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"...science fiction is sort of like a sociological genome. It's a huge range of possible futures, most of them useless; some vital. You never really know in advance."
- Peter Watts

Tower of Glass  
  An enormous glass tower built to communicate outside the solar system.  

Simeon Krug's tower now rises 100 meters above the gray-brown tundra of the Canadian Arctic, west of Hudson Bay. At present the tower is merely a glassy stump, hollow, open-topped, sealed from the elements only by a repellor field hovering shieldlike just a few meters above the current work level...

Krug has his androids working three shifts round the clock; when it gets dark, the construction site is lit by millions of reflector plates strung across the sky at a height of one kilometer and powered by the little million-kilowatt fusion generator at the north end of the site.

"How high will it be when it's finished?" Quenelle asks.

"1500 meters," Krug replies. "A tremendous tower of glass full of machinery that nobody can understand. And then we'll turn it on. And then we'll talk to the stars.

From Tower of Glass, by Robert Silverberg.
Published by Gollancz in 1970
Additional resources -

The tower uses special bands of refrigerator tape embedded in the surrounding permafrost to stabilize the building and leech away the heat of construction.

Compare to city of glass from The Godmakers (1972) by Frank Herbert, metalloglass from Buck Rogers, 2430 AD (1929) by Nowlan and Calkins and plani-glass from Crystalized Thought (1937) by Nat Schachner.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Tower of Glass
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Silverberg
  Tech news articles related to Tower of Glass
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Silverberg

Tower of Glass-related news articles:
  - Khanty Mansiysk Siberia Tower Of Glass

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