Foundation by Isaac Asimov:
Science Fiction Inventions, Technology and Ideas

Space opera at its finest, from a man who really knew how to put a story together. Fast-paced story with interesting characters; its a different sort of story if you've only read Gibson and Sterling. You need to know what psychohistory is, so start reading. (Also, take a look at the inventive ideas from Asimov's second and third books in the trilogy - Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation.) Select an invention:

Agricultural World

Anti-Spying Device

Calculator Pad - grandfather of the pocket calculator

Directional Ticket - the ticket guides you

Force-Field Penknife - origin of the Lightsaber?

Gravitic Repulsion Elevator - going up

Jump Through Hyperspace - is travel through hyperspace possible?

Nuclear Shears

Personal Capsule - for your eyes only

Personal Force-Shield - earliest mention?

Plasto-Textile

Pocket Nucleo-Bulb - better than those LED flashlights

Psychohistory

Spy Beam

Static Field

Trantor - planet city

Ultrawave Relay (or Hyperwave Relay) - first use of FTL communication

 

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