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


Author (Publication Date)

Battle Integrator - a moving solidograph
A three-dimensional representation of warfare in space.

Malcolm Jameson (1944)
Battle Sphere
An armored space ship using the simplest geometric shape.

Edwin K. Sloat (1932)
Battleroom - ultimate antigrav gaming
A large, null-gravity space used for battle tactics training.

Orson Scott Card (1985)
Bubble Armor Space Suit
Steel bubble-shaped space suit.

James Schmitz (1949)
Cone of Battle - the ultimate weapon
An offensive formation of space ships providing the ultimate in firepower.

E.E. 'Doc' Smith (1934)
Directrix Z9M9Z
A control center ship for a vast space armada.

E.E. 'Doc' Smith (1942)
Fencing Mirror - fencing instructor
A dummy fighting instructor for the young Kwisatz Haderach-in-training.

Frank Herbert (1965)
Hostage Gas
A gas sprayed over a population; to survive, those who breathe it must report to centers for the antidote.

David Brin (1987)
Immunocules - nanotechnology imitates life
Very small, lightweight objects able to move in three dimensions; they form a protective shield against airborne devices.

Neal Stephenson (1995)
Infowar Operation
Making use of various means to disrupt the enemy's military and civilian information networks.

Bruce Sterling (1998)
Netwar - communications warfare
Making use of various means to disrupt the enemy's military and civilian information networks.

Bruce Sterling (1998)
Radioactive Ruin - first reference
The aftermath of atomic war is generations of ruin.

H.G. Wells (1914)
Space Marines
A space-based military force.

Robert Heinlein (1939)
Space-Armor - armored protection
Special shielding worn against rays and explosives.

Raymond Z. Gallun (1932)
An augmented representation of space battles.

Iain M Banks (2004)
Universal Positionator Up-Downlink.

David Sherman (w/Cragg) (1997)
Vai-Chi - virtual tai chi
Tai-Chi movements translated into the virtual world

Alexander Besher (1994)

Related Science Fiction in the News

'Warrior Suit' Combat Exoskeleton Project Still Alive
'Suited up, you look like a big steel gorilla.'
(re: Robert Heinlein, 6/27/2023 )
Sea Drones Attack Russian Fleet
'...autofreighters, and other self-piloting craft.' - Ray Naylor, 2022.
(re: Ray Naylor, 10/15/2022 )
Slaughterbot AI KIller Quadcopter Drones
'The real border was defended by... a swarm of quasi-independent aerostats.' - Neal Stephenson, 1995.
(re: Neal Stephenson, 11/14/2017 )
Russia Working On Military Exoskeletons
'...you look like a big steel gorilla...' - Robert Heinlein, 1959.
(re: Robert Heinlein, 7/7/2017 )
TALOS Exoskeleton Development Proceeding
'Suited up, you look like a big steel gorilla...' - Robert Heinlein, 1959.
(re: Robert Heinlein, 6/7/2017 )
Britney Spears And Lynn Minmay - Weapons Of Choice
An attack can take many forms.
(re: Various, 10/31/2013 )
DARPA's Warrior Web
'Earth's scientists solved the problem to some extent by devising rigid metallic clothing not unlike armor...'- Edmond Hamilton, 1932.
(re: Edmond Hamilton, 5/28/2013 )
What Camouflage Pattern Is Best?
If you can't see it, you're making progress.
(re: George R.R. Martin, 7/6/2012 )
UrbanSim Counterinsurgency Training App
'Why simulation?' 'He's beginning to do things I didn't anticipate.'
(re: Frank Herbert, 5/11/2012 )
BAE System 'Bullet Proof Custard' Body Armor
'The pressure suit was soft and malleable under gentle pressures, such as walking, but instantly became rigid all over when something struck it.'
(re: Larry Niven, 4/5/2012 )
Transparent Aluminum Vs. .50-Cal Bullets
Transparent armor can come in handy.
(re: Olaf Stapledon, 1/19/2012 )
Taking Control Of Enemy Aircraft
Is this really possible, or is the Pentagon engaging in its own fictional creations?
(re: Gene Roddenberry, 1/4/2012 )
Warrior Web: Superman Underwear From DARPA
With quasi-passive regenerative actuation technologies!
(re: Joe Haldeman, 9/29/2011 )
CyberWar May Require Military Response
Cyber attacks may lead to combat.
(re: Bruce Sterling, 6/2/2011 )
Secret Silent Stealth Helicopter
High tech used in the raid on bin Laden's compound.
(re: Isaac Asimov, 5/5/2011 )
E-Camouflage - Invisible Tanks
How about an invisible jumping robot spider tank?
(re: Various, 1/21/2011 )
Cognitive Enhancement (For Us) Vs. Degradation (For The Enemy)
Philip K. Dick was also fascinated with the idea of targeted weapons that degraded enemy performance.
(re: Philip K. Dick, 11/16/2010 )
'Iron Curtain' Active Protection System
Remarkable video illustrates this defensive device.
(re: David Drake, 12/4/2009 )
Overwhelming Enemy Cognitive Abilities
The flip side of making your own forces more capable is to render enemy forces weak and confused.
(re: Randall Garrett, 11/5/2009 )
Navy Command Center Of The Future
What should a futuristic command center look like?
(re: Gene Roddenberry, 10/5/2009 )
Loose Tweets Sink Fleets
The Marines decided to take a year off from on-duty social networking to study the matter more carefully. Includes modern-day take on vintage military IT patriotic poster.
(re: Robert Heinlein, 8/6/2009 )
Soldiers Learn To Trust Robots
Can robots be trusted to 'have your back' in urban combat situations? Soldiers are learning about different robotic platforms, and how they can be used in urban combat.
(re: Philip K. Dick, 8/6/2009 )
iKey AK-39 Wearable Wrist Keyboard
This looks like it might be a good candidate for plowsharing.
(re: John McTieman, 7/15/2009 )
Helmet-Based Sniper Location System
This system transforms ordinary soldiers into information-gathering 'smart nodes' on a wireless network, ultimately producing a location map of enemy shooters.
(re: Greg Bear, 3/26/2009 )
Prism 200 And See Through Walls 3 Other Ways
The Prism 200 is just the latest way to see through walls; I show you three (now FOUR!) other X-ray spec-worth devices.
(re: E.E. 'Doc' Smith, 2/7/2009 )
Performance Improving Self Contained Exoskeleton for Swimming (PISCES)
The military hopes to open up the underwater realm with mechanical super frogmen; fans of Brin's 'Sundiver' may find this familiar.
(re: David Brin, 9/18/2008 )
Space Marines Idea Takes Off
Interesting idea slowly moves into a real organization; and who first thought of space marines?
(re: Robert Heinlein, 8/29/2008 )
MMOG For Military Training
This idea has a lot of implications for how US troops (and security people) might be trained in the future. Do you have a better sf reference than I do? I hope so.
(re: Various, 7/31/2008 )
Tactical Ground Reporting System - TIGR By The Tail
Charles Stross writes about this idea very convincingly, and with lots of good applications, in his most recent novel.
(re: Charles Stross, 2/26/2008 )
Geoengineering - Geophysical Systems Warfare
Can the Earth be turned against selected nations? Any method able to turn climate change around could be used as a weapon.
(re: Various, 1/3/2008 )
Electric Warship - Navy's Nautilus
This interesting concept under development does have an interesting sf predecessor.
(re: Jules Verne, 12/25/2007 )
LANdroid WiFi Robots
DARPA is at it again, this time looking to establish networks on the fly.
(re: Various, 6/18/2007 )
Cyber-Warfare Waged on Estonia By Russia?
Is this the first instance of cyberwarfare between nation-states?
(re: Bruce Sterling, 5/19/2007 )
Smart Dog Tags
If the problems can be overcome, soldiers will be able to caarry their full medical charts wherever they go.
(re: , 11/7/2006 )
Liquid Armor Video Shows Bullets Bounce Off
This material looks more and more like the kind of thing that sf writers like Larry Niven wrote about.
(re: Larry Niven, 10/19/2006 )
Flying Aircraft Carrier Crash Site Surveyed
These incredible airships were built in the 1930's and were used as flying aircraft carriers - the inspiration for the flying platforms in movies like Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.
(re: Ed Earl Repp, 10/19/2006 )
WeaponWatch Detects, Locates Enemy Fire IR Signature
This remarkable system can detect enemy fire, locate it, and even tell you the weapon in use almost instantly.
(re: Various, 10/18/2006 )
Anti-Landmine Robotic Shoe
There really are anti-mine shoes; the latest suggestion involves using robotics.
(re: , 4/30/2006 )
Trophy Active Defense System Not Quite A Force Field
Not exactly a force-field, ADS still acts like one.
(re: Robert Heinlein, 4/10/2006 )
Soldiers Trained To Obey Odors With Scent Delivery Device
Soldiers must obey their odors - yes, that's right, odors. Maybe they should call them 'oders'.
(re: Frank Herbert, 1/15/2006 )
DARPA Radar Scope Can Sense Thru Walls
New DARPA device senses you breathing through a twelve inch thick concrete wall.
(re: Frank Herbert, 1/5/2006 )
Air Force Ready For Space War
The USAF is ready for Space Wars - maybe even Ender's Game. They're looking for game designers.
(re: Orson Scott Card, 1/3/2006 )
CIA's 'Silent Horizon' Internet War Games
The CIA has just finished conducting a series of cyberwargames. The intent was to test the ability of government and industry to repond to Internet disruptions, which have grown more damaging over the years.
(re: John Brunner, 5/27/2005 )
Phraselator P2: Speech Recognition And Translation
VoxTec is now taking orders for the Phraselator P2, an improved version of its original product. The new device is a complete redesign, with longer battery life, higher-fidelity audio, better speech recognition and improved ergonomics.
(re: William Gibson, 4/26/2004 )
Pentagon Asks For Digital Dog Tags
RFID-based "dog tags" may help troops identify each other in the field. The unit is intended to allow a shooter to query his target - "friend or foe?"
(re: Alexander Besher, 4/16/2004 )
DARPA Seeks Metabolic Dominance
DARPA has initiated a new program called "Metabolic Dominance" to assure that soldiers have superior physiological qualities. Frank Herbert had the answer sooner, though.
(re: Jack Vance, 2/17/2004 )






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