John Varley:
Science Fiction Technology and Ideas
John Herbert Varley (b. 1947) is an American sf writer. He went to MSU on a National Merit Scholarship, started out in physics, switched to English and then dropped out at 20. After trying panhandling, he decided that writing might be better. He has collected three Hugos and two Nebula Awards.
Invention/Technology Source Work (Publication Date)

Lunar Disneyland - underground playground
A vast cavern excavated on the Moon - used for entertainment. Very large scale entertainment.

The Phantom of Kansas (1976)

Memory Recording
A means of recording the entirety of a person's experience and personality.

The Ophiuchi Hotline (1977)

Nanobot
A robot constructed with nanotechnology.

Steel Beach (1992)

No Human Programmers
The idea that computers are too complicated and too important to be programmed by human beings.

Millenium (1983)

Nullfield
A field of energy that creates a barrier.

The Ophiuchi Hotline (1977)

Null-Suit
A device that projects a field of force that acts like a space suit.

The Ophiuchi Hotline (1977)

Padloid - National Enquirer on your tablet PC
A tawdry news publication on a PDA, or notepad, device.

Steel Beach (1992)

People-Sorter - catalog them quickly
A device able to sort human beings with incredible speed.

Millenium (1983)

Pork Tree - long and lean
A plant that produces an analog to animal meat.

The Ophiuchi Hotline (1977)

Post Office - special package delivery
A vault used to store time capsules left by travelers to the past; not your usual delivery service.

Millenium (1983)

Readout Skin - Gutenberg gets tattoos
Normal-appearing skin that can be used as an output device for text or graphics.

Steel Beach (1992)

Revitalizer Console. - perk up your bloodstream
A kind of automated medical marvel; it optimizes your body chemistry for better health, tops off your fluids, etc.

Millenium (1983)

Robot Handlers
Small robots used in spacecraft for a variety of useful tasks.

The Golden Globe (1998)

Sherman
A sex robot.

Millenium (1983)

Skinsuit
Wearable artificial, full-body skin.

Millenium (1983)

Skull Alarm
Implanted wakeup call.

Millenium (1983)

Speedcap - late? Go ballistic!
Short for speed capsule (?); sometimes, going ballistic is the fastest way to get there.

Millenium (1983)

Stopper Bubble - twisted superstrings
Device that halts time within its boundaries.

Red Lightning (2006)

Symb
A symbiont life form that provides its human with life-giving energy.

The Ophiuchi Hotline (1977)

Tagalong
A backpack with legs; a robot that will carry things for you and match your movements.

In the Bowl (1976)

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