Fiction in the News Articles
related to the works of
Larry Niven was born in California in 1938; he earned a BA in mathematics from Washburn University, Kansas. His first sf story The Coldest Place was published in 1964. He has won four short-fiction Hugos; he won both the Hugo and Nebula award in 1971 for Ringworld. He is also known for his Tales of Known Space.
Niven is a frequent collaborator; see his other contributions under Niven w/J. Pournelle, Niven w/EM Lerner, Niven w/S. Barnes, Niven w/Pournell, Flynn and Niven w/GC Johnson.
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:
Paraglider To Fly From Greece to Egypt
An Austrian extreme sports enthusiast hopes to take a world's record for his planned flight from Kalamata, Greece to Alexandria, Egypt.
Real Organleggers: Human Organ Trafficking
What has been described as an "international human organ trafficking syndicate" has been discovered in South Africa. Nine Brazilians and two Israelis have been arrested in Brazil.
Toshiba 0.85 Inch Diameter Hard Drive
Guiness World Records announced on March 16th that the Toshiba Drive is the smallest in the world. The 0.85-inch HDDs will start mass production at the end of the year.
StratoSail & Altair: Mars Robot Balloons
StratoSail, a NASA-funded robotic balloon with a wing, and Altair, a Welsh robotic balloon, may hold the key to future Mars exploration.<
Yoda - The World's Oldest Mouse Update
Yoda, the world's oldest mouse, lives at the UM Medical School. Not the best place for a mouse to attain longevity - but Yoda was born into a geriatrics lab.
ULTra - driverless automatic taxi
The ULTra, an automated, driverless taxi system, offers a small private car (up to four passengers) that goes straight to the destination set by the user.
A First: Planet Found With Gravitational Microlensing
The first discovery of a planet around another star using gravitational microlensing was announced yesterday by two research teams - OGLE and MOA.
Liquid Armor In Two Flavors: Shear Thickening and Magnetorheological
Liquid armor using shear thickening fluid and magnetorheological fluid is being developed to protect soldiers and law enforcement personnel.
Electrolux Death Ray
"The Rolls-Royce of atomic weapons?" Maybe. Take a look at sculptor Greg Brotherton's Electrolux Death Ray, and decide for yourself.
Genesis Pathfinder: Space Inflatable Module
Genesis Pathfinder is an inflatable space habitat scheduled to launch in November 2005. Genesis weighs in at 1,360 kilograms and is approximately 4.6 meters in length by 1.9 meters in diameter; this is a one-third scale model.
IP Cameras - Larry Niven's Webeye?
IP cameras are providing a real short-cut for the surveillance-minded. Just position and click.
Sleep Room - Better Rest From A To Zzz
Japan is the land of the rising sun - a sun that rises all too soon for weary commuters and hard-working students who burn the midnight oil. The Matsushita Electric Works Sleep Room may be the answer - sort of like Larry Niven's Napcap Rental Facilit
Metronap Sleep Pod
The MetroNap Pod inclines forward to allow for easy entry, and then reclines to allow for optimal positioning. The slight elevation of the feet promotes blood circulation, while the elevation of the knees takes pressure off your lower back.
Nap-Cap - How About A Hat-Tip For Larry Niven?
Maybe it just uses the name, but Heads Up(TM)'s Nap-Cap should at least mention Larry Niven, who thought of it.
Genesis Inflatable Space Module Gets Go-Ahead
Bigelow Aerospace has been given payload approval for its Genesis inflatable space habitat by FAA-AST. Genesis weighs in at 1,360 kilograms and is approximately 4.6 meters in length by 1.9 meters in diameter; this is a one-third scale model.
Niven's 'Black Power' Now Available In Infrared
A team lead by University of Toronto scientist Ted Sargent has created a sprayable plastic composite that could harvest as much as thirty percent of the solar power that strikes a surface.
ERNIE The Robot Pharmacist - More Accurate Than Humans
A robot pharmacist named ERNIE dispenses more than 90 percent of Evergreen Hospital Medical Center's drugs. ERNIE has packaged nearly 400,000 doses in the past nine months and works twenty-four hours per day.
RFID Tags Proposed To Halt Blackmarket Cadaver Trade
An investigation into illegal sale and distribution of cadavers and body parts at the University of California, Los Angeles, has lead to recommendations that include implanting cadavers and individual body parts with RFID tags.
Brain 'Pacemaker' For Depression Sufferers
For the first time, deep brain stimulation (DBS) has been shown to treat people suffering from major depression. DBS has been used to successfully treat epilepsy and Parkinson's.
Find Extraterrestrial Civilizations By Their Works
Should we be looking for extraterrestrial civilizations, rather than just listening for them, as we do in the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) project? That is the suggestion of a French astronomer, Luc Arnold
Eye Ball R1 Remote Surveillance Camera
The Eye Ball R1 is a compact wireless 360° mobile display system. It can be used in tactical operations by law enforcement personnel. If only they team up with the Rotundus robot guys...
Fujitsu Bendable Electronic Color Display - With Memory
The flexible screen has an image memory function that keeps a vivid color picture in view without expending electricity.
Imation Flash Wristband: Music And Medical Informatics Miracle
Hey, kill two birds with one stone with this cool item.
Concrete Canvas - Inflatable Concrete Buildings
This great portable shelter lets you create housing anywhere - even if a housing development would look like hundreds of loaves in a baker's window.
NASA Strategy For Urban Heat island NYC
NASA has strategies to help small urban heat islands like NYC. Who can help a species with a 'planet' heat island? Larry Niven, that's who.
Terasem Conference On Law Of Transhuman Persons
This past weekend, the First Annual Colloquium on the Law of Transhuman Persons took place in Florida
Dynasty Trusts Lively Topic For Corpsicles
Cold cash for corpsicles; before freezing, cryonauts put assets on ice.
SkySeer UAV Drone Soars Over L.A.
Police surveillance by means of unmanned aerial vehicles starts to spread across the country. Helpful tool or police state enabler? You be the judge.
LSTAT-lite Life Support For Trauma and Transport-lite Demoed
DARPA's LSTAT-lite was demonstrated earlier this month in a real-life format.
d3o Design Competition To Invent The Future
Design your own materials for the future using d3o intelligent molecules, and win cash prizes.
Bigelow Genesis I Inflatable First Look
Larry Niven's inflatable space module really works.
MIT Light-Detecting Fibers Create Niven's Webeye
Amazing fiber web detects light; science fiction gadgets galore may soon exist.
Donation After Cardiac Death (Wait, I needed that!)
Larry Niven thought about it in 1967 - doctors are trying to increase the donor pool in more creative ways.
Liquid Armor Video Shows Bullets Bounce Off
This material looks more and more like the kind of thing that sf writers like Larry Niven wrote about.
World's First Artificial Human Liver Grown In Lab
The creation of 'mini-livers' from stem cells may be in time to avoid the dangers of too much demand in the organ transplant field.
Maya Hotel Floating Pyramid Island In Caribbean Sea
I think I've read about this one before; it would be nice to have a hotel you could move.
Almost Niven's Flashlight Laser
Take a look for yourself at this one.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation May Provide A Napcap
TMS may also help with sleep disorders - switch on deep sleep.
Genesis 2 Successfully Inflates Module
Another successful test of the Genesis inflatable module (not to mention Larry Niven's original concept) yields a nice photo.
Richard Palmer, d3o Inventor, O2 X Entrepreneur of the Year
Inventor Richard Palmer gets a bit of recognition for bringing science fiction to life for all of us.
Cheap Paint-On Flexible Solar Panels
I keep thinking there must be some way to turn all the sun-soaked surfaces in my life into power-generators...
Doctor-Bots Play 'Operation'
Students are hard at work on autonomous surgical robots - Dr. Claw will see you now!
Sony OLED TV Superthin
This remarkably thin television is now available in Japan; expensive, but the future usually is (at first).
Mobile Journalism Toolkit By Nokia And Reuters
These companies are not the first to think about what future journalists will need; see what Niven, Varley and Dick had to say.
NEC Translator Cellphone Turns Japanese To English
This is a very cool translator technology; can you think of additional sf references?
Sentilla Smart Drink Coasters Pervasive Pub Computing
I'm very impressed with the idea of an ad hoc network that you can set up right in front of yourself and your friends at the pub.
Mobile Social Networking Near You
Interesting networking software tries to bring useful information about that person right over there to your cell phone.
Small Robot Surveillance Balloons Like Niven's Copseye
I think that Niven's idea is close enough to be cited as prior art for this patent. I can just see troops carrying a bunch of what looks like party balloons...
Universal Translator, Babelfish Possible
The idea of a real-life universal translator is usually applied to a human language translator. But what about translating actual alien communication?
Robot Surgeon - Autonomous Tabletop Robotic Surgery At Duke
Remarkable precision from this autonomous robot; it can perform needle biopsies and other procedures without human guidance.
Pinta The Robot Sailboat
This robotic sailboat reminds me of another kind of automated vehicle, sailing even further.
GINGER Moon Radar Benefits Miners On Earth
Very neat technology transfer from ESA's space program helps keep Canadian miners safer by detecting hidden cracks in the roofs of mines.
Citysense Nightlife Indicator
Interesting cellphone app will let you find out where the wild things are - the places where the most people are congregating in a city.
Lilypad City Floating Island Concept
Great-looking concept design by a Belgian architect shows sustainable living in giant floating ocean cities.
Neural Implant Technology Needs To Improve
At present, there is no way to permanently implant an electrode or other metallic object deep into the brain without scarring and loss of function.
Deep Sea Mining Tube Worms
I think Larry Niven nailed this one forty years ago; the idea of a mining worm is even older.
Evolved Earthworms To Clean Up Toxic Metals
Hardy super worms may provide a way to clean up contaminated soil.
Erotic Sensation Self-Stimulation Via Brain Implants
Interesting story surfaces about this topic; Larry Niven and Michael Crichton have covered at least some of this ground decades ago.
Photovoltaic Paint On Steel Sheets By The Corus Group
Fascinating new technology comes only about a decade after Larry Niven wrote about it.
World's Thinnest TV - Sony Bravia ZX1
This television is pretty close to being the same size and thickness as a poster, which might get some Niven fans thinking.
Fishbowl Spaceship From Armadillo Aerospace
I'm sure it would be a spectacular ride, but I think I'd want a good crash couch and the Puppeteer guarantee before I went up in one.
Choking On Our Own Waste Heat
Interesting speculation by two UK professors; even if we solve global warming due to greenhouse gases, this problem still exists.
'Sex Chip' Like Niven's Ecstasy Plug
Would-be wireheads will no doubt rejoice at this news; others may be less sanguine.
'Volume Control' Ear Protein Uncovered
Research shows at least part of the mechanism for our ability to protect our ears against extremely loud noises.
Rebuild Highways - Or Think Differently
It turns out that Larry Niven had an interesting idea for what to do with highways in our modern age.
Sweet Potatoes In Space Questioned By Niven Fans
This apparently innocent story of research into foods that will grow in space may have an sfnal side, especially for Niven fans.
On-Orbit Space Coffee Cup
Of course, you'll also want to know whether or not adding sugar and/or milk affects the surface tension of your coffee. By astronaut Donald Pettit.
Supernumerary Phantom Limb Confirmed
Extremely rare case of an additional phantom limb; fMRI confirms that the patient can use it to feel as if she scratches herself.
Flexpeaker Paper Thin Speakers
Can you imagine a movie poster - that plays the movie soundtrack - right off the surface of the flat paper movie poster? Well, get to work on it. With video.
iPlant Brain Implant Advocated For Self-Improvement
If you could affect your own mood by simply pressing a button, would you use it? Would you use it to improve yourself?
Flexible Polymer Fiber Camera
This technology could be used to create a foldable telescope or a camera that is integrated into clothing.
Shrapnel-Locating Autonomous Robot
This autonomous robotic arm uses a biopsy needle and a special technique to find bits of shrapnel as small as 2 mm needle fragments in the body.
Mars Robot Takes Up Stargazing
Robots with time (and energy) on their hands need tasks to perform. How about spending time looking up, and not just down, at a planetary surface?
Hovering Crowd Control Beam
Who would think of using non-lethal beams from the air to enforce civilized behavior?
Spray-On Nano-Ink Solar Cells
Solar cells in a convenient spray can? Not impossible, say University of Texas researchers.
Magnetic Monopoles Detected?
Do magnetic monopoles exist? And can you mine them?
SkyTran's Sky Pod MagLev Taxis
Speaking as someone who spent about 6,000 hours commuting to work in a car and steering it down the same road over and over, I'd rather just ride, thanks. When do I get my Sky Pods?
Sleepbox Like Niven's Napcap
Just the thing for weary travelers, it looks like someone was reading Larry Niven. But where's the sleep induction cap?
App Turns iPhone Into Autodoc (Almost)
It doesn't treat your injuries (yet), but the Pocket First Aid & CPR app provided enough information and assistance to save the life of a man trapped by the earthquake in Haiti.
Police iDrone UAVs With Tasers
The idea of a small flying surveillance vehicle that does more than just watch has been around for quite a while.
Human Vein Bioprinted In 3D
Organic artificial organs, printed by request, from ready-mix prepared from your own cells, avoiding that annoying need for lifelong anti-rejection drug cocktails. Excellent.
The Cygnus Bubble And Astroengineering
Enjoyable space image helps sf fans stretch their imaginations a bit.
Artificial 'Muscle' Has Elasticity
Forget those mushy muscle-cell-only artificial muscles; this new material should give them some stretch and some pop.
Micromasonry 'Biological Legos' Building New Organs
New technique for putting 3-dimensional structure in artificial organs.
Make Money With Artificial Intelligence
'I've learned not to question the AI.' Advice to take to the bank - or famous last words?
Inflatable Lofts For NASA 'Campers' On Moon And Mars
I love it when I already have a good idea what NASA is looking for in a contest because I read about it decades ago in sf.
Hubble Shows 'smoke wound in a tight spiral coil'
Larry Niven gave us a view decades before this Hubble photo. Thanks, Larry.
Small Human Livers Grown In Lab
The shortage of livers for transplant may be a solvable problem.
DEFLEXION Apparel For Superheroes
High impact protection while retaining excellent breathability and washability.
Electronic Sunglasses Designer Needs Your Help!
Ever wanted to be a venture capitalist? Bring these glare-reducing glasses into reality as a consumer product at KickStarter.
Binishells Graceful Housing
This may just be the quickest way to construct a permanent shelter.
Earthworms Absorb Copper Nanomaterials From Soil
Update! on copper nanoparticle toxicity study. Engineered nanomaterials can be taken up from the environment and moved up the food chain.
Miami-Dade Police First To Use UAV Drones?
What US city will be the first to deploy surveillance drones developed by the military?
BBC's iPhone App For Field Reporters
The BBC is adapting the iPhone for their own journalistic purposes.
Spherical Flying Robot Hovers, Flies At 40 MPH
This flying spherical robot is highly maneuverable, indoors and out.
Insomnia? Try Cooling Your Brain
Insomnia can be very difficult to treat; this idea may provide a non-prescription answer.
Printed Artificial Capillary Blood Vessels
We need these for the lager, more complex artiforgs we've already made.
C-Path Computational Pathologist Better Than Doctors
Computerized systems keep getting better; one day they may be better than human doctors.
Solar Power Paint For Any Size Solar Cells
One coat solar paint can be applied to any conductive surface to create an instant solar cell.
BAE System 'Bullet Proof Custard' Body Armor
'The pressure suit was soft and malleable under gentle pressures, such as walking, but instantly became rigid all over when something struck it.'
'Human Textiles' Woven From Donor Cells
First organ printing, now weaving with human cells.
Printable Liquid Solar Cells
'What's finally knocked the bottom out is this new solar electric paint.'
Blueseed Offshore Floating Corporation Ready By 2014
'...new islands bringing life to a watery desert.'
10K Illegal Kidneys Transplanted Every Year
'Any one of these units could be packed in a travel case at a moment's notice...'
Cryonics Movement Loses Founder (Temporarily)
'Pay for suspended animation while medical science caught up with what was wrong with him...' - Robert Heinlein, 1956
Transparent Solar Cell Film Has Clear Advantages
'It turns sunlight into electricity... you spray it on.'- Larry Niven, 1995.
Custom Cartilage Via 3D Printer
Bespoke body parts? Print what you need.
AI 'Doctor' System Better Than Human
'But they got him into the autodoc anyway.'- Larry Niven, 1970.
'Bio-Ink' For Printing Human Organs
'For a while your colonists will have to come up to the Hospital to get treatment with the ramrobot symbiots...'- Larry Niven, 1968.
Peel And Stick Thin Film Solar Cells
'It turns sunlight into electricity, just like any solar power converter, but you spray it on.'- Larry Niven, 1995.
Mini-Livers Made By 3D Printer
Organlegging may not be the growth industry that some fear.
The F-Bike Flies!
'The flycycles... a pair of four foot spheres joined by the constriction that held the saddle.'- Larry Niven, 1970.
Artificial Magnetic Monopoles Created
Could monopoles exist in nature? Might they be found in exotic materials in space?
Flexible Smartphone Displays From LG
'She set up a screen: a television that unrolled like a poster.'- Larry Niven, 1976.
Child Trafficked To Britain By Organleggers
'The doctor took him apart with exquisite care, like disassembling a flexible, fragile, tremendously complex jigsaw puzzle.'- Larry Niven, 1967.
Gourmet Space Cuisine
Metallic Display Scroll
Emotional Register (ER)
Ixian Sight Mask