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

"My feeling is that the chance of our surviving into the twenty-first century as working civilization is less than fifty percent but greater than zero."
- Isaac Asimov

  The point in a torchship's trajectory when it must flip over and point its fiery tail toward its destination to decelerate.  

As far as I know, this is the first use of this term.

Hadley cracked an air valve beside a circular air door. The hiss of entering air crescendoed and died, and then Hadley cracked the door that opened in upon the huge driver tube. With casual disregard for the annular electrodes that filled the tube and the sudden death that would come if the pilot sent the driving voltages surging into the electrodes, Hadley climbed to the top of the tube and used a spanner to remove four huge bolts. A handy differential pulley permitted him to lower the near-exhausted cathode from the girders to the air door where it was hauled to the deck. A fresh cathode was slung to the pulley and hoisted to place. Hadley bolted it tight and clambered back into the ship...

(Differential pulley from 'Off the Beam" by George O. Smith)

"Probably this other thing will go on until we hit an emergency; then we shall prove that old statement about a loaf of bread being the maternal parent of a locomotive.” Channing lit a cigarette, and puffed deeply. “Where do we stand?”

“Thirty hours out,” answered the steward. “About ready for turnover.

Tom Bennington laughed. He was an old-timer, and he said in a reminiscent tone: “I remember when we used to do that on manual. There were as many cases of mal de void during cathode change as during turnover. Autopilots are the nuts — look! We’re about to swing right now, and I’ll bet a fiver that the folks below won’t know a thing about it.”

Technovelgy from Off the Beam, by George O. Smith.
Published by Astounding Science Fiction in 1944
Additional resources -

Here's another quote from Smith’s story:

Forty-one hours later, the Relay Queen made turnover and began to decelerate.

Fans of Robert Heinlein may recall this use from Double Star (1955):

U At turnover we got that one-gravity rest that Dak had promised. We never were in free fall, not for an instant; instead of putting out the torch, which I gather they hate to do while under way, the ship described what Dak called a 180-degree skew turn.

Compare to negative acceleration from Skylark of Space (1928) by E.E. 'Doc' Smith and skew-flip turnover, a masterly mathematical treatment by Robert Heinlein in Have Space Suit - Will Travel (1958).

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Off the Beam
  More Ideas and Technology by George O. Smith
  Tech news articles related to Off the Beam
  Tech news articles related to works by George O. Smith

Articles related to Space Tech
FLOAT Levitating Train On The Moon ala Clarke
SpaceX Intros Extravehicular Activity Suit
SpaceX Wants A Moonbase Alpha
NASA Wants Self-Driving Or Remote-Controlled Vehicles For Lunar Astronauts

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

Live Stream With Meta-Ban Multimodal Smart Glasses
'...the bug-eyed, opaque gape of her True-Vu lenses.'

'Autonomous' Waymo Improves Driving With Remote Human Operators
'...some bored drone pusher in a remote driving centre has got your life... in his hands.'

Will Whales Be Our First Contact?
'He had piloted the Adastra to its first contact with the civilization of another solar system.'

SliceIt! Why Not Teach Robots To Use Knives?
'One building now gushed forth smoke and another stench that was unmistakable.'

FLOAT Levitating Train On The Moon ala Clarke
'The low-slung monorail car, straddling its single track, bored through the shadows on a slowly rising course.'

Singapore Writers Push Back On LLM Training
'...we've promised him a generous pension from the royalties.'

SpaceX Intros Extravehicular Activity Suit
'Provision had been made to meet the terrific cold which we knew would be encountered the moment we had passed beyond the atmosphere.'

Athena Smart Security Guard Robot With Face Recognition
'You are who we say you are, Dr. Dakin,' Turner said.'

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.