Latest By

Artificial Intelligence
Data Storage
Input Devices
Living Space
Space Tech
Virtual Person

"I can't tell whether or not there's going to be a Singularity. I don't really believe the rapture of the nerds stereotype..."
- Charles Stross

Walking Fort  
  A biomimetic fort based on the model of a centipede.  

He wanted Patch to design and construct a walking fort in the semblance of a monster centipede, seventy-six feet long and twelve feet high. The mechanism was to consist of eighteen segments, each equiped with a pair of legs. The fort... must be able to move at a speed of at least forty miles per hour on synchronized, smoothly operating legs. It must be able to spurt liquid fire from its tongue, exude noxious gas, and fire energy beams through ports in its head.
From The Killing Machine, by Jack Vance.
Published by Fantastic Fiction (?) in 1964
Additional resources -

Helpfully, the book also contains this excerpt from the specifications for the walking fort:

The vehicle must, under full load, be able to traverse slopes of up to forty degrees (assuming adequate footing) at a speed not less than ten miles per hour; to negotiate easily and certainly broken ground, such as a field of irregularly shaped rock fragments up to six feet in diameter; to pass across crevasses, gaps or ditches up to twenty feet wide.

Compare to the centipede-machine from Monsters of Mars (1931) by Edmond Hamilton, the robass from The Quest for Saint Aquin (1951) by Anthony Boucher and the centipede from Killing Titan (2015) by Greg Bear.

Thanks to R. Probert for contributing this item.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 1 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Killing Machine
  More Ideas and Technology by Jack Vance
  Tech news articles related to The Killing Machine
  Tech news articles related to works by Jack Vance

Walking Fort-related news articles:
  - Walking House Ambles Away From Disaster
  - China's Crab Walker Robot Tank In Firing Mode

Articles related to Weapon
Railguns For Surface Ships
DIY Armed UAV (Toy)
Taser Drones Now Legal In North Dakota
HEL MD Laser Weapons Will Sound Like Star Wars, Star Trek

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.





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

Untethered Drone Gets Wireless Power
'We'll use my 'broomstick'.'

ESA Plans Akon Projectile To Europa ala Jules Verne
'... might [it] not be possible to project a shot up to the moon?'

Transparent OLED TV By Panasonic
It's the look of things to come.

Shape-Memory Metal Transforms Millions Of Times
'Annealed in any shape for a time, and codified, the structure of that shape is retained down to the molecules.'

Advertising Drones Hover Over Traffic In Mexico
'Blurbflies are allowd to travel the streets, buzzing their adverts alive and direct...'

How Can Amazon Patent A Voice-Controlled Drone?
''Tight mid-shot...' he told it.'

'North Sense' Wearable Piercing From Cyborg Nest
'The fingers opened from the many-scaled stellarimeter grafted onto his palm.'

proCover Smart Sock Prosthetic Limb Enhancement
'Series of chemelectric afferent nerve-analogues, which permitted it to gauge to an ounce...'

Human Doctors Still Better Than Computers
'Nowadays surgery was normally done by autodocs...'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise | - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.