"The SF approach: an awareness that things could have been different, that this is one of many possible worlds, that if you came to this world from some other planet, this would be a science fiction world."
This glove is made of a material that is described in the book as "trigger-rigid."
Karatands are available now - they're made of substances like d3o. Here's a picture of a modern-day Karatand:
See the article on d3o-based RibCap: Flexible-Rigid Beanie-Helmet For Snowsports to learn about modern-day shear-thickening fluids used in clothing and sportswear.
Compare this item to the flexible armor suit from Larry Niven's 1967 work Neutron Star.
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