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

"The idea I want to push next is that the United States should make Siberia a Protectorate. Pay the Russians off – a hundred, two hundred billion dollars – and simply run Siberia in an ecologically responsible way."
- Gregory Benford

Machine City  
  A city that is a self-maintaining whole entity.  

This is a very early reference to the idea of a city that is really one large, complex machine. It is self-maintaining; it is designed to exist forever, without any intervention by man.

The city was divided into two sections, a section of many strata where machines functioned smoothly, save for a deep, humming beat that echoed through the whole city like a vast, unending song of power. The entire metal framework of the place echoed with it, transmitted it, hummed with it. But it was soft and restful, a reassuring beat.

There must have been thirty levels above ground and twenty more below, a solid block of metal walls and metal floors and metal and glass and force machines.


(Machine city from 'Twilight' by Don Stuart (John W. Campbell).)

Seven or even seventy million years don't mean much to old Mother Earth. She may even succeed in wearing down those marvelous machine cities...

When the builders made those cities, they forgot one thing. They didn't realize that things shouldn't go on forever.

Technovelgy from Twilight, by John W. Campbell.
Published by Astounding Science Fiction in 1934
Additional resources -

Readers familiar with Robert Silverberg may recall the city on Lemnos, from his novel The Man in the Maze; also, in Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles he refers to cities that kill invaders and clean up after themselves.

Compare to the Machine from The Machine Stops (1909) by EM Forster, the government machine from Mechanocracy (1932) by Miles J. Breuer, the games machine from The World of Null-A (1945) by AE van Vogt, central computer from The City and the Stars (1956) by Arthur C. Clarke, the Vulcan 3 computer from Vulcan's Hammer (1960) by Philip K. Dick and the WatchdØg from WatchdØg (1972) by Jack C. Haldeman.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Twilight
  More Ideas and Technology by John W. Campbell
  Tech news articles related to Twilight
  Tech news articles related to works by John W. Campbell

Machine City-related news articles:
  - Songdo IBD Smart City
  - UK's Self-Repairing Cities

Articles related to Living Space
With Mycotecture, We'll Just Grow The Space Habitats We Need
Vast Apartment Living Will Get Even More Vast
LiquidView Ersatz Windows, ala Philip K. Dick
Solar House Concept Unfolds Solar Panels Like A Flower

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

Automatic Bot Traffic Is 38 Percent Of HTTP Requests
'there were so many worms and counterworms loose in the data-net...'

Shanghai Guidelines For Humanoid Robots
'Now, look, let's start with the three fundamental Rules of Robotics...'

Desktop TARS Robot From Interstellar
What's YOUR sarcasm setting?

Robots Can Now Have Smiling Faces With Human Skin
'I am a cybernetic organism...'

Virtual Rat Predicts Actual Rat Neural Activity
'..the synthetic intellects at the Place of Knowledge had far outstripped the minds of men.'

GoSun EV Solar Charger Drapes Onto Your Car
'...six square yards of sunpower screens.'

Rizon 4 Ironing Robot
'But after washing and drying clothes had to be smooth - free from fine lines and wrinkles ...'

Cognify - A Prison Of The Mind We've Seen Before In SF
'So I serve a hundred years in one day...'

Robot With Human Brain Organoid - 'A Thrilling Story Of Mechanistic Progress'
'A human brain snugly encased in a transparent skull-shaped receptacle.'

Goodness Gracious Me! Google Tries Face Recognition Security
'The actuating mechanism that should have operated by the imprint of her image on the telephoto cell...'

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.