Fiction in the News Articles
related to the works of
Roger Zelazny (1937-1995) created many of our best science fiction stories; he won six Hugos and three Nebula awards. His quirky humor is found in all of the books; you'll enjoy the characters as well as the inventions. His monumental Amber novels demonstrate his absolute mastery of the fantasy genre as well.
Science fiction in
the News articles describe real-world events that relate to the ideas
and inventions in sf novels and movies. Select
a news article:
Beatie Wolfe's Album Is A Deck Of NFC Cards
'The greater trumps ready to step right out through those glistening surfaces.' - Roger Zelazny, 1970.
HOAP-2 Robot Masters Sumo And Linux. RoboShiko!
This robot performs moves from the Chinese martial art taijiquan; it also does Sumo wrestling stances. All that and it's Linux-based!
Sky Ear: Mobile Phones and Helium Balloons
Sky Ear on May 4th - a glowing "cloud" of mobile phones and gauss meters attached to helium balloons with lights is released into the air so that people can dial into the cloud and listen to the sounds of the electromagnetic sky.
Teleo-Reactive Programs Are Reaching Their Goals
Teleo-Reactive Programs (TRPs) help robots and other machine intelligences achieve goals, not just specific behaviors.
Robots Get Pressure-Sensitive Skin
Organic field-effect transistors have been used to fabricate pressure-sensitive skin for robots, according to an abstract published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week.
Sky Ear Works!
Sky Ear, a thousand sensitive helium balloons, finally took flight last month after a slight delay due to bad weather and other problems.
Graphene - Nanofabric One Atom Thick
A nanofabric called graphene just one atom thick has been created at The University of Manchester.
Solar-Powered Interplanetary Shock Tracked To Saturn
In a dramatic proof that solar coronal mass ejection (CME) events affect even the outermost portions of the Solar System, scientists have traced an interplanetary shock from the Sun to Earth to Jupiter to Saturn.
Saudi Arabian Mobile Phones
The Islamic Saudi Mobile Phone has a number of unusual, built-in features to serve the religious needs of its intended audience - faithful Muslims. It will provide Qibla direction as well as prayer times in over 5,000 cities worldwide.
Electrical Barrier To Keep Asian Carp Out Of Great Lakes
A permanent electrical barrier will go into use in February to protect the Great Lakes from Asian carp that are moving up the Mississippi river.
Snake Robot Roundup!
The snakebots are coming; slithering, grinding, undulating robots that slide on their bellies like a reptile across the Earth (and maybe other planets).
New Materials One Atom Thick Extracted With Micromechanical Cleavage
Science fictional materials are created by extracting individual atomic planes from conventional bulk crystals by using a technique called 'micromechanical cleavage'.
Robotic Bat Wing
'...they stirred, almost simultaneously, as if shaken by a sudden breeze. They began to flex their wings.'- Roger Zelazny, 1980.
Autonomous Soaring Project UAV Cloud Swift
NASA experiments with tiny surveillance planes that can catch air currents autonomously.
Fantastic Voyage Of Self-assembling Peptide Nanofibers
Researchers write a sequel to the sixties film.
Ratheon Swimmer Denial
Divers beware; Raytheon has your (pulse and frequency) number.
Amazing Robot Wrestling
Amazing wrestling robots have a variety of great take-down moves.
Prayer Antenna Religious Technology Artifact
Religious technology takes a step forward with the development of the prayer antenna.
Roboboa Dancing Robot Snake
Those folks at WowWee have been busy; this article may link to cooler robotic snakes, but none that you can buy off the shelf.
kameraflage Seen By Cellphone Cameras Only
This is an interesting use of a little-known property of digital cameras.
China To Control Reincarnation Of Tibetan Buddhists
Only science fiction fans are unsurprised by this bizarre turn of events.
Nokia N73 Preloaded For Ramadan
Worship aided by cellphone.
Arm Spirit Arm-Wrestling Arcade Game Rampage
Machines are our friends - but you still need to be careful.
SenseCam Seems To Help Dementia Patients
The SenseCam appears to be of use to at least some patients.
Tiny Spyplanes May Recharge On Power Lines
The next time you stare at all those birds lined up on the power line, look for the odd-shaped one with the surveillance sensors.
COM-BAT Robotic 'Bat' On Order From UM
This intriguing development popped up right in my own backyard; UM researchers will attempt feats of micro-miniaturization to make this work.
Implantable Prosthetic For The Blind
Interesting follow-up to the story about an implantable optic prosthesis to help the estimated 45 million people in the world without sight.
Sajjdah 1426 LED Prayer Rug Has Mecca-Glow
This prayer rug always knows how to orient itself.
Graphene Reveals Fine Structure Constant
This amazing nanofabric is just one atom thick; physicists looking through this material can see one of the most mysterious fundamental constants known to science.
Swarming Micro Air Vehicle Networks (SMAVNET)
The US Army is setting up to learn about this idea; I found several good resources that I hope they're using.
BAE Spider Robot Wrist Watch Monitor
The idea of a wrist band monitor or bracelet-monitor is a good idea now - and a good idea when I first read about it almost thirty years ago.
Seasteading Institute: Homestead The Seas
Interesting idea has some funding from wealthy folks in Silicon Valley and yet San Jose is being paved over as fast as they can do it.
Graphene Is Also Super Strong
One of the most remarkable materials ever discovered, graphene continues to amaze.
Robot Aircraft To Ride Thermal Air Currents
New research will provide UAVs with a fuel-saving alternative that has helped flyers stay aloft for millions of years.
Zephyr Solar Plane Sails For Days
This plane proves you can never be too thin or too ultralight; it may be a precursor to the Vulture program announced earlier in 2008.
Blogging Houseplant Midori-San
Maybe you don't listen to your plants, but you can read what this one has to say.
Carp Barrier Finished For Years, Never Activated
The barrier is ready to repel invaders! But a squabble between agencies will apparently result in a carp invasion AND the waste of $ millions.
Flexible OLED Wrist Display Like Pip-Boy
Flexible OLED display now available in a wrist-worthy format.
Planetary Hard Drive
Storing information in natural deposits and fields.
Underwater Cities Like Otoh Gunga Next?
We're slowly building the pieces of underwater cities.
Information Age Prayer Pray-O-Mat
Can a machine say prayers for you? Now, you can test it out.
Autonomous Rotorcraft Sniper System
This device hovers over the urban battlefield, directed remotely (using a modified Xbox controller), with significant armament.
Therapists Plan World Of Warcraft Raid
Interesting proposal to have mental health professionals enter the game and attempt to work with players while online.
Shrink Wrapped Psychiatric Help For Avatars
Short video presents an interesting case for the therapist; Second Life avatars have complicated presentations for the therapist.
Bio Acoustic Fish Fence May Protect Great Lakes
Another interesting technology to try to keep the Great Lakes free of Asian carp; I read about the idea first in a Zelazny story three decades ago.
'Virtual Iraq' Therapy For PTSD
This program allows the therapist to return someone suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder to the scene of the trauma, for healing.
ViconRevue Records Every Minute of Your Life
The SenseCam will be produced commercially by a UK company
Robot Martial Arts Videos
Take a look at these four robots performing a variety of martial arts moves.
Robot Wrestler Vs. Human Wrestler Video
I admit that this is not the greatest video, but It so close to an sf novel from the 1960's that I had to include it.
Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy For Iraq Vets
Extensive study now being done on the uses of virtual reality in combatting PTSD in returning veterans.
Robotic Butterflies For Parks Near You?
Among the synthetic trees, unliving turf and flower-holograms in the parks of the future, we will have robotic butterflies.
ChouChou Butterfly Robot
Highly realistic mechanical insect.
Touch Sensor For Sensitive Robots
Honestly, who doesn't want a more sensitive robot?
Robot Skin Detects Your Gentle Caress
You want your robot to be this sensitive; don't miss the extra links to learn about robot skin as soft as yours.
MIT Glider Lands On a Perch Like A Bird
This little glider has an amazing biomimetic feature.
Army Wrist Display Uses 4.3 Inch OLED
Field trials of this thin, lightweight and ruggedized communications device are underway.
UAVs Schooled In Thermals By Peregrine Falcons
The more efficiently a UAV can maneuver, the longer it can stay on station. Birds have millions of years of experience; let them teach us.
Can Virtual Reality help People Cope With Pain?
Research is promising.
See Jesus? There's An App For That
AppTech intends to 'offer religious themed content through the various Smartphone operating platforms.'
Magnetic Pills Steered Within The Body
Precise drug delivery could be achieved by controlling a special pill as it moved through the patient's gastrointestinal tract.
Robotic Hummingbird Spy
This tiny prototype weighs just 19 grams and has its own onboard video camera.
New Robot Skin Is Flexible, Sensitive, Solar-Powered
It's not just robots who will need super-sensitive skin.
'Schizophrenic' Computer Aids Researchers
In which a computer is afflicted, with human brain research the beneficiary.
Robot Skin Uses Hexagonal Sensors (Video)
Robots that work in crowded environments with human beings will need to have a good tactile awareness.
Surveillance Drone Bird Crashes
If it really is a surveillance drone, whose is it?
Sensitive Artificial Skin For Touchy-Feely Robots
Let's face it, robots feel distanced and remote with their cold, metallic skin. Diligent researchers work to remedy this problem.
Cables For Robot Skin Will Stretch Like Human Skin
And how far will your skin stretch? About 1.5 times.
Can Lucid Dreaming Improve Physical Skills?
Attention dreamers! Lie down and start training.
Seatlle Police Drones Overhead Now
Soon, you'll be seeing this tech flying over every town in America. Or maybe you won't see it; they're pretty small.
Trinity Chapel Offers Giving Kiosk
'A holy blue light filled the interior of the machine...'
Rat Dreams Manipulated By Scientists
'Render freed his arm and lifted off his crown of Medusa-hair leads and microminiature circuitry...'
The Ultimate Wrist Watch Pip-Boy-style
'Mark brushed back ... his upper garment and pressed several buttons on the wide bracelet he wore upon his left wrist... '- Roger Zelazny, 1980.
E-Skin For Robots - And Maybe You
'a creature which could be given the reflexes of an adrenalized cat...' - Roger Zelazny, 1966.
Can Sirtuins Block The Aging Process?
'...some rare ones actually grow younger when they take the series.'- Roger Zelazny, 1966.
Electronic Skin For Human Prosthetics
'It's all sheathed about with piezo-electric radar mesentery...'- Roger Zelazny, 1966.
Army's New Bird-Like Surveillance UAV
'The prototype blue-bellied, gray-backed tracer-bird with the wide-angle eye…'- Roger Zelazny, 1980.
Get Alien Vision And See New Colors!
This guy can perceive a greater color range than you can. I guarantee it.
Oculus Rift Combats Battlefield Trauma
Virtual reality could soften the blow of real reality.
New Material Is One Molecule Thick
'Hasan always pitched a Gauzy - a one-molecule-layer tent...'- Roger Zelazny, 1966.
USAF 'BATMAN' Wrist Display
'The tiny screen in the bracelet's center...'- Roger Zelazny, 1980.
New 'Smart-Skin' Senses Pressure, Humidity, Heat
'You can even sense with your fingertips...'- Martin Caidin, 1972.
Neptune Duo Smartwatch Wearable Wristband
'[He] pressed several buttons on the wide bracelet he wore upon his left wrist...'- Roger Zelazny, 1980.
eMotionButterfly Ultralight Robot From Festo
'Artificial butterflies darted along invisible beams...'- Roger Zelazny, 1980.
Robot Swarms Improve Culture By Forgetting
'My mind was filled to the splitting point...' - Roger Zelazny, 1976.
Taser Drones Now Legal In North Dakota
'I sent my eyes on their rounds and tended my gallery of one hundred-thirty changing pictures...' - Roger Zelazny, 1966.
Ultralight Origami Crane UAV Flexes Its Wings
'They began to flex their wings.' -
Skin Sensor Signals Brain
'Which permitted it to gauge to an ounce the amount of pressure necessary...' - Roger Zelazny, 1966.
Kollektomat Tithing Machine
'He pressed buttons cast in the likenesses of animals and demons...' - Roger Zelazny, 1965.
Eagles Vs. Drones
'Moon bird's view was... partly blocked by the pyramid, so that he did not see the bird-things dark against the brilliant sky...' - Roger Zelazny, 1080.
Cheap Electronic Skin For Robots!
'Chemelectric afferent nerve-analogues...' - Roger Zelazny, 1966.
FlexEnable OLED Bracelet SmartPhone Concept
'The tiny screen in the bracelet's center...' - Roger Zelazny, 1980.
'Eye In The Sky' Movie Borrows 35, 80 Year-Old SF
SF writers don't have a problem seeing decades into the future.
Virtual Reality Therapy Helps Patients With Depression
Entering the virtual reality dreams of patients.
Solar Plane Circles The Globe
'Tropism-like pursuit of the sun across the sky as they recharged their batteries...' - Roger Zelazny
Autonomous Sumo Robot Wrestling Video
'The expressionless face before me was therefore that of the golem-wrestler...' - Roger Zelazny, 1968.
IBM's Neuromorphic Chip
'The full sensitivity of the neuristor brain was not appreciated at first.' - Roger Zelazny, 1976.
proCover Smart Sock Prosthetic Limb Enhancement
'Series of chemelectric afferent nerve-analogues, which permitted it to gauge to an ounce...' - Roger Zelazny, 1965.
Bat Bot Robotic Flapping-Wing Drone
'The dark birdforms dotted the mountaintops like statues of prehistoric beasts, wings outspread...' - Roger Zelazny, 1980.
Ubiquiti FrontRow Camera Records Your Life
Why be choosy? Just upload your whole life to the Internet, and be done with it.
Nuclear Drones Could Fly For Years
'I sent my eyes on their rounds and tended my gallery of one hundred-thirty changing pictures...' - Roger Zelazny, 1966.
Soft Robotics - Now With 3D Printed Sensors!
'A series of chemelectric afferent nerve-analogues, which permitted it to gauge to an ounce the amount of pressure necessary to snap a bone...' - Roger Zelazny, 1966.
Artificial Sensory Neurons For Prosthetics, Robots
Great for humans and robots!
MIT Boffins Create Psychopath AI On Purpose
There's a lesson in this for neural net AI engineers everywhere.
Nanorobots Roam Your Bloodstream, Cleaning It
Too bad they won't have lasers, though...
Soft Robots Use Kirigami Piezoelectric Sensor Skin
'A worthy opponent was the golem.' - Roger Zelazny, 1966.
It's Time For Robots With Soft, Sensitive Skin
Sure, solid metal skin robots looked great once - like in science fiction movies of the 1920's.
Looking Glass Display Good Enough For Science Fiction, Fantasy
'The figure seemed to be swimming toward the surface.' - Roger Zelazny, 1981.
Simulogs (Simulated Playmates)
Satellite Search and Destroy
Vacuum Wall Compartments
Darkened Glass Face Plate
Double-Pane Vacuum Window