The Mote in God's Eye by Larry Niven (w/J. Pournelle):
Science Fiction Inventions, Technology and Ideas

Highly original book and an excellent read. Some of the best and most readable alien characters; we can understand them and yet they are alien to us. Tells the story of the Motie home world, one which is isolated from the Alderson points (wormhole entrances) that tie the far flung human civilization together. They conceal a terrible secret. Select an invention:

Acceleration Chair
A specially-designed chair used to help crew stay mobile during periods of high acceleration.

Acceleration Couch
A chair designed for use in during periods of high acceleration (multiple gravities).

Alderson Point - a wormhole to the stars
One end of a tramline, a path between stars that can be traversed using a hyperdrive engine.

Armor Cloth
Extremely tough synthetic fabric.

Atmosphere Control
Recently terraformed planets require constant maintenance.

Frictionless Toilet
A toilet bowl that does not require water, because its surface is frictionless.

Fyunch(click)
An alien assigned to become an expert in just one person.

Gee Bath - waterbeds for space craft
Essentially a waterbed designed to help older or untrained people cope with high acceleration aboard spacecraft.

Langston Field - energy shield
A protective energy shield.

Metal Paste
A conductive metal that could be easily squirted from a tube.

Numbitol
You guessed it, a topical anesthetic.

Pressure Curtain
A force field that creates a barrier that people can pass through but air cannot - an airlock in a spacecraft.

Superconductor of Heat
A light metal that accepts heat applied to its surface, and then dissipates the energy throughout the material, leaving the temperature of the material unchanged.

Tramline
The line along which hyperspace (instantaneous travel) travel is possible.

 

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