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

"I've got this beautiful panoramic three-dimensional painting of Mars based on Martian photos. It's 30 feet wide. You can pick out every pebble on the Martian landscape. And who'd have dreamed you could do that?"
- Arthur C. Clarke

Flexible Armor Suit  
  A pressure suit that, while flexible, becomes rigid like armor upon impact.  

He [Nessus the puppeteer] went up a rise, moving slowly, though his feet wanted to dance. He was weaponless, but his suit was a kind of defense. No projectile short of a fast meteorite could harm him. Like a silicone plastic, the pressure suit was soft and malleable under gentle pressures, such as walking, but instantly became rigid all over when something struck it...

The top of the swell behind Nessus suddenly sparkled with harsh blue-white sunlight. ... He saw the light, he curled into a ball, and the ground swell came. It batted him like a beach ball. His rigid, form-fitting shell retained his shape. It could not prevent the ground swell from slamming him away, nor his brain from jarring under its thick skull and its extra padding.

From Neutron Star, by Larry Niven.
Published by Worls of If in 1966
Additional resources -

This is from "The Soft Weapon" (originally published in Worlds of If, February, 1967) from the Neutron Star story collection.

Niven makes use of this idea again in The Ringworld Engineers:

Louis and Chmeee donned impact armor: leathery stuff, not unpleasantly stiff, which would go rigid as steel under impact from spear, arrow, or bullet...

The soldiers were close, but Filistranorlry was standing back and firing his pistol. The roar was disconcerting, even terrifying. A slug slammed into Louis's ankle; the suit went rigid, and he rolled like a tumbled statue, picked himself up, and ran again. As two soldiers threw themselves at him, he swung over the fence and dropped.

Thanks to a helpful reader for providing the reference and text quote.

Compare to the karatand from Stand on Zanzibar (1968) by John Brunner.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 4 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Neutron Star
  More Ideas and Technology by Larry Niven
  Tech news articles related to Neutron Star
  Tech news articles related to works by Larry Niven

Flexible Armor Suit-related news articles:
  - Liquid Armor In Two Flavors: Shear Thickening and Magnetorheological
  - d3o Design Competition To Invent The Future
  - Liquid Armor Video Shows Bullets Bounce Off
  - Richard Palmer, d3o Inventor, O2 X Entrepreneur of the Year
  - DEFLEXION Apparel For Superheroes
  - BAE System 'Bullet Proof Custard' Body Armor
  - Love That Shear Thickening Fluid Body Armor
  - Liquid Body Armor For TALOS Exoskeleton

Articles related to Armor
Liquid Body Armor For TALOS Exoskeleton
DIY Taser-Proof Clothing
Look Great In Your Garrison Bespoke Bulletproof Suit
Bionic Body Armor Makes You Dodge Bullets

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

Lightyear 0 World's First Production-Ready Solar Car
'It could maintain a steady six miles per hour...'

AI Robots Excel At Trash Sorting And Recycling
'Then they press one of these here thirteen buttons...'

Could Increased Space Rocketry Damage The Ozone Layer?
'...without burning a single hydrocarbon molecule to injure the diseased atmosphere any further.'

Dyson's Secret Household Robots
'...work a human being does around a house.'

Festo BionicSwift Bird Robots Described In 1930
'Bird-like robots now descended from the ceiling of the theatre...'

Robotics Jobs In The Food Industry
'The efficient robot waiter of the Sky Club had cleared away the remnants of an epicurean meal.'

Prototype 3D Printer Could Print Arteries In Seconds
'...in the tank the new body and the new mind and memory and life has taken almost instant form.'

China Wants 'Hard Kill' Capability To Counter Starlink Satellites
'pirate three-vee satellites sanded out of orbit...'

Low-Cost Gel Pulls Water From Atmosphere Like Star Wars Vaporator
'The atmosphere yielded its moisture with reluctance. It had to be coaxed down...'

Pixy Flying Selfie Drone From Snap
'It hovered behind him like a large tame bee.'

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.