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 received a nice letter the other day from the Dalai Lama. He had read 'The Nine Billion Names of God'. It is about a computer at a Tibetan monastery."
- Arthur C. Clarke

Lunar Advertisement  
  An 'ad' on the lunar surface that can be seen by its audience on Earth.  

It started out as a perfectly innocent experiment, meant to add to the store of human knowledge. Just an extension of an experiment tried on Earth, or rather in the atmosphere high above the surface. Sodium ejected at a high altitude dispersed in a scientifically useful manner.

"...The sodium cloud will be completely invisible while itís rising up through the darkness of the Moonís shadow. Then, quite suddenly, it will flash into brilliance as it enters the sunís rays, which are streaming past over our heads right now as we stare up into space. No one is quite sure how bright it will be, but itís a pretty safe guess that youíll be able to see it in any telescope bigger than a two-inch. So it should just be within the range of a good pair of binoculars...Ē

Then a sudden yellow glow began to spread across the sky, like a vast and unwavering aurora that became brighter even as we watched. It was as if an artist was sprawling strokes across the stars with a flame-filled brush. And as I stared at those strokes, I suddenly realized that someone had brought off the greatest advertising coup in history. For the strokes formed letters, and the letters formed two words ó the name of a certain soft drink too well-known to need any further publicity from me.

How had it been done? The first answer was obvious. Someone had placed a suitable cut stencil in the nozzle of the sodium bomb, so that the stream of escaping vapor had shaped itself to the words. Since there was nothing to distort it, the pattern had kept its shape during its invisible ascent to the stars. I had seen sky-writing on Earth, but this was something on a far larger scale.

The next morning, every newspaper on the planet carried that famous photo of the crescent Moon with the luminous slogan painted across its darkened sector.

The letters were visible, before they finally dispersed into space, for over an hour. By that time the words were almost a thousand miles long, and were beginning to get blurred.

Technovelgy from Watch This Space, by Arthur C. Clarke.
Published by Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1957
Additional resources -

Thanks to Winchell Chung for suggesting this item in a comment sixteen years ago!

Compare to atmospheric advertising from In the Year 2889 (1889) by Jules Verne, the Orbiting Casino Advertising Sign from One Against The Legion (1939) by Jack Williamson and the permanent skywriting from Soap Opera (1953) by Alan Nelson.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Watch This Space
  More Ideas and Technology by Arthur C. Clarke
  Tech news articles related to Watch This Space
  Tech news articles related to works by Arthur C. Clarke

Articles related to Culture
Ulm Sleep Pods For The Homeless
Prophetic Offers Lucid Dreaming Halo With Morpheus-1 AI
Navajo Say Human Cremains On The Moon Is 'Desecration'
Drones Participate In Buddhist Rites

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

Ulm Sleep Pods For The Homeless
'The lid lifted and she crawled inside...'

Prophetic Offers Lucid Dreaming Halo With Morpheus-1 AI
''Leads trail away from insertion points on her face and wrist... to a lucid dreamer...'

More Like A Tumblebug Than A Motorcycle
'It is about the size and shape of a kitchen stool, gyro-stabilized on a single wheel...'

Tesla Camera-Only Vision Predicted In 1930's SF
'By its means, the machine can see.'

First Ever Proof Of Water On Asteroids
'Yes, strangely enough there was still sufficient water beneath the surface of Vesta.'

Aptera Solar EV More Stylish Than Heinlein Steel Tortoise
'When confronted by hills, or rough terrain, it did not stop, but simply slowed until the task demanded equaled its steady power output.'

Gigantic Space Sunshade Would Fight Global Warming
'...the light of the sun had been polarized by two crossed fields so that no radiation could pass.'

Untethered Spacewalk's 50th Anniversary
'But that space walk of mine wasn't so very amazing.'

ESA Designs Huge Inflatable Moonbase
'It was like being inside a balloon; indeed, that was exactly where he was.'

AlphaGarden Robot Cares For Gardens Better Than Humans
'...a simple clock-set servok with pipe and hose arms.'

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.