Dictionary of Misc Terms in Science Fiction
(Technovelgy items at top: skip down to News)


Author (Publication Date)

Robert Heinlein (1940)
Big Flue
Enormous incinerators serviced directly by helicopter.

Ray Bradbury (1953)
Courtarena - trial by fire
A combination of a court of law, and an arena of combat, in which every participant could be called out and executed under legal circumstances.

Frank Herbert (1964)
Diveskin - wetsuit for the deep rift
Special wetsuit that allows a diver to function at extreme depths.

Peter Watts (1999)
Diving Apparatus - scuba diving in the 19th century
Equipment used to go for walks on the sea bed; the direct ancestor of modern scuba diving equipment.

Jules Verne (1875)
Corneal cap that acts as a pair of goggles for extreme depth diving.

Peter Watts (1999)
Face Seal
A dive mask for deep sea diving.

Peter Watts (1999)
Hall of the Council
An enormous council chamber, fit for a galaxy.

Edmond Hamilton (1928)
High Tech Trash Can - every beach should have one
The future of waste management.

Bruce Sterling (1988)
Illuminum - glows with its own light
A metal that glows with its own light.

Richard Morgan (2003)
The collection of useless bits of trash we wallow in; all the paper and junk that is not recycled.

Philip K. Dick (1968)
Life-shield Blanket - save from sensors
A device that is capable of shielding the person using it against ordinary forms of detecting living beings.

Frank Herbert (1984)
Luminescent Vial
A glass tube full of luminescent algae; used to provide some measure of light underground.

Jack Vance (1962)
Nanomachine Lidar - radar with visible light
Radar-like system that uses electromagnetic radiation at optical frequencies (visible light) for range-finding and analysis.

Neal Stephenson (1995)
Nullentropy Bin - world's best salad crisper
A compartment in which entropy was halted.

Frank Herbert (1984)
Pain Box - testing for humans
A small box which induced pain into the nerves of the hand.

Frank Herbert (1965)
Pain Canopy
Pain by nerve induction improves interrogation.

Fritz Leiber (1943)
Pocket Nucleo-Bulb - better than those LED flashlights
A nuclear-powered pocket-sized flashlight.

Isaac Asimov (1951)
Precrime Analytical Wing - precogs babble, machines tabulate
Contains the precognitives and the machinery need to hear and analyze their predictions of future crimes.

Philip K. Dick (1956)
A watch that uses your visual cortex for a read-out device.

Frank Herbert (1984)
A surgically implanted device that enables a diver to obtain oxygen directly from seawater.

Peter Watts (1999)
Restraining Bolt - keeps robots in check
A device that makes sure a robot does what you want (rather than what it wants).

George Lucas (1976)
Sleeve Watch - multipurpose clothing
Temporary watch imprinted on the sleeve of a chosen garment.

Larry Niven (w/S. Barnes) (1981)
Smart Pizza Box - your pizza knows if it's late
A container with microprocessor-based data processing capabilities built-in to the box.

Neal Stephenson (1992)
Toner - dead nanobot bits
Dead bits of nanomachines.

Neal Stephenson (1995)
Twonky - trashes the time stream
A futuristic artifact left by time travelers in the past which, if discovered, could cause a paradox.

John Varley (1983)
Vibratory Mass Penetrator - not what you're thinking
A device that allows a person to walk through earth and even solid rock.

Harry Harrison (1951)

Related Science Fiction in the News

Is There A Subterranean Ocean?
'A vast, limitless expanse of water, the end of a lake if not of an ocean, spread before us, until it was lost in the distance.'- Jules Verne, 1864.
(re: Jules Verne, 3/16/2014 )
The Robotic Shopping Cart Of The Future
'...the machine would carry his bag in its soft plastic jaws and follow him as faithfully as a well-trained hound.'- John Brunner, 1975.
(re: John Brunner, 9/29/2012 )
Arctic Resource Jackpot An Old Wish
By inducing climate change, new resources are revealed.
(re: Jules Verne, 9/23/2012 )
Marie Curie's Papers Still Radioactive
And the half-life of radium's most common isotope is 1,601 years.
(re: Robert Heinlein, 11/5/2011 )
'Bubble Galaxy' NGC 3521
This doesn't have to do with prediction, but I love what sf writers do with this idea.
(re: Edmond Hamilton, 9/18/2011 )
Italian Scientists Who Failed To Predict Quake Indicted For Manslaughter
Is quake prediction still in the realm of science fiction? Italian prosecutors don't think so, apparently.
(re: Arthur C. Clarke, 6/27/2010 )
Do Elementary Particles Have Free Will?
Princeton mathematicians take their case to the public - if you have free will, so do elementary particles.
(re: A.E. van Vogt, 3/23/2009 )
Planilum Light-Emitting Material
Interesting invention is close to a material that is light-emitting in and of itself.
(re: Richard Morgan, 5/22/2008 )
Arthur C. Clarke v1.0 Dead At 90
Arthur C. Clarke will be missed; I've put together his 90th birthday video along with about thirty of his ideas and inventions.
(re: Arthur C. Clarke, 3/18/2008 )
Light-Emitting Wallpaper From Jonas Samson
This idea provides a uniquely artistic way of providing indoor lighting.
(re: Richard Morgan, 11/8/2007 )
Sigma: SF Writers Advise Homeland Security
Science fiction writers dream for the government as well as for us.
(re: Niven and Pournelle, 6/4/2007 )
So It Goes
Author Kurt Vonnegut, who wrote so many books that we've all enjoyed, died yesterday at 84.
(re: Kurt Vonnegut, 4/12/2007 )
NASA And Water Security Working On A Stillsuit
Rather than spend $7K per pound on water, recycling would make more sense - now they have a way to do it.
(re: Frank Herbert, 8/15/2005 )
Anemone Clock, Hug Shirt, Robot Dentist, Eternal Fridge Light? (They Must Be Fiction)
I sometimes read about devices and things that are so futuristic that they must be fiction. Four such items are described in this article.
(re: Various (and none), 4/25/2005 )
Did Giant Space Clouds Cause Mass Extinctions?
It's possible, according to a computer model prepared by researcher Alex Pavlov at the University of Colorado, Boulder. The model shows that "dramatic climate change" may occur when interstellar dust accumulates in the Earth's atmosphere due to the p
(re: Arthur Conan Doyle, 3/14/2005 )
Solar Tadpoles Explained By Boffins
Solar "tadpoles" - dark shadows that seem to wiggle down toward the surface of the sun during flares - may have been explained by University of Warwick astrophysicists.
(re: Various, 2/25/2005 )
Augmented Reality Cemetery Tour - The Dead Speak
An Augmented Reality tour of Atlanta's Oakland cemetery will let the dead speak to visitors. In a recent trial run, users carried laptops in backpacks and used game controllers to navigate the cemetary.
(re: Samuel R; Delany, 2/18/2005 )
Astrophysicist Estimates Diameter Of The Universe
The diameter of the universe has been estimated by researchers; we're at least 156 billion light-years wide.
(re: Larry Niven, 5/25/2004 )
Functional Replica Captain Nemo Diving Suit
Pat Regan has created a fully functional replica of Captain Nemo's diving suit from the Disney movie version of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea - the Nemosuit.
(re: Jules Verne, 5/20/2004 )
Sapphire (Novec 1230): Liquid That's Not Wet
Sapphire, a revolutionary liquid fire retardant chemical, has one big advantage over water for putting out fires - nothing gets wet!
(re: Kurt Vonnegut, 4/15/2004 )
Google AdCense Improves Olfactory Relevancy
Google AdCense computers look at the ad content on your site, and deliver a relevant and vaguely agreeable odor.
(re: Frank Herbert, 4/1/2004 )






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