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 fiction is really sociological studies of the future, things that the writer believes are going to happen by putting two and two together."
- Ray Bradbury

Mechanical Mole  
  A self-contained device for digging large tunnels.  

In Oath of Fealty, the same company that operates the Todos Santos Independency, a single structure that houses 250,000 people, is also building a subway under Los Angeles. The use of the device is elaborately explored, in, shall we say, unusual circumstances.

The vehicle Tony Rand was driving was longer than four Cadillacs, and shaped roughly like a .22 Long Rifle cartridge. Thick hoses in various colors, some as thick as Tony's torso, trailed away down the tunnel and out of sight. The visibility ahead was poor. The top speed was contemptible. The mileage would have horrified a Cadillac owner. The best you could say for the Mole was that, unlike your ordinary automobile, it could drive through rock.
From Oath of Fealty, by Jerry Pournelle (w/L. Niven).
Published by Timescape in 1981
Additional resources -

I don't want to spoil the surprise of how this device is used in the novel; let's just say it's the slowest getaway car in history.

Compare to the mechanical earthworm from Death Dives Deep by Paul Ernst (1936) and the automatic shell from The Great Stone of Sardis (1897) by Frank Stockton.

For comic book look at a mole machine, read about Cave Carson: Adventures Inside Earth.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 2 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Oath of Fealty
  More Ideas and Technology by Jerry Pournelle (w/L. Niven)
  Tech news articles related to Oath of Fealty
  Tech news articles related to works by Jerry Pournelle (w/L. Niven)

Mechanical Mole-related news articles:
  - Tunnel Boring Machine B6 For Sale

Articles related to Engineering
Stick-On Tape Speakers, As Predicted By Bruce Sterling
Has Climate Change Already Been Solved By Aliens?
Skin Electronics 3D Printed
Super-Resolution Microscopy Provides '4D' Views

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

PAL-V Liberty Flying Helicopter Car
'...lifted themselves to skimming flight upon whirling helicopters."

Space Drones - UK's Effective Space To Launch Rocket Tugs
'Twenty rocket tugs towed it from its Earth hangar out into space.'

DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.'

Ancient Russian Walking Excavator Would Be Perfect RV
I don't need it to go fast, it just needs to amble along.

ELROI Satellite 'License Plate'
Robert Heinlein was thinking about this in 1941.

When Robots Beg For Their Lives
"Just what do you think you're doing... Dave.'

Do You Still Want A Folding Screen Phone?
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled...'

'Snapchat Dysmorphia' Now A Thing, Say Plastic Surgeons
'The program raced up the screen one scan line at a time, subtly smoothing, deleting and coloring.'

Drone Assassin Fails To Kill Venezuelan President
'The spotter descends, and we think it searches the vicinity, looking for the victim's face...'

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.