"One could imagine a very ascetic sort of life ... where the body is ignored. This is something I've played with in my books, where people hate to be reminded sometimes that they have bodies, they find it very slow and tedious."
Compare to the pencil heat ray from Brigands of the Moon (1930), by Ray Cummings, the force-field penknife from Isaac Asimov's 1951 novel Foundation and the force pencil from Gather Darkness (1943) by Fritz Lieber.
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Oh, and now I suppose someone will develop the robotic porch pirate.
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'In contrast to the airless desolation outside, the interior of this five-acre greenhouse was the one most desirable place to be.'
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'...a waste can twenty feet away stirred into life.'
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