Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"...a market economy is essentially a genetic algorithm for solving resource allocation problems..."
- Charles Stross

Calster  
  A handheld device that printed legal currency on the spot.  

In the future world of the novel, most of life's necessities are free. However, luxury goods or experiences still cost something. To pay, you use a small box that prints currency for you, right on the spot.

The robot hung up, and I did not have time to ask where I was supposed to look for the calster. I had no idea what it looked like. Getting up from the desk, which, abandoned, immediately shrank and shriveled up, I saw a kind of stand growing out of the wall next to the door; on it lay a flat object wrapped in transparent plastic and resembling a small cigarette case. On one side it had a row of little windows, in them showed the number 1100 1000. At the bottom were two tiny buttons labeled "1" and "0." I looked at it, puzzled, until I realized that the sum of 5000 had been entered in the binary system. I pressed the one and a small plastic triangle with the number one stamped on it fell into my hand. This, then, was a kind of stamping machine or press for money, up to the amount indicated in the Windows - the number at the top decreased by a unit.
From Return from the Stars, by Stanislaw Lem.
Published by Not known in 1961
Additional resources -

This is a strange sort of an idea, although it makes the future seem more real when computerized credit cannot pay for everything.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Return from the Stars
  More Ideas and Technology by Stanislaw Lem
  Tech news articles related to Return from the Stars
  Tech news articles related to works by Stanislaw Lem

Articles related to Miscellaneous
Bush Robots - Fingers On Your Fingers On Your Fingers...
Amateur Innovators - This Is Your Century!

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Science Fiction Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Science Fiction in the News

San Francisco Wants ED-209, Or Maybe Robocop
'The Enforcement Droid series 209 is a self-sufficient law enforcement robot...'

Seoul Self-Driving 42dot Bus Unveiled
'Buses without drivers moved close to the curb and stopped at intervals.'

T. Gondii And The Leaders Of The Pack
'... infected males were more than 46 times more likely to become pack leaders than uninfected males.'

'Parastronaut' First Astronaut With Disability From ESA (Updated!)
'He had left Earth to get away from its gravitational field...'

MIT Self-Assembling Reprogrammable Materials
'Faster the cubes moved; faster the circle revolved; the pyramids raised themselves, stood bolt upright on their square bases...'

Mem, The All Your Memories, Super Note-Taking App
'Life experience is linearly additive, but the correlation of memory impressions is an unlimited expansion.'

Porcine Fat Cells For 3D-Printed Whole Pork Products
'I grabbed two Syntho-Steaks out of the freezer...'

LANIUS Loitering Drone Munition Scouts And Maps
'... micro-missiles proceeding at walking pace.'

Copilot Software AI Training Sued By Involuntary Contributors
'...we've promised him a generous pension from the royalties.'

Thin Film Dome Protects Cities From Nuclear Blasts
'What fabric can take that kind of a load? Synthetic spider silk.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Science Fiction Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.