"We [science fiction writers] always wanted to believe in "private sector" space -- hucksters make better characters than a government does."
- Larry Niven
||Specially designed for Thins, eight-foot tall microgravity humans.
In the novel, human beings who developed in microgravity environments were called "Thins." Whenever a Thin visited the home planet (Earth), special equipment was needed.
First use of the term "exoskeleton", as far as I know.
|They were looking ... at a handsome, shapely, dramatic-featured man, eight feet eight inches tall and massing 147 pounds with and ninety-seven pounds without his exoskeleton. Except for relaxed tiny bulges of muscle in forearms and calves (latter to work lengthy toes, useful in gripping), this man was composed of skin, bones, ligaments, fasciae, narrow arteries and veins, nerves, small-size assorted inner organs, ghost muscles, and a big-domed skull with two lumps of jaw muscle. He was wearing a skintight black suit that left bare only his sunken-cheeked, deep-eyes, beautiful tragic face and big, heavy-tendoned hands.
This truly magnificent, romantically handsome, rather lean man was standing on two corrugated-soled titanium footplates. From the outer edge of each rose a narrow titanium T-beam that followed the line of his leg, with a joint (locked now) at the knee, up to another joint with a titanium pelvic girdle and shallow belly support. From the back of this girdle a T-spine rose to support a shoulder yoke and rib cage, all of the same metal. The rib cage was artistically slotted to save weight, so that curving strips followed the line of each of his very prominent ribs.
A continuation of his T-spine up the back of his neck in turn supported a snug, gleaming head basket that rose behind to curve over his shaven cranium, but in front was little more than a jaw shelf and two inward-curving cheekplates stopping just short of his somewhat rudimentary nose...
Slightly lighter T-beams than those for his legs reinforced his arms and housed in their terminal inches his telescoping canes. Numerous black, foam-padded bands attached his whole framework to him.
|From A Specter is Haunting Texas,
by Fritz Leiber.
Published by Galaxy Publishing in 1968
Additional resources -
The author adds
...Eight small electric motors at the principal joints worked the prosthetic framework by means of steel cables riding in the angles of the T-beams, much like antique dentist drills were worked, I've read. The motors were controlled by myoelectric impulses from his ghost muscles transmitted by sensitive pickups buried in the foam-padded bands.
Don't forget the atomic lifting suit from an earlier work.
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