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

"There's no point in making a mistake unless you understand the mistake so that you don’t make it again."
- Alfred Bester

Sealingsilk  
  Transparent and flexible material, even against hard vacuum in space.  

The Big Igloo, as the large living-Globe was more often called, was not really made of glass. It was sealingsilk, a cheap flexible material almost as transparent as fused silica and ten thousand times tougher—quite tough enough to hold a breathable pressure of air in the hard vacuum of space.  

Beyond the spherical wall loomed the other and somewhat smaller balloons of the Beat Cluster, connected to each other and to the Big Igloo by three-foot-diameter cylindrical tunnels of triple-strength tinted sealingsilk. In them floated or swam about an assemblage of persons of both sexes in informal dress and undress and engaged in activities suitable to freefall: sleeping, sunbathing, algae tending (“rocking” spongy cradles of water, fertilizer and the green scummy “guk”), yeast culture (a rather similar business), reading, studying, arguing, stargazing, meditation, space-squash (played inside the globular court of a stripped balloon), dancing, artistic creation in numerous media and the production of sweet sound (few musical instruments except the piano depend in any way on gravity).

From The Beat Cluster, by Fritz Leiber.
Published by Galaxy in 1961
Additional resources -

It was also self-sealing:

“Ah well, we all knew this bubble would someday burst,” Gussy Friml summed up, pinwheeling lazily in her black leotards...

  “Yes!” Knave Grayson agreed savagely. He’d seemed lost in brooding since his first remarks. Now as if he’d abruptly reached conclusions, he whipped out his knife and drove it through the taut sealingsilk at his elbow.  

The proctor knew he shouldn’t have winced so convulsively. There was only the briefest whistle of escaping air before the edge-tension in the sealingsilk closed the hole with an audible snap.

Knave smiled wickedly at the proctor. “Just testing,” he explained. “I knew a roustabout who lost a foot stepping “through sealingsilk. Edge-tension cut it off clean at the ankle. The foot’s still orbiting around the satellite, in a brown boot with needle-sharp hobnails. This is one spot where a boy’s got to remember not to put his finger in the dike.

Compare to stellene from The Planet Strappers (1961) by Raymond Z. Gallun.

Thanks to Winchell Chung of Project Rho for the tip on this story.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Beat Cluster
  More Ideas and Technology by Fritz Leiber
  Tech news articles related to The Beat Cluster
  Tech news articles related to works by Fritz Leiber

Articles related to Material
Tiny Mining - Extract Precious Industrial Minerals From Your Own Body
Polyaramide Is Stronger Than Steel, Light As Plastic
Trinitite, Pentagrams And Isaac Asimov
RUSSE Self-Healing Plastic Works Underwater

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

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

Spaceships Should Last So Long
'THE SPACE VESSEL was traveling swiftly… For over five thousand years they had Voyaged on and on.’

Shine On, Portable Wind Turbine
'Sometimes a man has a windmill on his roof...'

Amazing Indoor Robotic Drones Mimic Dolphins and Whales
'They circled the vast audiences, dancing, twittering, chirping...'

Space Station Shutters
'The sun-quilt was a patchwork of colors and materials on the inward side, but silvered on the outward side...'

Tiny Mining - Extract Precious Industrial Minerals From Your Own Body
'Jim, I saw them reduce four of my doctors and nurses into those little cubes!'

MIT Proposes Space Bubbles To Combat Climate Change, Misses The Point Of Space Bubbles
'Fats Jordan was hanging in the center of the Big Glass Balloon, hugging his guitar to his massive black belly above his purple shorts..'

Tianjin Solar Vehicle From Hanergy (2022) Looking Like Heinlein's (1940)
'When confronted by hills, or rough terrain, it did not stop, but simply slowed until the task demanded equaled its steady power output.'

Study Reveals Effect Of Space Travel On The Brain
'... the brain is no longer subjected to the accustomed pull, and it expands slightly in all directions.'

Sky Cruise Nuclear Powered Flying Hotel Concept
'... the huge air-freighter Jupiter.'

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.