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

"I realized there was a heavy-duty change coming in biology, and I could write a really compelling novel about catastrophic evolution, punctuated equilibrium."
- Greg Bear

Electronic Spy  
  An autonomous device that kept itself hidden while keeping track of an individual's activity.  

This is an early reference to this kind of device, and is particularly detailed.

As if the whisper of the chair sliding on the carpeting might have been a signal, a scurrying sound came out of one darkened corner and traveled to the next and then was still...

There was something in the corner by the yellow chair and although it seemed to have no eyes, he knew it was watching him. It didn't know that he had spotted it, or it didn't seem to know, although in the next instant it more than likely would.

His right arm swung up and over and followed through and the paperweight, turning end over end, crashed into the corner.

There was a crunching sound and the noise of metallic parts rolling on the floor.

There were many little tubes, smashed, and an intricate mass of wiring that was bent and broken, and crystal disks that were chipped and splintered, and the metallic outer shell that had held the tubes and wiring and the disks and the many other pieces of mechanical mystery that he did not recognize...

No mouse, but something else - something that scuttled in the night, knowing that he would think it was a mouse... a thing that had scared the cat which knew it was no mouse, and a thing that would not be attracted to traps.

An electronic spy, he speculated, a scuttling, scurrying, listening device that watched his every moment, that stored what it heard and saw for future reference or transmitted directly the knowledge that it gained. But direct to whom? If it were a spying device, it would be made so well, so cleverly that it would be able not only to observe him but to keep out of sight itself. To have any value, it must keep its presence undetected. There would be no careless moment.

From Ring Around the Sun, by Clifford Simak.
Published by Galaxy Science Fiction in 1952
Additional resources -

Compare to the robot tracking device from Philip K. Dick's 1960 novel Vulcan's Hammer, the scarab robot flying insect from Raymond Z. Gallun's 1936 story The Scarab and the mechanical mice from Eric Frank Russel's chilling 1941 short story The Mechanical Mice.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Ring Around the Sun
  More Ideas and Technology by Clifford Simak
  Tech news articles related to Ring Around the Sun
  Tech news articles related to works by Clifford Simak

Articles related to Surveillance
'Ring Nation' Show Predicted By William Gibson In 1999
The Wanderer: Eyebot From Fallout, Eye From Zelazny
Small Town Wants 60 License Plate Readers
Pixy Flying Selfie Drone From Snap

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

CyberOne Robot By Xiaomi vs. Optimus Robot By Tesla
'I shall introduce myself... I am a robot.'

Giving Snakes Their Legs Back
Then some unknown race had chanced upon the dreamers and decided to 'help them out.'

'Ring Nation' Show Predicted By William Gibson In 1999
'... you had your trademark Lucky Dragon Global Interactive Video Column outside.'

SolarXOne Solar-Powered Drone Flies (almost) Forever
'It's an Indian Air Force drone; its solar cells could power an entire farm.'

Video! Chess Robot Breaks Opponent's Finger In Match
'A robot may not injure a human being.'

Virtual Co-Embodyment - Two People Control One Virtual Body
'... we were supposed to be forming five unit composites first."

The Wanderer: Eyebot From Fallout, Eye From Zelazny
'We send our eyes on their appointed rounds, and they can hover or soar or back up...'

Experts Decry Planet-Scale Schemes To Limit Global Heating
'Light from the sun hit those little spheres and bounced.'

OrganEx Revives The Organs In Dead Pig
'Wakened into half-life activity one hour a month...'

NAVER Labs Haptic Device 2.0 Robot vs. IKEA
'... the two pairs of waldoes in the screen followed in exact, simultaneous parallelism.'

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.