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

"Every scientist worth his salt that I know of has read science fiction."
- Greg Bear

Rat Thing  
  A guard cyborg created from a living animal.  

The body is Rottweiler-sized, segmented into overlapping hard plates like those of a rhinoceros. The legs are long, curled way up to deliver power, like a cheetah's. It must be the tail that makes people refer to it as a Rat Thing, because that's the only ratlike part - incredibly long and flexible.

The grass under the Rat Thing is beginning to smoke.

"Careful. Supposedly they have really nasty isotopes inside," Hiro says behind her... "A radioactive substance that makes heat. That's its energy source."

"How do you turn it off?"

"You don't. It keeps making heat until it melts."

The body converges to a sharp nose. In the front it bends down sharply, and there is a black canopy, raked sharply like the windshield of a fighter plane. If the Rat Thing has eyes, this is where it looks out.

From Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson.
Published by Bantam in 1992
Additional resources -

Compare the Rat Thing to the slamhound from William Gibson's 1986 novel Count Zero, and of course the mechanical hound from Ray Bradbury's 1953 classic Fahrenheit 451.

Thanks to Jerry for suggesting this item.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 2 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Snow Crash
  More Ideas and Technology by Neal Stephenson
  Tech news articles related to Snow Crash
  Tech news articles related to works by Neal Stephenson

Rat Thing-related news articles:
  - MIT's Cheetah Robot Runs Easier Than Real Cheetah
  - MIT Robot Cheetah Video Shows Gait Transition
  - WildCat Runs Faster Than You, Untethered
  - Why, Oh Why, Must We Develop Robots That Run Faster Than I Do?

Articles related to Robotics
Robotic Exoskeleton Releases Man From Wheelchair
Oh, Just Let Robots Run Airports
Why, Oh Why, Must We Develop Robots That Run Faster Than I Do?
Golf Robot Putts Out

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

Hackers Can Take Control Of Cars From Anywhere In The World
'The car faltered as the external command came to brake...'

Armed Drone Opens Fire
'Each a television eye and a sonic stunner...'

Robotic Exoskeleton Releases Man From Wheelchair
'This man was standing on two corrugated-soled titanium footplates...'

Oh, Just Let Robots Run Airports
I'd like a friendly robot to help me at airports.

How Smart Should AI's Be Allowed To Get?
'Every AI ever built has an electromagnetic shotgun wired to its forehead'

NASA Misses $5Trillion Funding Boost
'This must be a golden planet—this little asteroid.'

Kuwait Creates Mandatory DNA Database For Citizens
And who has the largest DNA database on its citizens?

Google AI 'Deep Dreams' Kubrick's 2001
'I was only trying to do what I thought best....'

The BLITAB: First Tactile Tablet for Blind People
Absolutely amazing development - now blind people can read the web!

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.