Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

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

"It wasn't until I was past forty that it bacame clear that I was going to be quote, successful, unquote."
- Isaac Asimov

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)

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 ships with legs from Buck Rogers: 2430 AD (1929) by Nowlan and Calkin, 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
  - Ancient Russian Walking Excavator Would Be Perfect RV

Articles related to Weapon
SPECTER Electroshock Round Fireable From Shotgun
Electric Lasso Gives Police Options
R9X Hellfire Missile With Long Blades Kills Queda Leader
CAV-X Supercavitating Ammo Deadly Underwater

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 Science Fiction Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Science Fiction in the News

Jetson ONE Personal Electric Aerial Vehicle
Who says you can't have your flying car?

Starlab By Nanoracks, A Commercial Space Station
'Webb Foster had built his space laboratory... It was a great crystal sphere, a thousand feet in diameter.'

Auto-Targeting Fire Sprinkler Systems Now Reality
I think every kitchen should have one of these.

Monarch Tractor - It's Electric, Autonomous and Smart
'Driver-optional' and follows gestures.

'Seabreeze' Apple And UCLA Project To Beat Depression
'It's illegal to hold back information during a psyche test,' the machine said peevishly.'

Hovermap By Emesent Autonomous Mapping Works Indoors - and Out
Perfect for exploring ancient artifacts on distant planets.

Sono Motor's Sion Sun-Powered Car
'...six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'

LEONARDO Robot Has Legs And Thrusters, Can Skateboard, Slackline
'a walking balloon proceeded with long strides of its aluminum legs over a slant of steep upland.'

Xavier Robots On Patrol For 'Anti-Social Behavior'
'This was as close as a robot could get to a cop in uniform.'

Rotating House in Bosnia
'... feel free to turn the house on your own.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Science Fiction Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.