Science Fiction Dictionary: Ideas, Terms and Technology
( 3902 Inventions Available)

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Device Name Book/Story Author Date
Vac Suit
A space suit, designed for use in vacuum.
Child of the Sun Brackett  1942
A system of public transportation that used partially evacuated tubes and capsules big enough for passengers.
Double Star Heinlein  1956
Vacuum Armor
An armor-plated space suit.
Skylark Three Smith  1930
Vacuum Cylinder
Traveling first class, but like mail, in a tube system.
Wandl, The Invader Cummings  1932
Vacuum Suit
An early description of a space suit, and the first use of this now archaic phrase.
The Man from the Atom Wertenbaker  1926
Vacuum Wall Compartments
Shielding against heat by using walls with evacuated sections.
The Achilles Heel Gallun  1940
Vacuum-Cupped Sandals
Used for walking in weightless environments.
Voyage 13 Cummings  1938
Vagus Nerve Bio-Chip
Relief from nausea without drugs.
Diplomatic Immunity Bujold  2002
Tai-Chi movements translated into the virtual world
Rim Besher  1994
Van Goom's Gambit
A chessboard pattern that unhinges the mind of any player who sees it.
Von Goom's Gambit Contoski  1966
Vandelite Gun
An artillery device that freezes the explosive material for firing so it doesn't explode in the gun when it fires.
The World Masters Griffith  1903
Another name for time-traveling into the future.
The Best-Laid Scheme de Camp  1941
Vapor Charge
A bullet that discharges gas.
Logan's Run Nolan (w/G.C. Johnson)  1967
A device which extracted moisture from the air for use in farming.
Star Wars Lucas  1976
Variable Modifier
Provides the capability of altering standard jokes to fit new circumstances.
The Jester Tenn  1951
Variable Sword
A sword that could vary in length, and cut through anything.
Ringworld Niven  1970
It's hard to describe, but it's a robotic sense perception.
The Proud Robot Padgett  1943
Vat Grown Meat
Meat tissue for consumption, grown apart from an animal.
Neuromancer Gibson  1984
Vat Meat (Albert)
Meat grown in a vat.
The End of the Line Schmitz  1951
Vehicle Energy Reclamation
Reclaiming the energy gained by climbing a hill on the way back down.
A Journey In Other Worlds Astor IV  1894
Vehicle Seeds
A matrix of materials and instructions that allow vehicles to grow themselves when placed in an environment of plentiful materials.
Killing Titan Bear  2015
Vehicle Sleep Sensor
Better stay awake, the machines know if you're sleeping.
The Velvet Glove Harrison  1956
A wearable device used to foil facial recognition systems.
Fall; or, Dodge in Hell: A Novel Stephenson  2019
Venus Cities Float In Atmosphere
Cloud cities on Venus.
Bread Overhead! Leiber  1958
Venus Equilateral Relay Station
A converted asteroid that served as the relay station for telecommunications throughout the solar system.
QRM - Interplanetary Smith  1942
Verhaeren Factor
Provides autonomous robots with the capacity for independent creative action.
Robinc Boucher  1943
A device that measured physiologic responses (biometric data) and translated it to a set of colors that unerringly reported whether or not the measured person was telling the truth.
Little Fuzzy Piper  1962
Verse Transcriber
A device that would produce perfect poetry, given the necessary parameters.
Studio 5, The Stars Ballard  1971
A device that composes words to music.
1984 (Nineteen Eighty-Four) Orwell  1948
Vestan Parasite
Semi-intelligent creatures that take control of the nervous system of other animals.
The World With A Thousand Moons Hamilton  1942
Vibration Machine
A device that neutralized the gravitational force of the sun on the earth.
The Comet Doom Hamilton  1929
Vibration Screen
Subtle rays prevent electronic surveillance.
The Shining One Schachner  1937
Vibration-Propelled Cruiser
A spacecraft with a propulsion system relying on waves in spacetime itself.
Crashing Suns Hamilton  1928
Vibratium Wall Time Machine
An element that is unstable in time makes time travel possible and enables the Grandfather Paradox.
Ancestral Voices Schachner  1933
Vibratory Mass Penetrator
A device that allows a person to walk through earth and even solid rock.
Rock Diver Harrison  1951
Vibra-Transmitter (Teleportation)
An early use of the notion of matter transmission.
Into the Meteorite Orbit Kelly  1933
A knife-like weapon.
If This Goes On... Heinlein  1940
A device that translated speech and typed it out for you.
The Lost Language Keller  1934
Video Communicator
A device that carried both voice and image, letting the two parties see each other.
The Machine Stops Forster  1909
Video Unit
Video units attached directly to the optic nerve, giving sight to the blind.
Idoru Gibson  1996
Video Wallpaper
Very thin, large scale display.
A Deepness in the Sky Vinge  1999
Special light-gathering elements allowed the end user to see omni-directionally.
Islands in the Net Sterling  1988
Video-Manicuring Program
Manipulates live video images in real time.
Schismatrix Sterling  1985
A person-to-person communication device offering sight as well as sound.
The Golden Girl of Munan Vincent  1928
Sunglasses that let you watch what you want.
Islands in the Net Sterling  1988
Viewing Tank
A display monitor.
The Man in the Maze Silverberg  1969
A flat panel viewing display.
Armageddon: 2419 A.D. Nowlan  1928
Viewscreen Pentagon
A display with a central, pentagonal display surrounded by square displays attached to the sides.
Sunward Flight Zagat  1943
Violet Shrink Ray
A miniaturization ray.
The Pygmy Planet Williamson  1932
Violet-Gun (Ion Gun)
Ultra-violet fury!
The Brain Stealers of Mars Campbell  1936
Virtual Assembly
Use of holograms to accomplish an assembly of people.
If The Sun Died Starzl  1931
Virtual Childrearing
Learn childcare the virtual way; maybe long distance childcare, too.
Natulife Brin  1994
Virtual Immortality
A method for storing the mind and memories of a person, and recalling and reconstituting them at will.
The City and the Stars Clarke  1956
Virtual Keyboard
A keyboard that appears at the right moment in game play.
The Age of The Pussyfoot Pohl  1966
Virtual Kiss (Tactile Net)
A phone-like device that will communicate a kiss in a tactile manner.
The Age of The Pussyfoot Pohl  1966
Virtual Meeting
A meeting space that exists only in a computer; the descendant of today's web conferences.
Idoru Gibson  1996
Virtual Panopticon
A method that gathers information from many sources to effectively surveil any citizen as effectively as if he was in a glass cell.
The Traveler Twelve Hawks  2005
Virtual Punishment
It seems like decades in prison.
Complete Sentence Haldeman  2011
Virtual Reality (Virtual Matrix)
An early use of a term very similar to the idea of cyberspace.
The Judas Mandala Broderick  1982
Virtual Reality Ceremony
Don't just put your motion capture suit on - do it with style.
Rim Besher  1994
Virtual Reality Construct
A means of projecting a virtual reality experience without special headsets.
The Age of The Pussyfoot Pohl  1966
Virtual Reality Video Game
A description of a computer game simulation played in real time as entertainment.
The Age of The Pussyfoot Pohl  1966
Virtual World Kiss
Kissing mediated by a computer system.
True Names Vinge  1981
Virtual world metaphor
use of fanciful imagery to represent real-world data systems in a virtual world.
True Names Vinge  1981
Virtual World Theft
A method of stealing or reassigning ownership to items of value in virtual worlds.
Halting State Stross  2007
Virtuality Helmet ('Virching' Helmet)
A helmet with a communication system and a display; a pilot wearing this helmet could sit on the ground and control a distant aircraft.
Heavy Weather Sterling  1994
Visible Halo
Providing a religious figure with a technological sign of grace.
Sixth Column MacDonald  1941
A person who presents video broadcasts.
Second Foundation Asimov  1953
A display that provided a spherical, 3D visualization of a scene.
Agent of Vega Schmitz  1949
Visigraphic Crowd Emotional Record
A graphic record of the emotions of a crowd.
Gather, Darkness! Leiber  1943
Vision Cube
A solid-state memory device.
The Man in the Maze Silverberg  1969
Vision Implant
Photoelectric cell implanted in the forehead grants some vision to the blind.
The Dream Master (He Who Shapes) Zelazny  1966
Vision Plate
A flat panel monitor.
First Contact Leinster  1945
Vision Strip
A circular vision strip for robots.
Orphans of the Void Shaara  1952
Vision Tubes
Microminaturized vision for UAV's.
The Scarab Gallun  1936
Vision-Based Autonomous Cars
A vehicle that uses a visual sensor to gather information sufficient to safely drive.
Paradise and Iron Breuer  1930
Visual as well as audio communication.
The Message From Space Speaker  1930
A flat screen for viewing remote images.
Skylark Three Smith  1930
A display device.
Satellite Five Barnes  1938
An entertainment device which appeared to create both sound and light by acting directly on brain cells. It also stimulated emotions directly.
Foundation and Empire Asimov  1952
Even faster than ultrawave! a means of instantaneous communication over lightyear distances.
One Against The Legion Williamson  1939
A snap-down video screen for your eyes only.
Freezone Shirley  1985
Large screen entertainment.
Assignment to Aldebaran Crossen  1953
Visual Ad
An advertisement that forces its way directly into the brain of the viewer.
Sales Pitch Dick  1954
Visual Pattern Recognition
A robot's ability to respond to programmed visual stimulus
Rust Kelleam  1939
Visual Report Screen
A device that allows a robot nanny to let the owners view what the robot sees from a remote location.
Nanny Dick  1955
A special form of bulb or light source that could keep people who were never exposed to the sun perfectly healthy.
If The Sun Died Starzl  1931
A rare radioactive metal which enables solar power cells.
The Prince of Space Williamson  1931
Tired? Try Henderson's Vitalizer!
The Soma Racks St. Clair  1947
A translucent glass-like fashion choice.
Moon Crystals Haggard  1936
Perfectly seals cuts also helps through-skin implants heal.
Babel-17 Delany  1966
A process by which the body can be preserved for centuries at body temperature and then revived.
In the Deep of Time Lathrop  1897
A program that takes another computer program apart, while it's running, to see what it does.
Earth Brin  1990
Semi-living material.
Agent of Vega Schmitz  1949
A printer attached to a video phone.
Wetware Rucker  1988
Vocal Typewriter
A device that accepts spoken dictation and produces printed copy.
Dr. Hackensaw's Secrets Some Minor Inventions Fezandie  1926
Vocalex Kitchen
Voice command automatic kitchen.
The Jester Tenn  1951
Device that produces speech by purely mechanical means.
Exit From Asteroid 60 James  1940
Combines exceptional insight into personalty with voice modulation to achieve control over individuals.
Dune Herbert  1965
Voice Dialing
Speak the name of the person and call them on the phone.
The Age of The Pussyfoot Pohl  1966
Voice Encyclopedia
Access to information via robotic voice recognition over the phone.
Galactic Pot-Healer Dick  1969
Voice in the Ear
Project a voice or sound to one individual's ears only.
Childhood's End Clarke  1953
Voice-Activated Door
A door that opens upon verbal command.
Assignment to Aldebaran Crossen  1953
Voice-Changing Bowtie
Special device allows wearer to take on the voice of another person at will.
Case Closed (Detective Conan) Aoyama  1994
A clock that could state the time out loud.
The Martian Chronicles Bradbury  1950
A device that records verbal output and determines truth or falsehood.
Whipping Star Herbert  1969
Voice-Enabled Smartphone
A smartphone capable of complete voice-enabled operation.
The Age of The Pussyfoot Pohl  1966
Voicewriter Screen (Computer Monitor)
A screen that displays characters.
Granny Won't Knit Sturgeon  1954
Voight-Kampff Empathy Test
A test consisting of a set of images and questions, asked while the subject's biometric data are gathered; intended to separate humans from non-humans.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Dick  1968
Voight-Kampff Test
A test intended to distinguish human beings from replicants.
Blade Runner Scott  1982
A small vehicle used in transporting people around the moon's surface.
Blood of the Moon Cummings  1936
Vortal Tube
An energy passage providing instantaneous transportation between points across the galaxy
Whipping Star Herbert  1969
Vortex Gun
A device that projects whirling fields of atomic instability.
One Against The Legion Williamson  1939
An intelligent home agent.
Tekwar Shatner  1989
Device for secure communication.
Storm Thief Wooding  2006
VR Dyslexia
Severe disorientation brought about by excessive use of virtual reality equipment.
Rim Besher  1994
Vulcan 3
Artificially intelligent self-modifying supercomputer.
Vulcan's Hammer Dick  1960

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