Seabreacher, H.G. Winter's 1939 Torpoon
You know, science fiction fans, I sometimes wonder. I read an old science fiction (or even scientifiction) story, and I ask myself "Is it worth it to include this off-the-wall idea?"
Such was my concern when I read about the torpoon, a somewhat ungainly portmanteau of "torpedo" and "harpoon" from H.G. Winter's 1939 short story Seed of the Arctic Ice:
The inner catapult door closed behind Kenneth Torrance, and he slid
into his torpoon. Twelve feet long,
and resembling in miniature a dirigible, was this weapon that made practical an underwater whaling craft.
The tapered stern bore long directional rudders, which curved round
the squat high-speed propeller; its
smooth flanks of burnished steel
were marked only by the lines of the entrance port, which the torpooner
now drew tight and locked...
Ken lay full-length in the padded
body compartment, his feet resting
on the controlling bars of the directional planes, hands on the torpoon's
engine levers. A harness was buckled
all around him, to keep him in place.
His gray eyes, level and sober,
peered through the vision-plate at
the outer catapult door.
Suddenly a spot of red light
glowed in it; the door quivered,
swung out. A black tide swirled
into the chamber. There came the
hiss of released air-pressure, and the
slim undersea steed rocketed out
into the exterior gloom, her light-beams flashing on and propeller settling into a blur of speed as she was
Ken turned on her full twenty-four knots, zoomed above the
dark bulk of the slower mother ship,
whose light-beams flashed across him
for a second, and then straightened
out in a long, slight-angled dive
after the great black bodies ahead.
And yet - here it is!
I did a story on an earlier version of this vehicle in 2006; see Innespace Dolphin Boat Breaks The Surface .
See more at the Seabreacher website.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/25/2019)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Smellicopter Combines Live Moth Antenna With Mechanical Drone
'The organic tissue is inserted in the master tank and then sealed.' - Philip K. Dick, 1955.
DARPA's Virtual Caves Explored By Virtual Robots
'If there's anything in here worth looking at, these pups'll find it.' - Ridley Scott, 2012.
Samsung Gets Transparent Smartphone Patent
The Transparency of Things to Come
Jet-Powered Flying Suits Tested By Navy
'With his motor in operation, he moves like a diver, head foremost...' - Philip Frances Nowlan, 1928.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Las Vegas Tunnels To Have Autonomous Teslas
'...just a steady velvety whirr as the taxi sped along.'
TCL CSOT 17-Inch Printed OLED Scrolling Display
'..a wide sheet of clear material suddenly flared with light and swirling colour.'
Reachy Humanoid VR Teleoperation App
"I went to the control room where the three other men were manipulating their mechanical men...'
Unitree A1 Robot ala Black Mirror and Snow Crash
'The legs are long, curled way up to deliver power...'
DALL-E Makes Creative Images From Text
Okay, sf fans. If you could have some art created from a science fiction sentence, what sentence would you pick?
BladeBUG Robots Clean Massive Wind Turbine Blades
'There were the cleaners, with large padded feet, who were apparently polishing their way the whole length...'
Looms To Manually Weave Lunar Rover Wheels
It's fascinating to me how the Apollo program forced people to think outside their usual boxes.
IceBot Antarctic (Planetary?) Robotic Explorers Made Of Ice
'Some will combine in place to form more complicated structures, like excavators or centipedes.'
Glad 2020 Is Over
Maybe you missed one of these?
PEDOT Polymer Could Enhance Brain-Machine Interfaces
'the hair-fine wire going deep into Owen's brain, down into the pleasure center.'
Study: Robots Encourage Humans To Take Risks
Not exactly Three Laws compliant.
Kinetic Buildings And Psychotropic Houses
'There was a dim whirring, and the spheres tipped and began to rotate...'
Jupe Urban Escape Pods Have Tesla, SpaceX Roots
'The houses are prefabricated units... and they sell at the flat rate of five hundred dollars a room ó set up.'
Best Robot Dance Video Of 2020
'I can Mashed Potato... I can do the Twist.'
Vertical Farm In Singapore's Output Is 1.5 Tons Per Day
'A towering eighty-story structure like the office "In-and-Out" baskets stacked up to the sky.'
3D Printed 'Blisk' Manufactured In Orbit
'It can be mass-produced only in the orbiting factories...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories