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

"The SF approach: an awareness that things could have been different, that this is one of many possible worlds, that if you came to this world from some other planet, this would be a science fiction world."
- Neal Stephenson

Oort Cloud Processor  
  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

Oort Cloud Processor-related news articles:
  - Space Food, Canadian Style

Articles related to Food
3D Printing Dinner
First Flower Grown In Space Is Edible
Nima Portable Gluten Tester
Can Bacteria Provide Food In Space?

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

Man Filmed Sleeping In Tesla On Autopilot
'Mary Risling settled back for a little nap...'

Otto Self-Driving Truck Kits
'Trucks gulped packages and scurried like beetles...'

Humans Help Robots Identify Recyclables
'You give it a good look... then press the right button and in she goes.'

Is This Robotic Hand As Quick As Yours?
'V-Stephen's surgeon-hand, a self-contained robot of precision quality...'

DARPA's XS-1 Spaceplane
'They were more airplane than spaceship...'

Douglas Adams Your Babel Fish Is Ready - The Pilot By Waverly
'You'll need to have this fish in your ear.'

OMG! DIY Arduino Robot Vacuum Cleaner Like Bradbury's Mice
'Out of warrens in the wall, tiny robot mice darted.'

NASA Culturing ISS Walls For Microbes
'Collect organisms and dust for study...'

Siemens 3D Printing Robot Spiders
'The eight thin metallic legs were pointed downwards, balanced delicately...'

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.