Latest By

Artificial Intelligence
Data Storage
Input Devices
Living Space
Space Tech
Virtual Person

"In 1977, it took about eight months for a slightly faster more refined mechanism to put punk in the window of Holt Renfrew. It's gotten faster ever since."
- William Gibson

  A floating island or rock in the air.  

Laputa's means of propulsion and altitude control is detailed below.

I turned back and perceived a vast Opaque Body between me and the sun, moving forwards towards the island; it appeared to be about two Miles high, and hid the Sun six or seven minutes.

... the Reader can hardly conceive my Astonishment, to behold an Island in the Air, inhabited by Men, who are able (as it should seem) to raise, or sink, or put into a Progressive Motion, as they pleased.

From Gulliver's Travels, by Jonathan Swift.
Published by Unknown in 1726
Additional resources -

Here is an early illustration:

(The island of Laputa)

The island's altitude and progress is determined by magnetic levitation:

At the Centre of the Island there is a Chasm about fifty Yards in Diameter... The greatest Curiosity, upon which the fate of the Island depends, is a Loadstone of a prodigious size, in shape resembling a Weaver's Shuttle. It is in length six Yards, and in the thickest part at least three Yards over. This Magnet is sustained by a very strong Axle of Adamant passing through its middle, upon which it plays, and is poised os exactly that the weakest Hand can turn it...

By means of this Loadstone, the Island is made to rise and fall, and move from one place to another. For, with respect to that part of the Earth over which the Monarch presides, the Stone is endured at one of its sides with attractive Power, and at the other with a repulsive. Upon placing the Magnet erect with its attracting end toward the Earth, the Island descends; but when the repelling Extremity points downwards, the Island mounts directly upwards. When the Position of the Stone is obliqe, the Motion of the Island is too.

By this oblique Motion the Island is conveyed to different Parts of the Monarch's Dominions.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 1 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Gulliver's Travels
  More Ideas and Technology by Jonathan Swift
  Tech news articles related to Gulliver's Travels
  Tech news articles related to works by Jonathan Swift

Articles related to Living Space
UK's Self-Repairing Cities
Ecocapsule - Simak's Dream Of A Prefab House
Rotating Domespace House Is Amazing
Self-Deployable Habitat For Extreme Environments

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.





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

ANNABELL AI Can Learn English From Scratch
'...Could understand not only classic programming but also Loglan and English..."

Tesla Suit Gives Haptic Hugs
'Then a pressure on the lips...'

Surgically Implantable Artificial Kidney Starts Testing
'George Walt... proved the workability of wholly mechanical organs...'

Self-Filling Water Bottle Is Beetle-Based
'That moisture trickles down...'

Senate Passes Space Mining Legislation
'The law of filing on newly discovered asteroids was definite...'

Microsoft's Surface Book Is Part Clipboard
'Floyd sometimes wondered if the Newspad, and the fantastic technology behind it, was the last word in man's quest for perfect communications...'

Police Use Predictive Maps ala 'Minority Report' Routinely
'...the data-receptors, and the computing mechanisms that studied and restructured the incoming material.'

Tesla Autopilot Road Trip 2995 Miles, 57 Hours
'The beautiful old car cruised ... under the guidance of its automatic controls...'

The 'Marching Mountains' Of Pluto
Calling Captain Future!

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

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

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.