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"In 1970 I found little difficulty staying 30 years ahead of the man in the street, and now I find it difficult to stay 18 months ahead of the man on the street."
- Vernor Vinge

Transparent Platisplasm Cage  
  A replacement framework for a body joint - in this case, the shoulder.  

"We'll just block off all sensation from your shoulder on . . . there, that didn't really hurt. This? Oh, it's a local venial and arterial constrictant; we want to keep things clean. Now, we'll just cut you along theŚwell, if it upsets you, don't look. Talk to your friend there. It'll just take a few minutes. Oh, that must have tickled all down in your tummy! Never mind. Just once more. Fine. That's your shoulder joint. I know; your arm does look sort of funny hanging there without it. We'll just stick in this transparent platisplasm cage now. Exact same articulation as your shoulder joint, and it holds your muscles out of the way. See, it's got grooves for your arteries. Move your chin, please. If you want to watch, look in the mirror. Now we'll just crimp it around the edges. Keep this vivatape around the rim of the cage for a couple of days until things grow together. There's not much chance of its pulling apart unless you strain your arm suddenly but you ought to be safe.
From Babel-17, by Samuel R. Delany.
Published by Ace Books in 1966
Additional resources -

This is effectively a replacement shoulder joint that utilizes some extra space to add a decorative implant, one of the key inventions and ideas from the story.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Babel-17
  More Ideas and Technology by Samuel R. Delany
  Tech news articles related to Babel-17
  Tech news articles related to works by Samuel R. Delany

Transparent Platisplasm Cage-related news articles:
  - NASA's 'Armstrong' Soft Wearable Upper Extremity Garment

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