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"I realized there was a heavy-duty change coming in biology, and I could write a really compelling novel about catastrophic evolution, punctuated equilibrium."
- Greg Bear

Reading Plate  
  A flat screen that provided computer output for viewing.  

Once the human race had made contact with other races having interstellar travel the additions to the family of legal "humans" had come so fast that a man can hardly keep up; the more mankind widened its horizons the harder those horizons were to see.

Or perhaps he knew of the Hiroshii under another name? Greenberg turned to Mr. Kiku's universal dictionary and keyed in the name.

The machine considered it, then the reading plate flashed: no information.

From The Star Beast, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Charles Scribner's Sons in 1954
Additional resources -

I asked my ten year old daughter what she thought this was. "Oh, that's a flat screen monitor," she replied. Enough said.

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