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

"Science and science fiction, how do you even distinguish the two?"
- Jerry Pournelle

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 -

Compare to surta from The Great Dome of Mercury (1932) by Leo Zagat.

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
Spicy Tomatoes Created With Genetic Engineering
Shrimp Actually Made Of Algae Is A New Wave Food
Nova Meat Can 3D Print Your Dinner
Farming In Space Starts With Mycorrhiza

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

Spicy Tomatoes Created With Genetic Engineering
How about mashed potatoes and brown gravy?

Driverless Hotel Rooms Predicted In 1828
'Did you never see a moving house before?'

Yandex Self-Driving Taxi Is Very Smooth
'The big car was slowing down, its computer brain sensing an exit ahead.'

Cosplay Style Wings Could Work On Moon
'They're lovely! - titanalloy struts as light and strong as bird-bones...'

Tesla Model 3 Has Outside Speaker Grille
Robert Heinlein does it again.

Arizona Luddites Attack Self-Driving Vehicles
'Trucks don't drive by themselves...' Or do they?

Organaut! Russians 3D Print Living Tissue In Space
'For a while your colonists will have to come up [to orbit] to the Hospital...'

WINE Spacecraft To Extract Water From Asteroids
'Yes, strangely enough there was still sufficient water beneath the surface of Vesta.'

Japanese Swordsmiths Take On Asteroids
'... a tiny, rocket-powered projectile, drove towards the mysterious bulk.'

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.