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"One can see the free software movement as a precusor for a "free hardware" or "free wetware" movement--one that will provide free libraries of designs for biological or nanotechnological products that replicators can be programmed to churn out."
- Charles Stross

Stilt-Legged Chairs (Walking Chairs)  
  An alien conveyance.  

Then even as he turned around a stream of golden light seemed to brighten the fog-enwrapped close of day, and into this aureate stream that illuminated the entire street, came one of the lunar worms, a long, sinewy monster of metal, silent and snake-like. Alongside of it ran five of his Mexican neighbors, three young men and two young women, and they ran as only those run who know too well that Death is the pacemaker. It was the two girls whom he had heard shriek and even as he watched this scene, a space about the size of his front door opened up in the side of the worm and to the astonishment of the terrified Mexican storekeeper, revealed a golden interior almost like the fire-box of some huge engine. He was too astounded to move, and even when from this exit emerged four of the most grotesque elfin-like caricatures of an earthly human being that he had ever seen, he still found himself rooted to the floor of his little store.


(Moon Snakes (Metal Worms) from 'Vandals from the Moon' by Marius)

“They were on tall stilts, senor,” he told me, his jet eyes wide open with excitement, “and, Dios mio, they were not men, not men like us, you understand, like you and me. At first I thought that these long worm machines were living animals from the moon; moon snakes, I called them to my wife. Then imagine my surprise when with my own eyes I saw a door open up suddenly and from it funny little men come out — men who walked on stilts equipped with queer little chairs on top, on which these men sat. They had big heads with no hair and very short, thin arms, like the arms of a little boy. In size they were no larger than a ten year old child and even in the golden light their skin seemed to be sickly pale. Yes sir, they sat on these chairs about ten or twelve feet above the ground and guided their stilts with a short rod; they walked very quickly with their three long legs. I was too amazed even to be afraid.

“But they did not see me, thank God. They were after the runners, the three men and the two girls, all neighbors of mine. I knew them well. The moon-snake stopped as soon as the three-legged chairs got out to give chase. I think there were four of them. It was very soon over, senor. The chairs were fast, like automobiles, and run as they would, the three men and two girls could never escape them. It happened only a few steps from my door. The moon-men did not seem to care about the three men but only about the two women. Maria Vegas one of them was and the other a Morales girl, who was still going to school. From the seat part of the chairs stuck out two thin rods like a pair of nippers and with these the moon-men seized the two screaming girls and carried them to their snake-machine, kicking and shouting. It was a terrible sight.

Technovelgy from Vandals from the Moon, by - Marius.
Published by Amazing Stories in 1928
Additional resources -

More details:

One tale, told of a pair of gigantic Lunite engines of war that had attacked a high school in session. They alighted in their queer three-legged walking-chairs and made quick work of the defenders with the miniature ray apparatus each Lunite chair carried.

Still more:

The Lunite walking chairs moved swiftly. Not with the awkward, wobbling motions that I had expected, but they ran stiff-legged as a pacing horse. They were the engines which the Lunites used to offset the stronger gravitational pull of a larger planet and the two long, slender pincers made up for their lack of bodily strength. Of connections of wire, or otherwise with the metal worm which had spewn them forth, I could see none, and decided that the walking chairs, somehow or other, moved independently of the Lunite worms-of-war. Wireless currents from the main body might have directed them, so I thought at that time, but later events disproved this theory.

Straight for the racing fugitives went the chairs on their long, slender legs with the speed and accuracy of a race-horse and the metal-skinned worms followed close at their heels.

This reminds me of the walking balloons from In the Deep of Time (1987) by George Parsons Lathrop.

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  More Ideas and Technology from Vandals from the Moon
  More Ideas and Technology by - Marius
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  Tech news articles related to works by - Marius

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