Latest By

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

"I long ago realized that I could reach far more people by writing something, than by walking down the street with a banner."
- John Brunner

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
3D Printed Spherical Flying Machine
Nanotech Used To Create Custom Water Filters In Tanzania
Google Project Soli - Control Devices With A Gesture
NASA's Subvocal Speech System

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

Tesla Promises Fully Autonomous Cars By 2018
'It's been a criminal offense for at least a hundred years to drive manually on a public highway.'

Light Molecules (And Maybe Light Sabers, Someday)
'It will be matter, matter made of light...'

Telepresence In The Office
'That led to his development of robot probes; small devices with cameras and sound equipment which could move freely... under direct control.'

Piper, Google's 2 Billion Line Code Repository, Needs A Cool Display
'The student pointed a finger and as he did so, the line of equations marched down the wall...'

WEpod Driverless Vehicle On The Netherlands Roads
'The car moved smoothly away. Mirelly-Lyra half relaxed; she was not steering.'

Computer Predicts Psychosis Better Than Psychiatrists
'The mechanism which was the portable extension of Dr. Smile...'

Robot Evolution Needs Mass Extinction Events
'It was small, one of the baby ones.'

Lab-Grown Kidneys Implanted Successfully - In Animals
'For a while your colonists will have to come up to the Hospital to get treatment with the ramrobot symbiots...'

Korean Lab Ready To Clone Your Dog
Man's best friend, cloned.

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.