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

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

"I've got this beautiful panoramic three-dimensional painting of Mars based on Martian photos. It's 30 feet wide. You can pick out every pebble on the Martian landscape. And who'd have dreamed you could do that?"
- Arthur C. Clarke

Ring Road  
  A magnetically levitated train.  

The basic idea for a magnetically-levitated train was developed years earlier - so, this is not a Heinlein idea.

Max kept his eyes to the northwest. He favored this spot because from it he could see the steel stilts and guide rings of the Chicago, Springfield, & Earthport Ring Road emerge from a slash in the ridge to his right. There was a guide ring at the mouth of the cut, a great steel hoop twenty feet high. A pair of stilt-like tripods supported another ring a hundred feet out from the cut. A third and last ring, its stilts more than a hundred feet high to keep it level with the others, lay west of him where the ground dropped still more sharply into the valley below. Half way up it he could see the power-link antenna pointing across the gap. On his left the guides of the C.S.&E. picked up again on the far side of the gap. The entering ring was larger to allow for maximum windage deviation; on its stilts was the receptor antenna for the power link. That ridge was steeper; there was only one more ring before the road disappeared into a tunnel. He had read that, on the Moon, entrance rings were no larger than pass-along rings, since there was never any wind to cause variation in ballistic. When he was a child this entrance ring had been slightly smaller and, during an unprecedented windstorm, a train had struck the ring and produced an unbelievable wreck, with more than four hundred people killed. He had not seen it and his father had not allowed him to poke around afterwards because of the carnage, but the scar of it could still be seen on the lefthand ridge, a darker green than the rest.
Technovelgy from Starman Jones, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Scribners in 1953
Additional resources -

You can see that this idea was set forth in a remarkably similar form decades earlier in Modern Mechanics and Inventions from 1931.


(Magnets Drive High Speed Suspension Trains Thru Air)

Thanks to Winchell Chung for this item.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Starman Jones
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
  Tech news articles related to Starman Jones
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Heinlein

Articles related to Transportation
San Francisco Autobus
Volvo's Autonomous Truck
Eviation Alice Electric Plane First Flight
Robotaxi By Cruise Premieres in Austin, Texas

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 Science Fiction 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

Science Fiction in the News

Prophetic Offers Lucid Dreaming Halo With Morpheus-1 AI
''Leads trail away from insertion points on her face and wrist... to a lucid dreamer...'

More Like A Tumblebug Than A Motorcycle
'It is about the size and shape of a kitchen stool, gyro-stabilized on a single wheel...'

Tesla Camera-Only Vision Predicted In 1930's SF
'By its means, the machine can see.'

First Ever Proof Of Water On Asteroids
'Yes, strangely enough there was still sufficient water beneath the surface of Vesta.'

Aptera Solar EV More Stylish Than Heinlein Steel Tortoise
'When confronted by hills, or rough terrain, it did not stop, but simply slowed until the task demanded equaled its steady power output.'

Gigantic Space Sunshade Would Fight Global Warming
'...the light of the sun had been polarized by two crossed fields so that no radiation could pass.'

Untethered Spacewalk's 50th Anniversary
'But that space walk of mine wasn't so very amazing.'

ESA Designs Huge Inflatable Moonbase
'It was like being inside a balloon; indeed, that was exactly where he was.'

AlphaGarden Robot Cares For Gardens Better Than Humans
'...a simple clock-set servok with pipe and hose arms.'

Let's Make Slaver Sunflowers! Engineering Plants To Reflect Light
'The mirror-blossom was a terrible weapon.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

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

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.