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"Science fiction operates a little bit like science itself, in principle. You've got thousands of people exploring ideas, putting forth their own hypotheses. Most of them are dead wrong; a few stand the test of time; everything looks kind of quaint in hind"
- Peter Watts

Flight Stick  
  A personal flying vehicle, stripped down to the basics.  

Hanville Svetz was a time traveler, from some seven hundred years into our future, sent back on a peculiar mission. To find a horse.

The world turned grey. Svetz caught a wall clamp to stop himself from falling...

When his head cleared, he turned to where other equipment was clamped to a wall. The flight stick was a lift-field generator and power source built into five feet of pole, with a control ring at one end, a brush discharge at the other, and a bucket seat and seat belt in the middle. Compact even for Svetz's age, the flight stick was spin-off from the spaceflight industries. But it still weighed thirty pounds with the motor off...

He straddled the flight stick and twisted the control knob on the fore end. The stick lifted under him, and he wriggled into place on the bucket seat. He twisted the knob further.

He drifted upward like a toy balloon.

From The Flight of the Horse, by Larry Niven.
Published by Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1969
Additional resources -

For a wind-shield, it had a very cool paraboloid force-field.

Well-read fans will have no trouble recognizing the broomstick speedster, from Robert Heinlein's 1942 classic Waldo.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Flight of the Horse
  More Ideas and Technology by Larry Niven
  Tech news articles related to The Flight of the Horse
  Tech news articles related to works by Larry Niven

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