Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"...a few centuries of coherent humanist thought, set against a million odd years of evolved killer ape tendency. No-one's going to give you very good odds on humanism, are they?"
- Richard Morgan

Sentry Trees  
  A set of trees that will allow only those with the safe signal to pass.  

At this point in the story, Aile Farr, biologist from Earth, is about to get his first real look at Iszc technology with his host, Zhde Patasz.

The glide-car slowed, coasted toward the beach, and halted twenty feet offshore. Uder Che, the architect, jumped into the knee-deep water and cautiously walked ashore, carrying a black box. The trees reacted to his presence, at first leaning toward him, then recoiling and unlacing their branches. After a moment there was a gap wide enough for the glide-car, which now proceeded across the beach and through the gap. Uder Che followed and boarded the car; the trees once more joined branches to create an impenetrable tangle.

Zhde Patasz explained that, "The trees will kill anyone who attempts to pass without manifesting the proper safe-signal, which is radiated from the box. In the past, planters often mounted expeditions against each other - no longer the case, of course - and the sentry trees are perhaps not strictly necessary. But we are a conservative lot and maintain our old customs.

From The Houses of Iszm, by Jack Vance.
Published by Better Publications in 1954
Additional resources -

Trees or bushes with interlaced branches have been used for centuries as a kind of barrier; at least one ninth century French king complained of the construction of unauthorized haies et fertÚs - hedgerows made of interlaced hawthorne branches.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Houses of Iszm
  More Ideas and Technology by Jack Vance
  Tech news articles related to The Houses of Iszm
  Tech news articles related to works by Jack Vance

Articles related to Biology
Amazing 'Hybrid' Solar-Powered Sea Slug Does Photosynthesis
Should You Submit Your DNA To A Database?
Humans Evolve Deep Diving Abilities
Researchers Create Bowls, Coils, Ripples Of Living Tissue

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

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.

 

 

 

 

More News

LA Subway Scanner, As Seen In 'Total Recall'
'I'm afraid to tell you this Mr. Quaid, but you have suffered a schizoed embolism...'

Sion Electric Car Covered With Solar Panels
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'

PAL-V Liberty Flying Helicopter Car
'...lifted themselves to skimming flight upon whirling helicopters."

Space Drones - UK's Effective Space To Launch Rocket Tugs
'Twenty rocket tugs towed it from its Earth hangar out into space.'

DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.'

Ancient Russian Walking Excavator Would Be Perfect RV
I don't need it to go fast, it just needs to amble along.

ELROI Satellite 'License Plate'
Robert Heinlein was thinking about this in 1941.

When Robots Beg For Their Lives
"Just what do you think you're doing... Dave.'

Do You Still Want A Folding Screen Phone?
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled...'

'Snapchat Dysmorphia' Now A Thing, Say Plastic Surgeons
'The program raced up the screen one scan line at a time, subtly smoothing, deleting and coloring.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

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

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.