Timeline of Science Fiction Ideas, Technology and Inventions
(sorted by Publication Date)

Most of these items are linked to information about similar real-life inventions and inventors; click on an invention to learn more about it.

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

Date Device Name (Novel Author)
1634 Weightlessness (Kepler) (from Somnium (The Dream) by Johannes Kepler)
1638 Weightlessness (Godwin) (from The Man in the Moone by Francis Godwin)
1657 Moon Machine - very early description (from A Voyage to the Moon by Cyrano de Bergerac)
1726 Laputa - a floating island (from Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift)
1726 Bio-Energy - produce electricity from organic material (from Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift)
1726 Knowledge Engine - machine-made expertise (from Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift)
1726 Geometric Modeling - eighteenth century NURBS (from Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift)
1727 Androide - the original (from Cyclopaedia by Ephraim Chambers)
1828 Steam-Propelled Moving Houses (from The Mummy! A Tale of the Twenty-Second Century by Jane Webb Loudon)
1828 Barrels of Air (from The Mummy! A Tale of the Twenty-Second Century by Jane Webb Loudon)
1828 Mail-Post Letter-Ball (from The Mummy! A Tale of the Twenty-Second Century by Jane Webb Loudon)
1828 Stage Balloon (from The Mummy! A Tale of the Twenty-Second Century by Jane Webb Loudon)
1864 Whispering Gallery (from Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne)
1866 Paper Steel (from Robur-the-Conqueror by Jules Verne)
1867 Columbiad - 900 foot cannon (from From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne)
1867 Weightlessness - true science fiction discovery (from From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne)
1867 Water-Springs (from From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne)
1867 Projectile-Vehicle - Verne's spacecraft (from From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne)
1867 Light Pressure Propulsion - first use of this idea (from From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne)
1867 Launching Facility - in Florida (from From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne)
1867 Retro-Rockets - Verne invented them! (from From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne)
1867 Splashdown - the original idea (from From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne)
1867 Gourmet Space Cuisine (from From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne)
1867 Communicate with Extraterrestrials - first use of concept (from From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne)
1867 Free Return Trajectory - first mention (from From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne)
1869 Brick Moon - first space station (from The Brick Moon by Edward Everett Hale)
1869 Flywheel Launcher (from The Brick Moon by Edward Everett Hale)
1875 Leyden Ball - grandfather of the taser (from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne)
1875 Electrify the Rail - repel boarders! (from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne)
1875 Nautilus - Captain Nemo's ride (from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne)
1875 Diving Apparatus - scuba diving in the 19th century (from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne)
1875 Undersea Mining (from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne)
1877 Telepomp (from The Man Without a Body by Edward Page Mitchell)
1879 Home News Printer - news hot off the press (from The Senator's Daughter by Edward Page Mitchell)
1879 Vivification (from In the Deep of Time by George Parsons Lathrop)
1879 Suspended Animation (Frigorific Process) (from The Senator's Daughter by Edward Page Mitchell)
1879 Compact Food Pastilles (from The Senator's Daughter by Edward Page Mitchell)
1879 Planetary Telegraphing (from In the Deep of Time by George Parsons Lathrop)
1880 Apergy (Apergion) - antigravity substance (from Across the Zodiac by Percy Greg)
1880 Astronaut (from Across the Zodiac by Percy Greg)
1881 Dutch Clock (Time Machine) (from The Clock That Went Backward by Edward Page Mitchell)
1887 Anacronopete (Time Machine) (from El Anacronopete by Enrique Gaspar)
1888 Mall (Great City Bazaar) - Wal-Mart foreseen (from Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy)
1888 Credit Card - why carry cash? (from Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy)
1888 Telephonic Music Room (from Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy)
1889 Phonotelephote - earliest reference to videophone (from In the Year 2889 by Jules Verne)
1889 Atmospheric Advertising - write it on the clouds (from In the Year 2889 by Jules Verne)
1889 Live News - prediction of newscasts (from In the Year 2889 by Jules Verne)
1889 Recorded News - Tivo for radio in 1889 (from In the Year 2889 by Jules Verne)
1889 Electrified Fence (from A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain)
1889 Straightening the Earth's Poles (from The Purchase of the North Pole (Topsy Turvy) by Jules Verne)
1893 Air-Ship (VTOL Airship) (from The Angel of the Revolution by George Griffith)
1893 Air-to-Surface Missile - first use of concept (from The Angel of the Revolution by George Griffith)
1893 War-Balloon (Navigable Aerostat) (from The Angel of the Revolution by George Griffith)
1894 Electric Car Recharging Station (from A Journey In Other Worlds by John Jacob Astor IV)
1894 Vehicle Energy Reclamation (from A Journey In Other Worlds by John Jacob Astor IV)
1894 Magnetic Eyes (from A Journey In Other Worlds by John Jacob Astor IV)
1894 Aeriduct (Rain Maker) - watch for showers (from A Journey In Other Worlds by John Jacob Astor IV)
1894 Spaceship - not 'space-ship' (from A Journey In Other Worlds by John Jacob Astor IV)
1894 Instantaneous Kodaks (Traffic Control) (from A Journey In Other Worlds by John Jacob Astor IV)
1894 Rooftop Windmill - renewable energy vision (from A Journey In Other Worlds by John Jacob Astor IV)
1894 Electric Phaetons (Electric Cars) (from A Journey In Other Worlds by John Jacob Astor IV)
1894 Double-Door Vestibule (from A Journey In Other Worlds by John Jacob Astor IV)
1894 Arctic Signal Light (from A Journey In Other Worlds by John Jacob Astor IV)
1894 Electric Protection-Wires (Electrified Fence) (from A Journey In Other Worlds by John Jacob Astor IV)
1894 Global Climate Control (from A Journey In Other Worlds by John Jacob Astor IV)
1894 Wind Power Generation (from A Journey In Other Worlds by John Jacob Astor IV)
1894 Magnetic Railroads (from A Journey In Other Worlds by John Jacob Astor IV)
1894 Marine Spider (Hydrofoil) (from A Journey In Other Worlds by John Jacob Astor IV)
1895 Atomic Energy - very early reference. (from The Crack of Doom by Robert Cromie)
1895 Time Machine - the original (from The Time Machine by H.G. Wells)
1895 Manufactured Wife - an early reference (from A Wife Manufactured to Order by Alice W. Fuller)
1895 Government Lethal Chamber (from The Repairer of Reputations by Robert W. Chambers)
1895 Atomic Microscopy (from The Crack of Doom by Robert Cromie)
1896 Monsters Manufactured - chimeras described (from The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells)
1896 Fulgurator (from Facing The Flag by Jules Verne)
1897 Gravitational Wave Viewer - catch the wave (from Two Planets by Kurd Lasswitz)
1897 Invisibility - now you see it - (from The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells)
1897 Electric Gun (Mass Driver) (from A Trip to Venus by John Munro)
1898 Disintegrator (from Edison's Conquest of Mars by Garrett P. Serviss)
1898 Asteroid Mining (from Edison's Conquest of Mars by Garrett P. Serviss)
1898 Electrical 'Tether' (from Edison's Conquest of Mars by Garrett P. Serviss)
1898 Air-Tight Suit - air-tight dress (from Edison's Conquest of Mars by Garrett P. Serviss)
1898 Aerial Telegraph (from Edison's Conquest of Mars by Garrett P. Serviss)
1898 Quasi-Muscles (Sham Musculature) (from The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells)
1898 Biological Warfare - first use of the concept in fiction (from The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells)
1898 Heat Ray - concept of the laser (from The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells)
1898 Steel Tentacle (from The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells)
1898 Black Smoke - run for your lives! (from The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells)
1898 Robot Biomimicry (from The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells)
1898 Tripod - inhuman robotic ships from Mars! (from The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells)
1898 Robot Spider (Handling Machine) (from The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells)
1899 Automated Surface Measurement - 100 years before cgi needed it (from When the Sleeper Wakes by H.G. Wells)
1899 Eadhamite (from When the Sleeper Wakes by H.G. Wells)
1899 Networked World (from When the Sleeper Wakes by H.G. Wells)
1899 DVD/VCR (Entertainment Player) (from When the Sleeper Wakes by H.G. Wells)
1899 Babble Machine - you know (from When the Sleeper Wakes by H.G. Wells)
1899 Town In One Building - like an arcology (from When the Sleeper Wakes by H.G. Wells)
1899 Automatic Door - like a roll top desk (from When the Sleeper Wakes by H.G. Wells)
1899 Individualized Clothing Manufacture - clothes just for you (from When the Sleeper Wakes by H.G. Wells)
1899 Kinetiscope Appliance - like a PDA (from When the Sleeper Wakes by H.G. Wells)
1899 Moving Roadway - like a baggage conveyor (from When the Sleeper Wakes by H.G. Wells)
1899 Moving Picture Player - like a video iPod (from When the Sleeper Wakes by H.G. Wells)

1600-1899  1900-1949  1950's  1960's  1970's  1980's  1990's  2000's

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SF in the News

Foodini 3D Printer
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re: Barbara Hambly
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Artisanal 3D Printing By Martha Stewart
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Knightscope Robot Security Guards Ready
re: Philip K. Dick
(11/16/2014)

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USAF 'BATMAN' Wrist Display
re: Roger Zelazny
(11/14/2014)

CoBots - Collaborative Robots Ask Humans For Help
re: Harry Harrison
(11/13/2014)

Shape-Shifting Carbon Fiber
re: Philip K. Dick
(11/12/2014)

'Digital Drugs' (Like Herbert's Semuta?) Dismays Saudis
re: Frank Herbert
(11/11/2014)

Mind Control Of Gene Expression In Mice
re: Robert Heinlein
(11/10/2014)

Nixie Wrist-Ready Flying Selfie-Cam Drone
re: Karen Traviss
(11/9/2014)

DARPA Wants Airborne Launch Facility For Drones
re: Daniel Suarez
(11/8/2014)

Lit Motors Self-Balancing Motorcycle
re: Bruce Sterling
(11/7/2014)

Neuromorphic Brain-Chip Takes Flight
re: Peter Watts
(11/6/2014)

What Are Robots Thinking?
re: James Cameron
(11/5/2014)

Competing With Blue Collar Robots
re: Harry Harrison
(11/4/2014)

Robot Bartenders At Sea
re: Anthony Boucher
(11/3/2014)

SETI Workshop On Communicating Across The Cosmos
re: James Blish
(11/2/2014)

SEL 3-Fold OLED 9 Inch Display Is Pocket-Sized!
re: William Gibson
(11/1/2014)

Time For A Universal Basic Income?
re: Philip Jose Farmer
(10/30/2014)

Don't Let A Robot Take Your Job Without Compensation
re: John Twelve Hawks
(10/29/2014)

Ginger the LOLbot
re: William Tenn
(10/28/2014)

OSHbot, Lowe's Robotic Shopping Assistants
re: Philip K. Dick
(10/27/2014)

The Living Tree House
re: Jack Vance
(10/26/2014)

Flying Defibrillator Ambulance Drone
re: Frederik Pohl
(10/25/2014)

High Fidelity Produces More Expressive Avatars!
re: Neal Stephenson
(10/24/2014)

Physicists Build Repulsor / Tractor Beam
re: E.E. 'Doc' Smith
(10/23/2014)

Will You Upload Your Mind Anytime Soon?
re: Richard Morgan
(10/22/2014)

Students! NASA Wants To 3D Print Your Tool Design In Space!
re: Arthur C. Clarke
(10/21/2014)

Amazing ARES Augmented Reality Sandbox
re: Stanislaw Lem
(10/21/2014)

'3D Light Sculpture' Projected Directly Onto Retina
re: Pohl and Kornbluth
(10/20/2014)

(See More Science Fiction in the News)

 

 

 

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