.'

After landing in San Francisco, he notified the airline, whose officials apparently found the head in Las Vegas, packed it in a box and sent it on the next flight to San Francisco. Mysteriously, it never arrived."

Now it's ... somewhere.

I'm not making this up, though I wish I were. Across the country, I hear the cicada like sound of ten thousand starving SF writers, typing, typing. Good luck, guys. Keep it up.

If you can't get a great SF story out of this you're just not trying.