"Generally, the human race avoids doing anything radical until forced into it."
In the novel, the protagonist wishes to divorce himself from humanity for a time. Not an easy thing to do when space travel is commonplace, and technology makes it easy for people to live wherever they like.
Those who believe that no one thinks about the fragments of explosive devices in this much detail are directed to the Ordnance Test and Evaluation Division of the U.S. Navy. Some typical user questions:
'Then they press one of these here thirteen buttons...'
'You're a stable, rock-bottom mining robot, except that you're equipped to handle six subsidiaries in direct coordination...'
18 Wheels Mutant Centipede Vehicle
'If a centipede were a dinosaur and made of metal to boot...'
Octopus Suckers Inspire Transdermal Patches
'...a capsule which he placed against his wrist.'
'The crawling, exploring object was V-Stephen's surgeon-hand...'
'It radiates outward in a cone which, by the time it has reached our section of space, is many lightyears across.'
'Drake was the young spatial engineer he employed to terraform the little rock.'
'... with a weird simulation of life, the ten forked ends of each arm commenced a rattling pressing of the buttons.'
Missing Jet Finally Found
Ah, what could have been - still in the future.
Philippines Coast Guard Cuts Chinese Barrier
'Each of the four areas is enclosed by a sonic wall...'
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