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

"I am first of all not a science fiction writer I write, I suppose, what the Latin Americans call magic realism."
- Harlan Ellison

Food Factory  
  An alien ship that processes Oort cloud into food.  

Sometimes, to solve a problem you need to break it down into its basic elements. And the basic elements of the food shortage?

What comets are made of is the same thing you are made of, and what C-H-O-N spells is "food." The Oort cloud was made up of millions of megaton-sized servings of chow. Back on Earth there were ten or twelve billion hungry people looking toward it and licking their lips. There was still a lot of argument about what comets were doing there, out in the cloud. It was still arguable about whether they even came in families. Then Oort came along to try to make sense of it. His idea was that there was this great shell of comets all the hell around the solar system, and every once in a while the sun would reach out and pluck one out, and it would come loping in to perihelion. Then we would have Halley's comet, or the one that was supposed to have been the Star of Bethlehem, or whatever. Then a bunch of the guys began kicking that around, asking why exactly that should happen. It turned out it couldn't-not if you assume Maxwellian distribution for the Oort cloud. In fact, if you assume normal distribution, you also have to assume that there isn't any Oort cloud in the first place. You can't get the observed nearly parabolic orbits out of an Oort cloud; so said R. A. Lyttleton. But then somebody else said, well, who says the distribution can't be non-Maxwellian? And so it proved. It's all lumpy...

But it was there. It gleamed faintly blue in the darkness punctuated by stars, strangely shaped. It was the size of an office building and more oblong than anything else. But one end was rounded, and one side seemed to have a long, curved slice taken out of it.

From Beyond the Blue Event Horizon, by Frederik Pohl.
Published by Ballantine in 1980
Additional resources -

Comment/Join this discussion ( 5 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Beyond the Blue Event Horizon
  More Ideas and Technology by Frederik Pohl
  Tech news articles related to Beyond the Blue Event Horizon
  Tech news articles related to works by Frederik Pohl

Food Factory-related news articles:
  - Space Food, Canadian Style

Articles related to Food
Underwater Balloon Gardens
Do Mutant Chickens Offer 'Maximum, Diabolical Meatiness'?
Vat-Grown Burgers Getting Cheaper
Electronic Tongue Knows Beer Better Than You

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

Brainwaves As Biometric Identification
'The doors of Mr. Lars, Incorporated, shut, tuned as they were to his own cephalic pattern.'

What-If Machine Concocts Creative Premises
'Books were just a commodity that had to be produced, like jam or bootlaces.'

Underwater Balloon Gardens
'He puffed heavily as he angled around the bulbous lifezones...'

Storing 1 Zettabyte In 10 Grams
'It is theoretically possible to have a matrix in which each individual molecule has a meaning...'

Laser-Powered Spacecraft To Explore The Solar System
'Whoever launched it fired a laser cannon... for about forty-five years, so the intruder would have a beam to travel on...'

Skin Chair For That 'Sitting On A Fat Guy' Feeling
'The semi-sentient artifact glided to a position behind McKie...'

Pneumatic Micro-Tentacles Kidnapping Ants
'Long, flexible, glittering tentacles...'

Bee Narcs To Perform Drug 'Stings'
'Time for a replacement of both Behren and his dipterous insect...'

3D Printed Spherical Flying Machine
'Gold dots against blue, basketball-sized, twelve feet up....'

Airbus E-Fan All-Electric Plane Now Ready
I couldn't believe it, either.

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.