Latest By

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

"I forged a concept which is relatively simple and possibly unique in theology, and that is, the irrational is the primordial stratum of the universe."
- Philip K. Dick

Zero-Time Jail  
  A building in which an energy field prevents time from passing.  

In this future world, an escape-proof prison is invented which requires no guards, dogs or razor wire to keep the prisoners in. Time itself is stopped; the prisoners don't age a day.

"They learned my crime from my ship's log. They sentenced me to - " Untranslated.

"What was that?"

"They stopped time for me. There was a building where some criminals went to be stored against need." The bitter smile again: "I was to be flattered. Only unusual breakers of the law were thought to be of future need to the State. People of high intelligence or with good genes or interesting tales to tell future historians. The building would hold perhaps ten thousand, no more. I was lucky they let me keep my medicines. At that I could choose only as much as I could carry."

From A World Out of Time, by Larry Niven.
Published by Random House in 1976
Additional resources -

This is another solution to the problem of time travel; you stay "still" in time while the rest of the world progresses. Of course, it only works one way. A similar idea is used by Vernor Vinge in his wonderful novel, The Peace War.

You might also be interested in the null-entropy bin - the world's best salad crisper, from Heretics of Dune by Frank Herbert.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 4 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from A World Out of Time
  More Ideas and Technology by Larry Niven
  Tech news articles related to A World Out of Time
  Tech news articles related to works by Larry Niven

Articles related to Engineering
Untethered Drone Gets Wireless Power
How Can Amazon Patent A Voice-Controlled Drone?
'North Sense' Wearable Piercing From Cyborg Nest
Wearables For Animals Totally A Thing

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 Invention Timeline, or see what's New.





More News

GyroGlove Idea For Parkinson's Was Suggested In 1926
'The gyroscope was revolving at the rate of three thousand revolutions a minute, and the slight humming was hardly noticeable...'

Otto Self-Driving Truck Kit Delivers Budweiser Beer
'Trucks gulped packages and scurried like beetles...'

Airnest Drone Flight Logging Tool
'He reached to unsnap the cartograph from his belt.'

Untethered Drone Gets Wireless Power
'We'll use my 'broomstick'.'

ESA Plans Akon Projectile To Europa ala Jules Verne
'... might [it] not be possible to project a shot up to the moon?'

Transparent OLED TV By Panasonic
It's the look of things to come.

Shape-Memory Metal Transforms Millions Of Times
'Annealed in any shape for a time, and codified, the structure of that shape is retained down to the molecules.'

Advertising Drones Hover Over Traffic In Mexico
'Blurbflies are allowd to travel the streets, buzzing their adverts alive and direct...'

How Can Amazon Patent A Voice-Controlled Drone?
''Tight mid-shot...' he told it.'

'North Sense' Wearable Piercing From Cyborg Nest
'The fingers opened from the many-scaled stellarimeter grafted onto his palm.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

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

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.