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

"This category [science fiction] excludes rocket ships that make U-turns, serpent men of Neptune that lust after human maidens, and stories by authors who flunked their Boy Scout merit badge tests in descriptive astronomy."
- Robert Heinlein

Zero-Time Jail  
  A building in which an energy field prevents time from passing.  

In this future world, an escape-proof prison is invented which requires no guards, dogs or razor wire to keep the prisoners in. Time itself is stopped; the prisoners don't age a day.

"They learned my crime from my ship's log. They sentenced me to - " Untranslated.

"What was that?"

"They stopped time for me. There was a building where some criminals went to be stored against need." The bitter smile again: "I was to be flattered. Only unusual breakers of the law were thought to be of future need to the State. People of high intelligence or with good genes or interesting tales to tell future historians. The building would hold perhaps ten thousand, no more. I was lucky they let me keep my medicines. At that I could choose only as much as I could carry."

From A World Out of Time, by Larry Niven.
Published by Random House in 1976
Additional resources -

This is another solution to the problem of time travel; you stay "still" in time while the rest of the world progresses. Of course, it only works one way. A similar idea is used by Vernor Vinge in his wonderful novel, The Peace War.

Compare to the asteroid prison from One Against the Legion (1939) by Jack Williamson, the Alcatraz of Space from Reunion on Ganymede (1938) by Clifford Simak, the Moon as prison from The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (1966) by Robert Heinlein, Brainlock from Mona Lisa Overdrive (1988) by William Gibson and the orbital penal colony from Tekwar (1989) by William Shatner.

You might also be interested in the null-entropy bin - the world's best salad crisper, from Heretics of Dune by Frank Herbert.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 4 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from A World Out of Time
  More Ideas and Technology by Larry Niven
  Tech news articles related to A World Out of Time
  Tech news articles related to works by Larry Niven

Articles related to Engineering
Shine On, Portable Wind Turbine
The Mojo Smart Contact Lens Experience
Low-Cost Gel Pulls Water From Atmosphere Like Star Wars Vaporator
SpaceX Rocket Quick Reaction Force

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

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

Spaceships Should Last So Long
'THE SPACE VESSEL was traveling swiftly… For over five thousand years they had Voyaged on and on.’

Shine On, Portable Wind Turbine
'Sometimes a man has a windmill on his roof...'

Amazing Indoor Robotic Drones Mimic Dolphins and Whales
'They circled the vast audiences, dancing, twittering, chirping...'

Space Station Shutters
'The sun-quilt was a patchwork of colors and materials on the inward side, but silvered on the outward side...'

Tiny Mining - Extract Precious Industrial Minerals From Your Own Body
'Jim, I saw them reduce four of my doctors and nurses into those little cubes!'

MIT Proposes Space Bubbles To Combat Climate Change, Misses The Point Of Space Bubbles
'Fats Jordan was hanging in the center of the Big Glass Balloon, hugging his guitar to his massive black belly above his purple shorts..'

Tianjin Solar Vehicle From Hanergy (2022) Looking Like Heinlein's (1940)
'When confronted by hills, or rough terrain, it did not stop, but simply slowed until the task demanded equaled its steady power output.'

Study Reveals Effect Of Space Travel On The Brain
'... the brain is no longer subjected to the accustomed pull, and it expands slightly in all directions.'

Sky Cruise Nuclear Powered Flying Hotel Concept
'... the huge air-freighter Jupiter.'

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.