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

"[Science fiction is] nightmares and visions, always outlined by the barely possible."
- Gregory Benford

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
DNA May Contain Malware
GMO Houseplant Cleans Your Air
Oil from Algae - Can It Be Done?
Amazing 'Hybrid' Solar-Powered Sea Slug Does Photosynthesis

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

'Metallic Wood' Strong Like Titanium, Floats In Water
'A metal... light as cork and stronger than steel...'

Seabreacher, H.G. Winter's 1939 Torpoon
'Ken lay full-length in the padded body compartment, his feet resting on the controlling bars of the directional planes, hands on the torpoon's engine levers.'

Abundant Robotics Autonomous Apple Harvester Robot
'... little machines, that went from plant to plant... cutting off the ripe fruit.'

Charging An Electric Car In 2019 (Video), 1912 (Photo) And 1894 (Fiction)
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'

Japan Uses Explosives On Asteroid
'...a tiny, rocket-powered projectile, drove towards the mysterious bulk. It hit, exploding into a cloud of incandescent vapour.'

Get Your Speeder Flying Motorcycle From Jetpack Aviation
'The flycycles were miracles of compact design.'

FLIR Black Hornet 3 Palm-sized Drone
These drones can provide situational awareness beyond visual line-of-sight capability.

Dockworkers Protest Driverless Trucks
'It resembled conventional human-operated transportation vehicles, but with one exception -- there was no driver's cabin.'

Flying Car Concept By Kash Sirinanda
'Each one consists of a hub with many tiny spokes... On the end is a squat foot, rubber tread on the bottom...'

Unfurl The Future! Huawei Mate X versus Galaxy Fold
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled silently from the top of the unit and immediately grew rigid.'

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.