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

"We follow the scientists around and look over their shoulders."
- Larry Niven

Sensory-Syrynx  
  A complex musical instrument.  

On his lap in crumpled leather, It might have been a harp, it might have been a computer. With inductance surfaces like a theremin, with frets like a guitar, down one side were short drones as on a sitar. On the other were the extended bass drones of a guitarina. Parts were carved from rosewood. Parts were cast from stainless steel. It had insets of black plastic, and was cushioned with plush...

Sunlight ran the polished grain, flashed in the steel. At the table the workmen tapped their coins, then squinted. Leo nodded to them. They put the money on the greasy boards and, puzzled, left the boat.

Leo did something with the controls. There was a clear ringing; the air shivered; and cutting out the olid odor of wet rope and tar was the scent of ... orchids? A long time ago, perhaps at five or six, the Mouse had smelled them wild in the fields edging a road. (Then, there had been a big woman in a print skirt who may have been Mama, and three barefoot, heavily mustachioed men, one of whom he had been told to call Papa; but that was in some other country ...) Yes, orchids.

"It works!" rasped the Mouse.

Leo nodded. "Better than the one I used to have. The Illyrion battery almost brand-new is. Those things I on the boat used to play, can still play, I wonder." His face furrowed. "Not too good going to be is. Out of practice am." Embarrassment rearranged Leo's features into an expression the Mouse had never seen. Leo's hand closed to the tuning haft...

"Can you show me how to play it?' Then he did something brave. He took it, gently, from Leo's lap. And fear was an emotion that the Mouse had lived with all his short, shattered life.

Reaching, however, he began the intricate process of becoming himself. Wondering, the Mouse turned the sensory-syrynx around and around.

From Nova, by Samuel R. Delany.
Published by Doubleday in 1968
Additional resources -

Compare to the visi-sonor from Foundation and Empire (1952) by Isaac Asimov and the stimic from The Moon Moth (1976) by Jack Vance.

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

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

Articles related to Culture
Is It Better To Be Short?
The Coming Hell Of ChatGPT Salesbots
Holly+ Processes Your Singing In Holly Herndon's Voice
Megachurches Catch Up To Heinlein

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

'Courier Commons' By Tomorrow Lab, From Karl Schroeder (and Bruce Sterling?)
'The pokkecon rang again. *The coffee’s for him?* Tsuyoshi said.'

Terrifying Robotic Apple Harvester
'... little machines, that went from plant to plant.'

Mechanical Horse Sculpture Gallops In Place
'Rod placed the brain inside the panel... the horse raised its head, wiggled its ears, blinked twice, gave a tentative whinny.'

'Make Sunsets' Tweaks Climate By Atmospheric Alteration
'Pina2bo would have to operate full blast for many years to put as much SO2 into the stratosphere as its namesake had done in a few minutes.'

Eviation Alice Electric Plane First Flight
'A white electric plane approached at great speed...'

Hotels Turn To Robots As Human Workers Regroup
'Chain of hotels that specialized in non-human service.'

Changesite Mineral To Be Mined On Moon By China
'But then... not every bulldozer operator works on the Moon.'

Tongue-Controlled Tong Wearable Mouth Computer
'Griff found the white and pink map distracting and switched it off using his tongue mouse.'

Is It Better To Be Short?
'He was one of the smaller, energy-saving new breed...'

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.