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

"It was my preferred entertainment when I was a kid, so when I set out to be a writer, it was perfectly natural that I should write the sort of stories that I used to enjoy reading."
- John Brunner

Illyrion  
  Super-heavy and super-stable elements with atomic numbers greater than 296.  

"Mouse, what does Illyrion mean to you?"

He considered. "An Illyrion battery makes my syrynx play. I know they use it to keep this moon's core hot. Doesn't it have something to do with the faster-than-light drive?"

Mouse, there is noticeably less Illyrion in your syrynx battery, by a factor of twenty or twenty-five, than there is, let's say, radium in the fluorescent paint on the numerals of a radium dial watch. How long does a battery last?"

"They're supposed to go to fifty years. Expensive as hell."

"The Illyrion needed to keep this moon's core molten is measured in grams. The amount needed to propel a starship is on the same order. To quantify the amount mined and free in the Universe, eight or nine thousand kilograms will suffice...

"Katin, what is Illyrion?"

"Psychophysics 74 and 75. I went to the library. The best definition is the one given by Professor Plovnievsky in his paper presented at Oxford in 2238 before the theoretical physics society. I quote: 'Basically, gentlemen, Illyrion is something else.' One wonders if it was a happy accident from lack of facility with the language, or a profound understanding of English subtlety. The dictionary definition, I believe, reads something like, ' ...general name for the group of trans three-hundred elements with psychomorphic properties, heterotropic with many of the common elements as well as the imaginary series that exist between 107 and 255 on the periodic chart.'

"You know that as you mount the chart of atomic numbers past 98, the elements become less and less stable, till we get to jokes like Einsteinum, Californium, Fermium with half lives of hundredths of a secondó and mounting further, hundredths of thousandths of a second. The higher we go, the unstable. For this reason, the whole series between 100 and 298 were labeledó mislabeledó the imaginary elements. They're quite real. They just don't stay around very long. At 296 or thereabouts, however, the stability begins to go up again. At three hundred we're back to a half-life measurable in tenths of a second, and five or six above that and we've started a whole new series of elements with respectable half-lives back in the millions of years. These elements have immense nuclei, and are very rare. But as far back as 1950, hyperons had been discovered, elementary particles bigger than protons and neutrons. These are the particles that carry the binding energies holding together these super nuclei, as ordinary mesons hold together the nucleus in more familiar elements. This group of super-heavy, super-stable elements go under the general heading of Illyrion. And to quote again the eminent Plovnievsky, 'Basically, gentlemen, Illyrion is something else.'

Technovelgy from Nova, by Samuel R. Delany.
Published by Doubleday in 1968
Additional resources -

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Nova
  More Ideas and Technology by Samuel R. Delany
  Tech news articles related to Nova
  Tech news articles related to works by Samuel R. Delany

Articles related to Material
MXenes - Atomic-Thin Metal Sheets Now Easier To Make
Do We Still Need Orbiting Factories?
MIT Self-Assembling Reprogrammable Materials
Tiny Mining - Extract Precious Industrial Minerals From Your Own Body

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

Barista Robot Perfects Latte Swirl With Multi-DOF Wriggle
'It's done with a flip of the third joint of the tentacle on the down beat.'

Vendetta 2023 All-Terrain Skateboard Could Use Neal Stephenson's Smartwheels
'If you surf over a bump... If you surf over a pothole...'

Safe Street Rebel Autonomous Vehicle Luddites And Schachner's 1931 Robot-Deranger
'Then the spreading beam of the deranging ray struck them, and they stood an instant transfixed...'

The Electric Balance Bicycle And The Decline Of Western Civilization
'Noiselessly, on rubber-tired wheels, they journeyed...'

'Droplet' Battery Microscale Power Pack
'...a power pack the size of a pea.'

ARX-5 Doing Robot Arm Dancing
It's Data's day - at last.

CD, DVD Bit Rot And PKD's Civic Notification Distorter
'...copy two of the original document no longer can be superimposed on copy one.'

Inbiodroid Prometheus 2.0 Telepresence Avatar Robot
My prize robot, tall, dashing would speak and act for me...

Amazon One Is Frank Herbert's Palm Lock
'A palm lock must be keyed to one individual's hand shape and palm lines.'

DroneDog Ground Security Robot Dogs From Asylon
'I have transferred the ego of a dog to a synthetic dog brain in the skull case of a robot dog.'

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.