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

"Human beings hardly ever learn from the experience of others. They learn; when they do, which isn't often, on their own, the hard way."
- Robert Heinlein

Barrier (Force Field)  
  Force-field fence.  

In this story, Heinlein explores the idea of a just society; what does that society do with people who refuse to follow the rules? People who refuse to abide by the Covenant are placed (willingly or not) in Coventry, a large area of the U.S. about the size of Montana to fend for themselves. Coventry is surrounded by an impenetrable force field called the Barrier.

MacKinnon peered out of a forward port of the big transport helicopter with repressed excitement in his heart. There! That must be it- that black band in the distance. The helicopter drew closer, and he became certain that he was seeing the Barrier- the mysterious, impenetrable wall that divided the United States from the reservation known as Coventry...

A tiny, bright dot appeared in the foot of the barrier opposite where they waited. It spread into a half circle across the lampblack nothingness. Now it was large enough for MacKinnon to see the countryside beyond through the arch it had formed. He peered eagerly.

From Coventry, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Not Known in 1940
Additional resources -

Another character adds:

'...I'm not a mathematical physicist, but I was always told that it was theoretically impossible to break the Barrier-that it was just a nothingness that there was no way to touch. Of course, you can fly over it, but even that is supposed to be deadly to life.'

This story is classic Heinlein; read it to get some of the basis for the socio-political climate in his future history series.

Compare to the Langston field from Mote in God's Eye, by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Coventry
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
  Tech news articles related to Coventry
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Heinlein

Barrier (Force Field)-related news articles:
  - Virtual Fence To Be Tested This Month

Articles related to Misc
Is There A Subterranean Ocean?
The Robotic Shopping Cart Of The Future
Arctic Resource Jackpot An Old Wish
Marie Curie's Papers Still Radioactive

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 Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

NASA's Robotic Mining Competition
''Dave,'[Powell] said. 'You're a stable, rock-bottom mining robot...'

Should Humanity Switch To Robotic Pets?
'What about an exact electric duplicate of your cat?'

L'Oreal To 3D Print Human Skin
'...She helped the doctor spray on surrogate skin.'

LG Display Creates OLED Wallpaper
'A television that unrolled like a poster...'

Cool Foldable Mini-Quadcopter
'Eddie pocketed the bee cam...'

NASA's Subvocal Speech System
'She took a subvocal input device from its rack...'

Cicada UAV Dropped In Swarms
'We... dropped roughly a thousand eyes on Beta Hydri IV.'

AI's Now Being Taught Anger
Actually the Prime Radiant was just a display device.

Cicret Interactive Skin Display Prototype
'A strip of readout skin on my wrist...'

Lily Camera Video Sport Selfie Drone
'He set his camera to follow him, and it hovered behind him like a large tame bee.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.