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

Artificial Intelligence
Data Storage
Input Devices
Living Space
Space Tech
Virtual Person

"I love that computer science has made mathematics into something like an experimental science. I was never all that good at proving things, but I love doing computer experiments."
- Rudy Rucker

  A small vehicle used in transporting people around the moon's surface.  

It should be fun to get from place to place on the lunar surface.

On the rack of the corridor wall by the small air-lock entrance lay a ten-foot long volplane.*
* A Moon vehicle - a toboggan-shaped metal air sled, with low siderails equipped with gravity plates electrolyzed in the fashion of a tiny space flyer. The vehicle is impractical, largely used for sport, the safe handling of it requiring extraordinary skill, the manipulator lying flat, working its controls and maintaining balance by rapid shifting of the body from side to side.

Precarious business, this volplane riding; to Georg it had always seemed extreme, for he had never been skillful at it. He crouched now, close under the tiny forward hood, clinging to the handles of the foot-high side rails; and occasionally raising himself to peer forward and down at the shadowed expanses of rocks beneath.

From Blood of the Moon, by Ray Cummings.
Published by Thrilling Wonder Stories in 1936
Additional resources -

Even better, you can launch a volplane yourself:

She... shoved the light bulk of the volplane with a grinding slide over the threshold of the air-lock entrance...

The air in the pressure lock was soon exhausted. Georg slid open the outer door. Together the three moved out into the airless, soundless darkness of the Lunar night, dragging the volplane after them. A dark, iron-railed ledge of rock was here. Beyond it, a precipice dropped off, with the tumbled rocky ramparts of the giant crater of Archimedes widening out down in the lower darkness, six thousand feet down to where the rippled, undulating, rocky expanse of the Mare Imbrium stretched off to the distant horizon.

Compare to the lunocycle from The Rolling Stones (1952) by Robert Heinlein, the dust-cruiser from A Fall of Moondust (1961) by Arthur C. Clarke.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Blood of the Moon
  More Ideas and Technology by Ray Cummings
  Tech news articles related to Blood of the Moon
  Tech news articles related to works by Ray Cummings

Articles related to Spacecraft
China Wants To Build Mega Space Ships
Dream Of Building Your Own Rocket?
Used Dragon Cargo Spacecraft Will Fly Again
Laser-Powered Spacecraft To Explore The Solar System

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.





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
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Science Fiction in the News

'Courier Commons' By Tomorrow Lab, From Karl Schroeder (and Bruce Sterling?)
'The pokkecon rang again. *The coffee’s for him?* Tsuyoshi said.'

Terrifying Robotic Apple Harvester
'... little machines, that went from plant to plant.'

Mechanical Horse Sculpture Gallops In Place
'Rod placed the brain inside the panel... the horse raised its head, wiggled its ears, blinked twice, gave a tentative whinny.'

'Make Sunsets' Tweaks Climate By Atmospheric Alteration
'Pina2bo would have to operate full blast for many years to put as much SO2 into the stratosphere as its namesake had done in a few minutes.'

Eviation Alice Electric Plane First Flight
'A white electric plane approached at great speed...'

Hotels Turn To Robots As Human Workers Regroup
'Chain of hotels that specialized in non-human service.'

Changesite Mineral To Be Mined On Moon By China
'But then... not every bulldozer operator works on the Moon.'

Tongue-Controlled Tong Wearable Mouth Computer
'Griff found the white and pink map distracting and switched it off using his tongue mouse.'

Is It Better To Be Short?
'He was one of the smaller, energy-saving new breed...'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

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

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.