Science Fiction Dictionary: Ideas, Terms and Technology
( 3883 Inventions Available)

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Device Name Book/Story Author Date
ICE (intrusion countermeasures electronics)
Electronic protection for computer databases.
Neuromancer Gibson  1984
Ice Dart
A variation on an old locked door mystery idea.
Nanotime Kosko  1987
Iceberg Water Tub
An enormous bag or tub that encloses an iceberg used to supply fresh water.
Oath of Fealty Pournelle (w/L. Niven)  1981
A crystalline form of water so stable that in practical terms it would never melt.
Cat's Cradle Vonnegut, Jr.  1963
Icon Thumbsized Image
A very early reference to a screen icon.
2001: A Space Odyssey Clarke  1968
A computer device specifically made to help model genes and proteins for identification.
Darwin's Children Bear  2003
Ident Darts
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that track individuals.
The Electric Ant Dick  1969
Identification Beacon
Radio pulse to identify orbiting craft.
Methuselah's Children Heinlein  1941
Identification Ring
An apparently ordinary ring, which minutely describes and identifies its wearer.
Sinister Barrier Russell  1939
A hologram projector used to flash door signs.
The Star King Vance  1964
Allows the retrieval of a person's entire history of reading material, allowing the prediction of his future thinking.
The Penultimate Truth Dick  1964
A virtual person like a video game character; an entity given specific characteristics, existing only in computer networks.
Idoru Gibson  1996
Igloo Inflatable Moon Habitat
An inflatable, portable lunar shelter that can be easily moved and set up.
A Fall of Moondust Clarke  1961
Igloo-Shaped Space Shelter
Easy to set up on airless asteroids.
Collision Orbit Williamson  1942
A metal that glows with its own light.
Altered Carbon Morgan  2003
Super-heavy and super-stable elements with atomic numbers greater than 296.
Nova Delany  1968
The first intelligent ship brain.
Long Shot Vinge  1972
Boost the signal from the eyes to see in the dark.
Neuromancer Gibson  1984
Immersive Home Video
Technology lets users interact with home videos.
Minority Report (Movie) Spielberg  2002
Very small, lightweight objects able to move in three dimensions; they form a protective shield against airborne devices.
The Diamond Age Stephenson  1995
Imp Personal Robot
A small 'subtree' robot that is designed for the personal use of astronauts.
Rocheworld Forward  1985
Impact Suit
A body suit that is flexible, but upon a hard impact becomes rigid and impenetrable.
The Flying Sorcerers Gerrold (w/L, Niven)  1971
Impactor Determines Composition
The use of an impactor to smash into a small celestial body; watching the impact can determine the composition of the small body.
The Mechanical Monarch Tubb  1958
Imperial Handicraft Globe
Perfectly crafted globe for planetary governors.
Dune Herbert  1965
A substance that is impervious to penetration.
Redmask of the Outlands Schachner  1934
Unique material is impenetrable and indestructible.
Clash by Night O'Donnell  1943
Implanted Comlink
Transceiver inserted below the skin.
Savior Kress  2004
Implanted Credit Card
A credit card system that could be surgically implanted; uses radio frequency identification to communicate with checkout hardware.
The Diamond Age Stephenson  1995
Implanted Interface With Retinal Nerves
Circuitry that provides a 'look' at what the eye sees.
The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe (The Unsleeping Eye) Compton  1973
Implanted Microprocessor Monitor
Chips that are implanted in people to ensure compliance with company rules.
Neuromancer Gibson  1984
Implanted Steel Teeth
Replacement teeth implanted in the jaw.
The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch Dick  1965
Implanted Tranceiver
Device enables two-way communication with needing to carry a device.
The Godmakers Herbert  1972
Subcutaneous timepiece; uses patterns of colored lights to show the time.
Cloak of Anarchy Niven  1972
Imprint (A Ditto Blank)
Impress one's personality upon a 'ditto blank' android.
Kiln People Brin  2002
Improve Memory
Help immortals make sense of their memories.
Methuselah's Children Heinlein  1941
Indestructible Contract
Legal document in which can't be easily altered or damaged.
Dorsai! Dickson  1960
Indirect Cold Light
Apparently source-less lighting, highly efficient, with no waste heat.
The Silent Destroyer Juve  1929
Individual Flyer
Personal antigravity and wing unit.
Asteroid Pirates Heckman  1938
Individualized Clothing Manufacture
A device that will produce suits of clothing based on measurement data gathered.
When the Sleeper Wakes Wells  1899
Indoor Stadium
An entirely enclosed baseball stadium.
Flamingo: A Drama of A.D. 1950 Heller  1930
Indoor Weighted Belt
Device to stay grounded in low gravity on the Moon.
Blood of the Moon Cummings  1936
Inert Resin
A special coating that eliminates maintenance on marine structures.
Islands in the Net Sterling  1988
Inertia Screen
A device that canceled out the law of inertia to help decelerating space craft occupants.
Space Rating Berryman  1939
Inertia Tank
A device that protected its delicate contents by cushioning.
Masson's Secret Gallun  1939
Inertial Bracelet
Device to still hand tremors.
Psychohistorical Crisis Kingsbury  2001
Inertialess Drive
Faster-than-light travel achieved!
Triplanetary Smith  1934
Material with all the properties of heavier metals, but lighter.
Armageddon: 2419 A.D. Nowlan  1928
Clothing made of dead fibers; clothing that is unmoving, static.
Say Goodby to the Wind Ballard  1970
Surveillance devices, small and insectile.
Vulcan's Hammer Dick  1960
Infinite Improbability Drive
Generates a field in which anything, no mater how improbable, can exist.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Adams  1979
Inflatable Air Lock
Air lock making use of inflatable side walls to achieve large size.
Space Tug Leinster  1953
Inflatable Church
A church using an inflatable projection screen as an altar.
The Shockwave Rider Brunner  1975
Inflatable Expansion Bubble
Inflatable chamber to provide temporary additional space for cramped space craft.
Crashlander Niven  1994
Inflatable Living-Globe
An inflatable bubble in space, suitable for human habitation.
The Beat Cluster Leiber  1961
Inflatable Lunar Resort
An inflatable structure on the moon, intended to provide rest and relaxation to lunar residents.
Solar Lottery Dick  1955
Inflatable Roofed Valley
A habitat on an asteroid created by placing a tent-like roof over a natural valley or depression, and then inflating it.
Misfit Heinlein  1939
Infowar Operation
Making use of various means to disrupt the enemy's military and civilian information networks.
Distraction Sterling  1998
Ingestible Communication Capsule
A tiny transmitter that can be swallowed, which makes possible voice communication.
Triplanetary Smith  1934
Inorganic Evolution
A process by which robots could alter their own structure, or the ways that they interact with other robots, to adapt to a changing world.
The Invincible Lem  1954
A space suit specially designed to resist extreme heat.
Runaround Asimov  1942
Instant Customized Clothing
A machine that produced a selected item of clothing, on the spot, based on customer demand.
Methuselah's Children Heinlein  1941
Instant Photography
A photograph that develops immediately inside the camera.
The Silent Destroyer Juve  1929
Instantaneous Kodaks (Traffic Control)
Use of cameras to help police officers enforce speed limits.
A Journey In Other Worlds Astor IV  1894
Integral Calculator
A device that accepts complex equations and solves them.
Exiles of the Moon Schachner (w. AL Zagat)  1931
Intellectual Cell
A smart lymphocyte; a cell with enhanced capacity for memory, understanding and communication.
Blood Music Bear  1984
Intelligent Trash Sorting
Robots sort the garbage - almost completely.
The Velvet Glove Harrison  1956
Interactive Blackboard
Early description of an interactive display device for lectures and demonstrations.
Vulcan's Hammer Dick  1960
Interactive Map
A small book with a 'touch-screen' paper interactive map.
Return from the Stars Lem  1961
Interactive Suicide Note
A last message for the people you are leaving behind - that encourages their participation.
Press Enter Varley  1984
Interactive Video Column
A video display in a chain convenience store that shows random scenes from other stores in the chain around the world.
All Tomorrow's Parties Gibson  1999
Interchangeable Hands
Specialized manual extremities.
The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch Dick  1965
Interests Profile
An intelligent agent; a software program with your personal tastes on file.
The Age of The Pussyfoot Pohl  1966
Going between galaxies.
Invaders From The Infinite Campbell  1932
Internal Body Power Pack
A tiny battery used to power implants.
The Stars My Destination Bester  1956
International Fantasy Gaming Society (IFGS)
A group dedicated to playing live action role-playing games.
Dream Park Niven (w/S. Barnes)  1981
Internet Addiction
A state in which human beings experience addiction to computer access and data streams.
Hyperion Simmons  1989
Interplanetary Clearance
Bureaucratic red tape associated with busy space ports.
Methuselah's Children Heinlein  1941
Interplanetary Communications Center
The backbone for a solar system-wide communications system.
QRM - Interplanetary Smith  1942
Interplanetary Passport
Required document for space travelers.
Murder in the Void Hamilton  1938
Interplanetary Radiograph Station
Network of communication in the solar system.
On The Martian Way Bishop  1907
Interplanetary Restaurant
An eatery and watering hole designed for use by a variety of space-faring races.
Asteroid Pirates Heckman  1938
Interplanetary Union Of Spacemen
An organized union of people who work in space.
Old Fireball Schachner  1941
A vast passenger ship in space.
Liners of Space Vanny  1930
Interstellar Express Car
Uses anti-gravitation metal to achieve terrific speeds in space.
In the Deep of Time Lathrop  1897
Interstellar Laser Propulsion System
A means of traveling to the stars, using a Sol-based laser system and light sail-equipped ship.
Rocheworld Forward  1985
Inter-Universal Messenger
A device intended to travel to another dimension.
Cities in Flight Blish  1957
Inter-Vehicle Communication
The ability to talk car-to-car directly.
The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch Dick  1965
Computer-controlled highway.
The Tels Black  2003
A system designed to capture intruders.
The Hunch Anvil  1961
Inurbanity (Inurbane)
Criminal penalties for persons who are unable to behave properly in crowded cubic cities.
The Cubic City Tucker, D.D.  1929
Invasion Gate For Aliens
Using alien instructions to create a gate for alien invasion.
Monsters of Mars Hamilton  1931
Inviolability Field
A kind of field of force built into a robe, to protect an individual person.
Gather, Darkness! Leiber  1943
The idea that it is possible to make a person invisible using some sort of optical technology to alter the body.
The Invisible Man Wells  1897
Invisibility Magnets
They can cloak a space ship by bending light around it.
Redmask of the Outlands Schachner  1934
Invisibility Shield
A means of concealing a physical object to the naked eye.
Triplanetary Smith  1934
Invisible Cloak
A cloak that renders the wearer invisible.
Brigands of the Moon Cummings  1930
Invisible Watchmen
Automated 'home security' sentry system that targets and eliminates intruders.
Murder in the Void Hamilton  1938
Invulnerable Wall
A material created by insects that grew stronger as it was compressed.
Jackpot Simak  1956
Ion Cannon
Fires blasts of charged particles.
Star Wars Lucas  1976
Ion Drive
A space drive that emits a stream of ions as reaction mass; it starts out slow but builds up to interstellar speeds.
Equalizer Williamson  1947
Iridium Spirals (Street Lights)
Streetlights provide sunlight at night.
Ralph 124c 41 + Gernsback  1911
Iridium-Sponge Brain
A human-like metal brain for robots.
Adam Link's Vengeance Binder  1940
Iron Fingers
Special metal manipulators set on the hull of a space craft, and manipulated from the inside.
The Death's Head Meteor Jones  1930
Iron Inlay Plates
Works perfectly with an electromagnetic table to maintain place settings.
A Daring Trip To Mars Valier  1931
Iron Man Robot With Human Brain
A huge robot with a tub containing a human brain.
Iron Man Ernst  1933
Ironing Robot
A robot that smooths the wrinkles out of clothing.
Iron (утюг) Mikheev  1972
Isolation Barrage
Device prevents eavesdropping.
Wandl, The Invader Cummings  1932
Ixian Probe
A device that looks at brain tissue so carefully that memories can be seen.
Heretics of Dune Herbert  1984
Ixian Sight Mask
Device to allow the blind to see.
Children of Dune Herbert  1976

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Science Fiction
in the News

SpaceX Wants A Moonbase Alpha
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Vast Apartment Living Will Get Even More Vast
re: Louis Tucker

NASA Wants Self-Driving Or Remote-Controlled Vehicles For Lunar Astronauts
re: Stanley G. and Helen Weinbaum

Elon Musk Says Robotaxis Will Be Ready This August, 2024
re: Miles J. Breuer

Moonwalkers AI-Controlled Electric Shoes
re: Hugo Gernsback

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re: William Gibson

No Tips! Robotic Food Delivery In Phoenix
re: Robert Heinlein

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Orbital Mechanics, The Liftoff, The Turnover, The Retrograde Burn
re: EE 'Doc' Smith

Harvest Power From Tears And Blinking With Smart Contact Lens
re: Vernor Vinge

Europa Clipper Plate Carries A Special Message
re: John Edwards

Micro-Robots Are Smallest, Fully Functional
re: Raymond Z. Gallun

AI Enhances Images Your Brain Sees
re: Stanley G. Weinbaum

Illustrating Classic Heinlein With AI
re: Robert Heinlein

Deflector Plasma Screen For Drones ala Star Wars
re: EE 'Doc' Smith

DIY Robotic Hand Made After Loss Of Fingers
re: Boris Zhitkov

Cheap Drunk Driver Detection From UofM
re: Philip K. Dick

Can A Human Land A SpaceX Rocket On Its Tail?
re: Stanley G. Weinbaum

Robot Snakes No Longer Stopped By Stairs
re: Lee Chaytor

Has Turkey Been Stealing Rain From Iran?
re: Neal Stephenson

We Need To Build Anti-Drone Systems For Civilian Spaces
re: Neal Stephenson

SensorWake Scent-Based Alarm Clock
re: Frank Herbert

AI Worms That Spread
re: John Brunner

Challenges Of Two-Armed Robots
re: Various



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