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

"I wrote many novels which contained the element of the projected collective unconscious, which made them simply incomprehensible to anyone who read them, because they required the reader to accept my premise that each of us lives in a unique world."
- Philip K. Dick

Twonky  
  A futuristic artifact left by time travelers in the past which, if discovered, could cause a paradox.  

There are really two worlds in Millennium. One is the world of our present (okay - your past - the mid 1980's). The other is the far future. It is not made clear at the beginning of the book what the purpose of time travel is, and I won't spoil your discovery.

This is a great word; not only is it original, but it's fun to say. Is it a verb or a noun?

I said, "What's up?"

"We had an indication of a twonky developing," he said, with deplorable grammar. A twonky used to mean some anachronistic object left behind during a snatch, but lately people had begun using the word to refer to the paradox situation that object tended to generate.

"Shortly after the twonky alarm, one of your girls lost her stunner on the plane."

From Millenium, by John Varley.
Published by Berkley Books in 1983
Additional resources -

When a traveler goes back in time, great care must be taken not to disturb the timestream, the chain of events that leads to the future under consideration in the novel. Their greatest fear is what happens if there is a "Grandfather Paradox", which comes up in most discussions of time travel. The basic idea is as follows: if I go back in time and kill my grandfather, how will I ever be born? Paradoxes like these are taken by some as proof that time travel cannot exist; in this future, time travel exists, but what happens if you cause a paradox in the past? Will the future you exist in - cease to exist?

The word "twonky" was first used by Henry Kuttner writing as Lewis Padgett in his short story "The Twonky".

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Millenium
  More Ideas and Technology by John Varley
  Tech news articles related to Millenium
  Tech news articles related to works by John Varley

Articles related to Misc
Is There A Subterranean Ocean?
The Robotic Shopping Cart Of The Future
Arctic Resource Jackpot An Old Wish
Marie Curie's Papers Still Radioactive

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

PAL-V Liberty Flying Helicopter Car
'...lifted themselves to skimming flight upon whirling helicopters."

Space Drones - UK's Effective Space To Launch Rocket Tugs
'Twenty rocket tugs towed it from its Earth hangar out into space.'

DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.'

Ancient Russian Walking Excavator Would Be Perfect RV
I don't need it to go fast, it just needs to amble along.

ELROI Satellite 'License Plate'
Robert Heinlein was thinking about this in 1941.

When Robots Beg For Their Lives
"Just what do you think you're doing... Dave.'

Do You Still Want A Folding Screen Phone?
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled...'

'Snapchat Dysmorphia' Now A Thing, Say Plastic Surgeons
'The program raced up the screen one scan line at a time, subtly smoothing, deleting and coloring.'

Drone Assassin Fails To Kill Venezuelan President
'The spotter descends, and we think it searches the vicinity, looking for the victim's face...'

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.