Science Fiction Dictionary: Ideas, Terms and Technology
( 3902 Inventions Available)

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Device Name Book/Story Author Date
Modified humans controlled by cybernetic implants.
Scanners Live in Vain Smith  1950
Habitable Exoplanet Moon
An Earthlike moon that orbits a gas giant.
Star Wars Lucas  1976
HAL 9000
The canonical example of an artificially intelligent computer.
2001: A Space Odyssey Clarke  1968
Half-Sphere Force Field
A protective force field that can manifest even as a half-sphere.
Between Planets Heinlein  1951
Hall of Euthanasia
A place for (mostly) voluntary suicide.
One Against The Legion Williamson  1939
Hall of the Council
An enormous council chamber, fit for a galaxy.
Crashing Suns Hamilton  1928
Device that incapacitates a person by inducing unconsciousness.
Minority Report (Movie) Spielberg  2002
Flying blunt trauma weapon remote-controlled by an artificially intelligent computer.
Vulcan's Hammer Dick  1960
Hand Computer
A small pocket-sized computing device.
The Dead Past Asimov  1956
Hand Grip
Means of pulling oneself through a space ship at zero gravity.
Islands of Space Campbell  1931
Hand Wave Control
Control an electronic or other device with gestures.
Solar Lottery Dick  1955
Handbag Computer
Device capable of carrying on your conversation for you.
The Futurological Congress Lem  1974
A self-organizing closet
The Zap Gun Dick  1965
An electronic tablet for information browsing.
Wyrmhole Caselberg  2003
Making use of hand-held rockets or other reaction devices to move through space.
A Question of Salvage Jameson  1939
A handheld device that used reaction matter to aid explorers in space suits to move around easily in zero gee.
Murder in the Void Hamilton  1938
Hands Free Helmet
The helmet of a powered suit has controls activated by head movements.
Starship Troopers Heinlein  1959
A text input device implanted in your skin.
Steel Beach Varley  1992
A telefactoring device that also was able to function independently.
My Name is Legion Zelazny  1976
Hanky Bush
A plant with leaves grown to resemble common, multipurpose tissues.
Sparrowhawk Easton  1990
Happicuppa Coffee Bush
A species of coffee bush designed for ease of harvesting.
Oryx and Crake Atwood  2003
Happylife Home
An automated multi-media home, which provided the good life to its inhabitants.
The Illustrated Man Bradbury  1951
Ultralight metal.
Tarzan at the Eath's Core Burroughs  1929
Harvest Power From Stray Energy
A means of collecting enough energy from stray electronic impulses to power a device.
The Golden Girl of Munan Vincent  1928
Harvesting Saturn's Rings
Mining the rings for industrial purposes.
The Computer Connection Bester  1974
Hawking Mat
About two meters long and one meter wide, made of shielded monofilaments, with a bright textile design - okay, it's a flying carpet.
Hyperion Simmons  1989
Head Cheese
Intelligent paste made of neurons; spread upon a substrate for computing.
Starfish Watts  1999
Head-Molding Skincaps
Get a smooth pate without shaving.
Prelude to Foundation Asimov  1988
Wireless headsets provide computer language translation.
Idoru Gibson  1996
A virtual world in which a person could raise a virtual baby with full haptic realism.
Flood Baxter  2008
Healing Crystal
A small object that burns off diseased tissue, leaving healthy tissue unharmed.
A Martian Odyssey Weinbaum  1934
Hearing Aid
A service that allows people to anonymously talk with another person who only listens.
The Shockwave Rider Brunner  1975
A shirt that was able to detect heart sounds and display associated colors.
Wetware Rucker  1988
Heat Generating Magnetic Disks
Devices used to artificially raise the temperature of the surface of moons to a reasonable level.
Spawn of the Red Giants Long, Jr.  1937
Heat Ray
First use of what appears to be a laser weapon.
The War of the Worlds Wells  1898
Heat Transmitter
Device which captures solar energy close to the source and then beams it in concentrated form to outer planets.
Crashing Suns Hamilton  1928
Heat-Removing Staff
Device absorbs all heat from its target.
The Dead Lady of Clown Town Smith  1965
Perfect for those incredibly hot planets with breathable atmospheres.
Sand Doom Leinster  1955
Hedgerly Effect
A means of producing a gravitational field artificially.
Meddler's Moon Smith  1947
Enormous starship used by the Spacing Guild for interstellar travel.
Dune Herbert  1965
Helen O'Loy
A robot is enhanced to offer feelings and affection.
Helen O'Loy del Rey  1938
A taxi cab that flies using helicopter rotors.
Heli-Cab Hack Weston  1950
Small, private flyers for business commuting.
The Black Star Passes Campbell  1930
A hovering craft used by referees in rocket polo.
Ra For The Rajah Peterson  1938
Unusual alloy combines a metal and a gas.
Out Around Rigel Wilson  1931
Ground vehicle that can also lift off like a helicopter.
The Prince of Space Williamson  1931
Helio-Dynamophores (Sun-Power-Generators)
Photo-electric elements which transformed the solar heat direct into electric energy.
Ralph 124c 41 + Gernsback  1911
Helium Metal
An ore with the spectroscopic line of Helium.
In the Deep of Time Lathrop  1897
Helium Tubes
Lighting that exactly mimics the frequencies of sunlight.
The Cubic City Tucker, D.D.  1929
Helix Gun
A device for capturing ferrous meteors.
Salvage in Space Williamson  1933
An incomparably beautiful and rare jewel.
Star of Dreams Williamson  1941
Helmet Visor Display
A heads-up display with a variety of advanced features.
The Tank Lords Drake  1997
Helmet-Mounted Display Screen
A small electronic display mounted for easy viewing.
Rock Diver Harrison  1951
A very strong alloy like steel.
The Howling Bounders Vance  1949
Heritable Memories Bloodline
Using magical means to tie specific memories to the bloodlines of selected families.
The Time of the Dark Hambly  1982
A small, self-contained chamber in which a person could endure months of enforced sleep.
2001: A Space Odyssey Clarke  1968
Hide in the Asteroids
Match speed with the asteroids and become undetectable.
Plague Leinster  1944
High Kavalaan Aircar
Flying SUV equipped with laser weapons.
Dying of the Light Martin  1977
High Orbit Archipelago
The habitable spaces in high earth orbit.
Mona Lisa Overdrive Gibson  1988
High Tech Trash Can
The future of waste management.
Islands in the Net Sterling  1988
High-Frequency Oven
This describes the essence of a microwave.
Space Cadet Heinlein  1948
High-Voltage Cuffs
Metallic shirt-sleeve cuffs capable of carrying a charge.
Snow Crash Stephenson  1992
Hilsch Vortex Tube
A T-shaped device that admits air under pressure and outputs hot air from side and cold from the other.
The Space Merchants Pohl (w/CM Kornbluth)  1952
Hinged Mittens (for Space Suit)
Space worthy mittens for space suits.
The Bluff of the Hawk Gilmore  1932
Hired Girl Robot
The amazing floor-cleaning robot!
The Door Into Summer Heinlein  1956
Historical research using a time machine.
The Meddler Dick  1954
Historical Listening Machine
Device can hear sounds from down through the ages.
The Machine That Knew Too Much Locke  1933
Hive Mind
A group mind.
The Face of the Deep Hamilton  1942
Hollow Asteroid
An asteroid that has been hollowed out for use as a space habitat.
Juke Box Asteroid Farrell  1944
Abbreviation of "hologram".
Ringworld Niven  1970
Holo (License)
A three-dimensional driver license and identification card.
Rim Besher  1994
A very large holographic display, that a person could walk into.
A Scanner Darkly Dick  1977
A computer-simulated environment.
Encounter at Farpoint Gerrold  1987
A means of projecting a commercial message onto a fine spray.
The Ophiuchi Hotline Varley  1977
A small display like an iPad that shows 3D images.
The Fountains of Paradise Clarke  1978
Errors introduced in data storage media when recording under improper conditions.
A Scanner Darkly Dick  1977
A small portable device that acquired holographic surveillance images.
A Scanner Darkly Dick  1977
Home Ad Blocker
Device insulates house against intrusion by 3D advertisements.
The Computer Connection Bester  1974
Home Manager
A device that responds to verbal or other commands; serves as an intelligent telephone answering machine and other tasks.
Queen of Angels Bear  1990
Home News Printer
A device that prints out the newspaper of your choice right in your own home.
The Senator's Daughter Mitchell  1879
Home Planet
Usually the birthplace of your species or simply your planet of origin.
In the Deep of Time Lathrop  1897
Home Robot
A robotic device designed to serve families in their homes.
Runaway Crichton  1985
Home Termite Habitat
Edible insects raised fresh in your own kitchen!
Natulife Brin  1994
Home Therapy Appliances, Inc.
A store at which a variety of therapy devices are made available
Bad Medicine Sheckley  1956
A automated device that produces a newspaper without human assistance.
Ubik Dick  1969
Homeostatic Newspaper
An autonomous news-gathering and publishing entity; abbreviated as homeopape.
If There Were No Benny Cemoli Dick  1953
A device fired from a gun that ends the life of a citizen, based on the color of their palm flower.
Logan's Run Nolan (w/G.C. Johnson)  1967
Homeworld (Home-World)
One's planet of origin.
A Honeymoon In Space Griffith  1901
Homing Butterflies
Butterflies modified to accompany a purchased bouquet.
Moxyland Beukes  2008
Homo Superior
A human subspecies created through radical applications of biotechnology.
Alpha Centauri Meier  1999
A kind of nursery that could bring a human being to maturity in a single year.
The Last Men Long, Jr.  1934
Homotropic News Vending Machine
An autonomous news-selling robot, that was able to specifically seek out human beings.
The Game Players of Titan Dick  1963
Hood Hologram
A hologrammatic display on the outside surface of a car.
Virtual Light Gibson  1993
An alternative spelling.
Castaways of Eros Bond  1943
A vehicle with a single leg and rotors to enhance 'hang time.'
Lucky Starr and the Oceans of Venus Asimov  1954
Horsten Psychomat
Re-creates a mental scene for the viewer.
The Worlds of If Weinbaum  1935
Hostage Gas
A gas sprayed over a population; to survive, those who breathe it must report to centers for the antidote.
The Uplift War Brin  1987
A desk space that was itself ready for input.
Idoru Gibson  1996
A portable room within a room.
New York 2140 Robinson  2017
House Cleaning Device
A robotic means of thorough home cleaning.
Paradise and Iron Breuer  1930
House Records
The vast archival information management system of the Bene Gesserit sisterhood, covering millennia.
Heretics of Dune Herbert  1984
House Records Archivist
A specialist who correlated information within the House Records of the Bene Gesserit.
Heretics of Dune Herbert  1984
House Trees
Living trees grown as houses; large hollow pods serve as living spaces.
The Houses of Iszm Vance  1954
House Voice
A house-based system that mediates technologies (like phone) with a verbal interface directed to the inhabitants of the house.
Mona Lisa Overdrive Gibson  1988
Housefly Monitor
A living fly that is outfitted with sensors for surveillance work.
Lies, Inc. Dick  1964
House-of-Cards Construction
Architectural technique that uses computers to help buildings maintain their balance during earthquakes.
Rainbows End Vinge  2006
A vehicle that moves about on a cushion of air.
Mona Lisa Overdrive Gibson  1988
A hovercraft for hire, with servility built in.
Steel Beach Varley  1992
Howard Families
A project designed to produce a group of people with exceptionally long life.
Methuselah's Children Heinlein  1941
A drug that brings about greater alertness and cheerfulness.
We Can Build You Dick  1972
HUD Glasses
Integrated glasses and projector provides a portable heads-up display for augmented reality.
Daemon Suarez  2009
Human Blood Chlorophyll
Replacement of elements of human blood with chlorophyll.
The Murgatroyd Experiment Meek  1929
Human Habit Pattern Machines
Imposing human habits onto machines.
The Tunnel Under The World Pohl  1955
Human Object Recognition
System uses human beings as an aid to robotic object recognition.
The Velvet Glove Harrison  1956
Human Quarter
A ghetto for human beings; in this case, in a world of robots.
James P. Crow Dick  1954
Human Serial Number
A unique number tattooed on body of a person.
Unto Us A Child Is Born Keller  1933
An alien with a human-like shape and appearance.
Homo Sol Asimov  1940
A human being with augmented body parts.
The Human Blend Foster  2010
Hunter Program
Searching for occupied dwellings by monitoring electric power usage.
Mindkiller Robinson  1982
An assassination device that floats in mid-air; kills by entering the body and following nerve pathways to vital organs.
Dune Herbert  1965
Hunting Robe
A very thin, furry hunter that captures by constriction.
Time is the Simplest Thing Simak  1961
Hush Corner
A space made private by canceling sound waves in that area.
Double Star Heinlein  1956
Hush Hood
A device that cancels noise, ensuring that others cannot overhear.
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress Heinlein  1966
A special kind of telephone that reduced noise while talking.
The Roads Must Roll Heinlein  1940
A nearly-silent helicopter.
Fantastic Voyage II: Destination Brain Asimov  1987
Husk of an Atom
A negative universe substance.
The Roaring Blot Long, Jr.  1936
Hybrid Mass Driver
A device for launching space craft on the first stage of a journey to space.
The Man Who Sold The Moon Heinlein  1950
Hydropathic bed
A heated bed that used something more comfortable than water.
The Demolished Man Bester  1952
Growing food without soil, typically from water saturated with nutrients.
The Hydroponic Monster Moravsky  1940
Hydroponics in Space
Growing plants for food without soil on a spacecraft.
The Planet Strappers Gallun  1961
Hyperbolic Solenoid
Device that creates and manipulates magnetic fields.
The Exhalted de Camp  1940
A virtual business card; what one avatar might hand another to introduce themselves.
Snow Crash Stephenson  1992
Hyper-Developed Mulies
Bioengineered animals that optimally transform vegetable matter into usable mechanical energy.
The Calorie Man Bacigalupi  2005
A very high tensile strength material structured as a long thin line or ribbon.
The Fountains of Paradise Clarke  1978
A genetic chimera of pig and human.
Redemption Ark Reynolds  2002
Faster than light.
The Best of Fences Garrett  1956
A realm or parallel universe in which it is possible to travel much faster than light.
The Invisible Bubble Meadowcroft  1928
Hyperspace Beacon
Located in real space, these devices provide reference points in hyperspace to make navigation possible.
The Repairman Harrison  1959
A book of three-dimensional pages.
The Book of Worlds Breuer  1929
A device that allows a pursuer to follow a spaceship through hyperspace.
Second Foundation Asimov  1953
The first fictional reference to sleep teaching.
Ralph 124c 41 + Gernsback  1911
Hypno-Encyclopedic Techniques
If you plan to live for centuries, you need to organize your memories.
Time Enough For Love Heinlein  1973
A means of psychological control over an individual.
Dune Herbert  1965
Hypno-Motor Control
A means of controlling the body remotely, cutting off the need for local control (ie, by your mind).
Sales Pitch Dick  1954
Hypnopædia (Sleep-Teaching)
The idea that a person can learn explicit subject matter while sleeping.
Brave New World Huxley  1932
Hypnosis Ray
Eases the words of dictators into the minds of the credulous.
Beyond All Weapons Russell  1941
A device that guarantees quick, surrogate sleep.
The Space Merchants Pohl (w/CM Kornbluth)  1952
A device that displays memories directly on a helmet screen.
Buck Rogers, 2430 AD Nowlan (w/D. Calkins)  1929
Hypnotic injunction
A method of hypnosis that prevents people from revealing particular information.
Methuselah's Children Heinlein  1941
Hypo Arm
A robotic arm used to autonomously deliver pharmaceuticals to patients.
Simulated Trainer Harrison  1958
A spinal anesthetic that allows the reformation of personality.
The Confession of Dr. DeKalb Coblentz  1934

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