Cities in Flight by James Blish:
Science Fiction Inventions, Technology and Ideas

Cities in Flight is really four separate novels; They Shall Have Stars (1957), A Life for the Stars (1962), Earthman Come Home (1955) and The Triumph of Time (1958). The period of time spanned by these four novels adds up to many hundreds of years. The books all derive their plot from a single great idea - the spindizzy, a gravity polarizer that allows entire cities to break free of the Earth and leave for the stars. This is a great science-fiction novel; it has wonderful inventions, well-written characters, and remarkable political sophistication. Select an invention:

Accelerated Schooling

Accelerated Schooling Helmet

Anti-agathic drugs

Battle Tank Display

Bethé blasters

Brood Assembly - first self reproducing automata

City Fathers - AI with centuries of experience

Crop Algae

Dirac Transmitter (also Tranceiver or Communicator) - instant communication

Eavesdropper - check if it's safe

Gravity-Polarized Explosive (TDX)

Inter-Universal Messenger

Machine Psychologist - computer psychiatrist

Machine Surveillance - first mention of idea

Proselytizing Robot

Space Armor

Spindizzy - pick up your town and go

Teleoperated Beetle Car

Teleoperated Lab Robot

Tin Cabby (Flying Robotic Taxi) - mechacab

Toposcope

 

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