Jack Vance:
Science Fiction Technology and Ideas
Jack Vance was born in California in 1916 (d. 2013), published his first story in 1945. Vance's work defies easy description; his highly literate style is not what most science fiction readers expect. His work has won many awards, including two Hugos, a Nebula, the World Fantasy Award, an Edgar (for mystery) and the SFWA Grandmaster award for his lifetime of work.

In an unusual tribute to Vance, his entire output of stories and novels is being collected in the Vance Integral Edition, a volunteer effort by hundreds of fans.

Invention/Technology Source Work (Publication Date)

Anti-Heptant
A compound that erases specific areas of the brain.

To Live Forever (1956)

Automated Wake-Up Call - the hotel wakes you up
A device that provides automated wake-up calls.

The Kokod Warriors (1952)

Boat-Tree
A tree, the pods of which can be grown as boats.

The Houses of Iszm (1954)

Celestial Armamentarium - the mechanism of star movements
A small crystal planetarium, in which the stars and planets surrounding Aerlith are seen.

The Dragon Masters (1962)

Cephaloscope
A device used to detect lying.

The Houses of Iszm (1954)

Color Generator
A variable spectrum light source

The Killing Machine (1964)

Conductive Film - spray on wire
A spray-on conductor capable of carrying a signal.

The Face (1979)

Dray-Fish - harness fish power
Large fish trained to be harnessed to large houseboats.

The Moon Moth (1976)

Energy-Cannon
Device projects destructive power.

The Last Castle (1967)

Fake-Meter - counterfeit detector
A pocket-sized counterfeit currency detector.

The Killing Machine (1964)

Feeler-Planes - sensors for 3D models
Special sensors that make extremely detailed three-dimensional models.

The Houses of Iszm (1954)

Finger Jet Bath
The ultimate in luxury tubs.

The Houses of Iszm (1954)

Flexible Stem
A long flexible tube that can expand and contract its length quickly.

The Killing Machine (1964)

Herculoy
A very strong alloy like steel.

The Howling Bounders (1949)

House Trees - ultimate tree houses
Living trees grown as houses; large hollow pods serve as living spaces.

The Houses of Iszm (1954)

Identificator - holographic signage
A hologram projector used to flash door signs.

The Star King (1964)

Jet-Powered Aquaplane
Overpowered surface boat.

The Star King (1964)

Kite-Copter Car
An observation car suspended below a device that supplies lift.

The Kokod Warriors (1952)

Lift Chair
A single occupant lifted by great birds.

The Last Castle (1967)

Luminescent Vial - Galadriel gave these out in LOTR
A glass tube full of luminescent algae; used to provide some measure of light underground.

The Dragon Masters (1962)

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