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

"Science fiction is what scientists would do if they could - if they had enough grant money, enough time, and enough brains to do the wonderful things they would like to do."
- Greg Bear

Manual Search For Habitable Planet  
  A tedious search for habitable planets by hand.  

At the edge of the strange galaxy though they were, many days were required to reduce the intergalactic pace of the vessel to a value at which maneuvering was possible, and many more days passed into time before Crane announced the discovery of a sun which not only possessed a family of planets, but was also within the specified distance of a white dwarf star.

To any Earthly astronomer, whose most powerful optical instruments fail to reveal even the closest star as anything save a dimensionless point of light, such a discovery would have been impossible, but Crane was not working with Earthly instruments. For the fourth-order projector, although utterly useless at the intergalactic distances with which Seaton was principally concerned, was vastly more powerful than any conceivable telescope.

Driven by the full power of a disintegrating uranium bar, it could hold a projection so steadily at a distance of twenty light-years that a man could manipulate a welding arc as surely as though it was upon a bench before him which, in effect, it was-and in cases in which delicacy of control was not an object, such as the present quest for such vast masses as planets, the projector was effective over distances of many hundreds of light- years.

Thus it came about that the search for a planetiferous sun near a white dwarf star was not unduly prolonged, and Skylark Two tore through the empty ether toward it.

Close enough so that the projector could reveal details, Seaton drove projections of all Page 173 four voyagers down into the atmosphere of the first planet at hand. That atmosphere was heavy and of a pronounced greenish-yellow cast, and through it that fervent sun poured down a flood of lurid light upon a peculiarly dead and barren ground-but yet a ground upon which grew isolated clumps of a livid and monstrous vegetation.

"Of course detailed analysis at this distance is impossible, but what do you make of it, Dick?" asked Crane. "In all our travels, this is only the second time we have encountered such an atmosphere."

"Yes; and that's exactly twice too many." Seaton, at the spectroscope, was scowling in thought. "Chlorin, all right, with some fluorin and strong traces of oxide of nitrogen, nitrosyl chloride, and so on-just about like that one we saw in our own galaxy that time. I thought then and have thought ever since that there was something decidedly fishy about that planet, and I think there's something equally screwy about this one."

Technovelgy from Skylark of Valeron, by E.E. 'Doc' Smith.
Published by Astounding in 1934
Additional resources -

Compare to the search for habitable planets from Edmond Hamilton's 1936 story Cosmic Quest.

Special thanks to Fred Kiesche and Winchell Chung for leading me to this item.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Skylark of Valeron
  More Ideas and Technology by E.E. 'Doc' Smith
  Tech news articles related to Skylark of Valeron
  Tech news articles related to works by E.E. 'Doc' Smith

Manual Search For Habitable Planet-related news articles:
  - Amazing Kepler Space Telescope Decommissioned By NASA
  - M-Dwarf Stars May Not Have Habitable Planets

Articles related to
Who Knows What Might Be Found When Visiting A Metal Asteroid?
StoryFile To Help William Shatner Become Landru
DNA Controls Swarms Of Molecular Robots

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

SpaceX Intros Extravehicular Activity Suit
'Provision had been made to meet the terrific cold which we knew would be encountered the moment we had passed beyond the atmosphere.'

Athena Smart Security Guard Robot With Face Recognition
'You are who we say you are, Dr. Dakin,' Turner said.'

The FLUTE Project - A Huge Liquid Mirror In Space
'It's area, and its consequent light-gathering capacity, was many times greater than any rigid mirror...'

Robot Preachers Found To Undermine Religious Commitment
'Tell me your torments,' the Padre said, in an elderly voice marked with compassion.

CyberCab - Tesla Renames The Robotaxi
'A cybercab dogged their heels...'

SpaceHopper Microgravity Robot Lands On Its Feet
'...a slender-legged tripod surmounted by a spherical body no larger than a football.'

Brin's 1990 Novel Earth Still Full Of Predictions
'... making the point that their likenesses, every move they made, were being transmitted.'

Gaia - Why Stop With Just The Earth?
'But the stars are only atoms in larger space, and in that larger space the star-atoms could combine to form living matter, thinking matter, couldn't they?'

Microsoft VASA-1 Creates Personal Video From A Photo
'...to build up a video picture would require, say, ten million decisions every second. Mike, you're so fast I can't even think about it. But you aren't that fast.'

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.