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

Artificial Intelligence
Data Storage
Input Devices
Living Space
Space Tech
Virtual Person

"I've come across more and more people who've actually tried reading science fiction and can't make it make sense."
- Samuel R. Delany

Cube Being  
  A living being comprised of linked cubes.  

Peering down at the plain, as near the ship as he could, Lundoon saw that it was all composed of tiny, identical cubes, carefully laid to form a tilelike surface.

His throat stuck. For the shimmering plain had heaved up. As if hurled by an explosive blast, a cloud of little diamond blocks came flying toward the ship. They rained down upon the flat circular deck, outside the conning tower. And they fell in a very curious way.

Lundoon had seen that each one-inch cube was joined to eight of its fellows by tiny threads of incandescence that ran from corner to corner. And they didnít fall at random on the deck, but piled themselves into a grotesque mockery of the human form.

It looked like something a child might have built, with a million nursery blocks.

It towered twenty feet tall. It was weirdly terrible.

One stride brought it to the observa- tion tower. The ship shuddered to its weight. A thin rope of bright yellow fire ran from it back over the rail to the hole it had left in the plain, joining these cubes to the others there.

The face of it was outside the ports.

The reporter stared at it with a sick fascination. Hard bright cubes, strung together with threads of fire, made a massive nose, bulging many-faceted eyes, the square travesty of a chin. The thing looked like the creation of a surrealist sculptor gone mad. And it was infinitely horrible.

A fantastic arm of cubes came up, made some incomprehensible gesture.

From The Infinite Enemy, by Jack Williamson.
Published by Thrilling Wonder Stories in 1938
Additional resources -

Compare to Stanislaw Lem, who wrote about a shape-forming swarm of tiny metal particles in his 1954 novel The Invincible. See also the Robot Cells (Crystal-Shaped Modules) from 1987 work by Michael P. Kube-McDowell. Don't miss the living metal cubes from The Metal Monster (1920) by Abraham Merritt.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Infinite Enemy
  More Ideas and Technology by Jack Williamson
  Tech news articles related to The Infinite Enemy
  Tech news articles related to works by Jack Williamson

Articles related to Engineering
SolarXOne Solar-Powered Drone Flies (almost) Forever
Experts Decry Planet-Scale Schemes To Limit Global Heating
Shine On, Portable Wind Turbine
The Mojo Smart Contact Lens Experience

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.





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
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Science Fiction in the News

CyberOne Robot By Xiaomi vs. Optimus Robot By Tesla
'I shall introduce myself... I am a robot.'

Giving Snakes Their Legs Back
Then some unknown race had chanced upon the dreamers and decided to 'help them out.'

'Ring Nation' Show Predicted By William Gibson In 1999
'... you had your trademark Lucky Dragon Global Interactive Video Column outside.'

SolarXOne Solar-Powered Drone Flies (almost) Forever
'It's an Indian Air Force drone; its solar cells could power an entire farm.'

Video! Chess Robot Breaks Opponent's Finger In Match
'A robot may not injure a human being.'

Virtual Co-Embodyment - Two People Control One Virtual Body
'... we were supposed to be forming five unit composites first."

The Wanderer: Eyebot From Fallout, Eye From Zelazny
'We send our eyes on their appointed rounds, and they can hover or soar or back up...'

Experts Decry Planet-Scale Schemes To Limit Global Heating
'Light from the sun hit those little spheres and bounced.'

OrganEx Revives The Organs In Dead Pig
'Wakened into half-life activity one hour a month...'

NAVER Labs Haptic Device 2.0 Robot vs. IKEA
'... the two pairs of waldoes in the screen followed in exact, simultaneous parallelism.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Science Fiction Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise | - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.