Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

Ten SF Houses Of The Future

What can we expect from the house of the future? Enjoy these ten classic ideas from ten different sf authors; each item is linked to a longer article that has links to real-life attempts that to some degree implement that science fictional house.

Happylife Home (Ray Bradbury)

From his classic 1951 story collection The Illustrated Man:

They walked down the hall of their soundproofed Happylife Home, which had cost them thirty thousand dollars installed, this house which clothed and fed and rocked them to sleep and played and sang and was good to them. Their approach sensitized a switch somewhere and the nursery light flicked on when they came within ten feet of it...

House Trees (Jack Vance)

From the excellent 1954 novel The Houses of Iszm; the dwelling spaces are actually hollow pods supported by branches, and connected by hollow boughs; the Iszic don't live inside tree-trunks.

There were trees comprised of a central columnar trunk and four vast leaves, arching out and over to the ground to form four domed halls illuminated by the pale green transmitted light. There was a tough-trunked tree supporting a single turretlike pod, with lanceolate foliage spiking outward at the base: a watch-tower for the feuding tribesmen of Eta Scorpionis.

Psychotropic House (J.G. Ballard)

Taken from his remarkable 1962 short story collection The Thousand Dreams of Stellavista.

...it consisted of six huge aluminum-shelled spheres suspended like the elements of a mobile from an enormous concrete davit. The largest sphere contained the lounge, the others successively smaller and spiraling upward into the air, the bedrooms and kitchen...
Stamers, the agent, left us sitting in the car... and switched the place on (all the houses in Vermillion Sands, it goes without saying, were psychotropic). There was a dim whirring, and the spheres tipped and began to rotate, brushing against the undergrowth.
...I got out and walked over to the entrance, the main sphere slowing as I approached, uncertainly steering a course toward me, the smaller ones following.
...As I stepped forward, it jerked away, almost in alarm, the entrance retracting and sending a low shudder through the rest of the spheres.
It's always interesting to watch a psychotropic house try to adjust itself to strangers, particularly those at all guarded or suspicious. The responses vary, a blend of past reactions to negative emotions, the hostility of the previous tenants...

Tesseract House (Robert Heinlein)

Terrific example from one of Heinlein's earliest published stories And He Built A Crooked House:

Under Teal's impassioned heckling the tesseract house was built in days rather than weeks, and its cross shapped second story came jutting out at the four corners of the world...
...They climbed a fourth flight of stairs, but when the cover at the top lifted to let them reach the level above, they found themselves, not on the roof, but standing in the ground-floor room where they had entered the house.

Solar-powered Prefab House (Clifford Simak)

From his 1952 story Ring Around the Sun:

"The houses are prefabricated units," said Crawford, "and they sell at the flat rate of five hundred dollars a room — set up. You can trade in your old home on them at a fantastic trade-in value and the credit terms are liberal — much more liberal, I might add, than any sane financing institution would ever countenance. They are heated and air conditioned by a solar plant that tops anything — you hear me, _anything_ — that we have today. There are many other features, but that gives you a rough idea."
"They sound like a good idea. We've been talking about low-cost housing for a long time now. Maybe this is it."
"They are a good idea," said Crawford. "I would be the last to deny they are. Except that they will ruin the power people.

Rotating House (Frank Herbert)

Taken from one of Herbert's lesser-known (but still great!) works, The Godmakers (1972):

"Lewis was just telling me how our place is very much like his home on Chargon," Polly said.
"Old-fashioned, but we like it that way," Bullone said. "I don't like the modern trend in architecture. Too mechanical. Give me an old-fashioned tetragon on a central pivot every time."

Geriatric Rooming-House (Philip K. Dick)

From Galactic Pot-Healer (1969), this dwelling illustrates PKD's practical side:

A new deep-depth rooming house in New Jersey, designed especially for geriatric persons, has built into it a novel circuit, designed to make the transfer of the room easy and without delay. When a roomer dies, electronic detectors in the wall register his lack of pulse and send swift circuits into action. The deceased is grappled by standard waldoes, drawn into the wall of the room, where on the spot his remains are incinerated within an asbestos chamber, thus permitting the new tenant, also a geriatric case, to take possession by noon.

U-Stor-It (Neal Stephenson)

From the entirely possible future of Snow Crash (1992):

Hiro Protagonist and Vitaly Chernobyl, roommates, are chilling out in their home, a spacious 20 by 30 in a U-Stor-It in Inglewood, California. The room has a concrete slab floor, corrugated steel walls separating it from the neighboring units and - this is a mark of distinction separating it from the neighboring units - a roll-up steel door that faces northwest, giving them a few red rays at times like this, when the sun is setting over LAX.

Self-Sufficient House (Arthur C. Clarke)

From Clarke's powerful 1953 classic Childhood's End:

Most people had two homes, in widely separated parts of the world. Now that the polar regions had been opened up, a considerable fraction of the human race oscillated from Arctic to Antarctic at six-monthly intervals, seeking the long, nightless polar summer. Others had gone into the deserts, up the mountains, or even into the sea. There was nowhere on the planet where science and technology could not provide one with a comfortable home...

Steam-Propelled Moving Houses (Jane Webb Loudon)

I couldn't resist this one, from a pre-SF novel of 1828 - The Mummy! A Tale of the Twenty-First Century:

"Oh! what is that?" cried Edric, without attending to him, as, lost in amazement, he saw a house in the suburbs gently slide out of its place, and glide majestically along the road, a lady at one of the windows kissing her hand to some one in another house as she passed. "Do my eyes deceive me, or does that house move?"
"Certainly it does," replied the doctor. "Did you never see a moving house before?... You see that there are grooves in the bottom of the houses that just fit on the iron railways; and as they are propelled by steam, they slide on without much trouble.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/11/2012)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Living Space ")

Rotating House in Bosnia
'... feel free to turn the house on your own.' - Frank Herbert, 1972.

Voyager Luxury Space Hotel Launches In 2023
'A spinning web of steel wires, held rigid by centrifugal force, spread from it across a thousand miles of space.' - Jack Williamson, 1939.

Tokyo's Nakagin Capsule Tower Tear-Down, Neuromancer's Coffin Hotel Lives Forever
'Plastic capsules a meter high and three long, stacked like surplus Godzilla teeth...' - William Gibson, 1984.

Kinetic Buildings And Psychotropic Houses
'There was a dim whirring, and the spheres tipped and began to rotate...' - JG Ballard, 1962.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

Omni Hoverboard Envy Of Green Goblin
'I brought it back to the ship, charged it up, reprogrammed the inertia chips and voila!'

Jetson ONE Speeds Through The Forest
'Over there! Two more of them!'

Facebook's Algorithmic News Feed Knows Better Than You Do
'Their playmates were not “real,” but they were a lot realer than, say, a Betsy-Wetsy doll.'

Tselina Spacecraft Platform Destroyed In Russian Anti-Satellite Test
'pirate three-vee satellites sanded out of orbit...'

Burro Robot Follows You And Gets Smarter
'Oh, there you are! the balloon piped at the amorphous mass of living tissue...'

Tiangong Space Station! Exercise Like It's 1953
'He couldn't imitate actual gravity, of course...'

Facebook Unexpectedly Turns Away From Sfnal Face Recognition
'... the imprint of her image on the telephoto cell.'

Taihang Solar Farm Accurately Pictured In 1911
'The entire expanse, twenty kilometers square, was covered ... the photo-electric elements which transformed the solar heat direct into electric energy.'

Galaxy Z Fold 3 Perfect For William Gibson's 'Control-Face'
'Chia recognized the square as the control-face of the computer she'd seen in his room.'

Amazon Automatic Packaging Catches Up With Gernsback's 1911 Book
'The automatic packing machine could pack anything from a small package a few inches square up to a box two feet high by three feet long.'

Your Car Will Be Watching You!
'Mr. Garden, you are in no condition to drive...'

Orbital Reef: Bezos' High Orbit Archipelago
'Tessier-Ashpool ascended to high orbit's archipelago to find the ecliptic sparsely marked with military stations and the first automated factories of the cartels.'

Best Space Tacos Made From ISS-Grown Chilis
That's some spicy tacos.

Poor Humans. Miami Herald Bot Writes Great Real Estate Articles.
'Nothing of news-interest escape it...'

International Space Mission Never Leaves Earth
'That gives it complete isolation.'

Seriously, Was Our Universe Created In A Lab?
'It is an instrument with which I am going to create a microcosm.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.