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

"The first thing that's wrong with being a science-fiction writer today is that the present has caught up with the future and surpassed it."
- Peter Watts

Sours  
  The odor created in enclosed space environments due to the need for bacilli for healthy soil.  

Each Concatenate world faced biological problems as it aged.

Fertile soil required a minimum of ten million bacterial cells per cubic centimeter. This invisible swarm formed the basis of everything fruitful...

But humanity and its symbionts had thrown aside the blanket of atmosphere...The circumlunar worlds had shields of imported lunar rubble whole meters deep, but they could not escape the bursts of solar flares and the random shots of backshots of cosmic radiation.

Without bacteria, the soil was a lifeless heap of imported lunar dust. With them, it was a constant mutational hazard.

The Republic struggled to control its Sours...Mutant fungi had spread like oil slicks, forming a mycelial crust beneath the surface of the soil

From Schismatrix, by Bruce Sterling.
Published by Arbor House in 1985
Additional resources -

Arthur C. Clarke skipped over this problem with Rama, which was probably the largest such environment in sf. As I recall, there was a sort of musty odor when they first entered the craft.

And, lest you think that soil bacteria is a dull subject with no possible interest, consider this:

The soil is a most amazing and largely undiscovered realm with over 2 million species. Although it forms part of the terrestrial ecosystems, it is nonetheless an entirely separate environment, not or hardly mixing with any of the other, the terrestrial, fresh water and oceanic realms. Soil species are biologically very varied because they cannot travel easily. Rivers, lakes, mountains and seas form impassable barriers, leading to intensive variation and specialization.
Read more at this cool New Zealand site.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Schismatrix
  More Ideas and Technology by Bruce Sterling
  Tech news articles related to Schismatrix
  Tech news articles related to works by Bruce Sterling

Sours-related news articles:
  - Gene Expression of Microbes Changes in Low Gravity Bioreactor
  - Unwanted Life Forms Abound In Sick Spacecraft
  - Bacteria Behave Differently In Space

Articles related to Biology
Baubotanik - Construction Botany - Builds Bridges
Mice Gestate In Mechanical Womb
Worlds With Underground Oceans More Conducive To Life
Monkey Gets A Bigger Brain, Thanks To Human Gene

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

Small Town Wants 60 License Plate Readers
'the registration number which the traffic control automatically photographed as she left the controlway...'

Lightyear 0 World's First Production-Ready Solar Car
'It could maintain a steady six miles per hour...'

AI Robots Excel At Trash Sorting And Recycling
'Then they press one of these here thirteen buttons...'

Could Increased Space Rocketry Damage The Ozone Layer?
'...without burning a single hydrocarbon molecule to injure the diseased atmosphere any further.'

Dyson's Secret Household Robots
'...work a human being does around a house.'

Festo BionicSwift Bird Robots Described In 1930
'Bird-like robots now descended from the ceiling of the theatre...'

Robotics Jobs In The Food Industry
'The efficient robot waiter of the Sky Club had cleared away the remnants of an epicurean meal.'

Prototype 3D Printer Could Print Arteries In Seconds
'...in the tank the new body and the new mind and memory and life has taken almost instant form.'

China Wants 'Hard Kill' Capability To Counter Starlink Satellites
'pirate three-vee satellites sanded out of orbit...'

Low-Cost Gel Pulls Water From Atmosphere Like Star Wars Vaporator
'The atmosphere yielded its moisture with reluctance. It had to be coaxed down...'

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.