Material in Science Fiction
(Technovelgy items at top: skip down to News)

Name

Author (Publication Date)

Arthur C. Clarke (1978)
Douglas Adams (1980)
Philip K. Dick (1965)
Olaf Stapledon (1930)
E.C. Tubb (1958)
Author Unknown (1984)
E.E. 'Doc' Smith (1942)
H. Beam Piper (1962)
Charles Stross (2005)
Robert Heinlein (1939)
H.G. Wells (1899)
Frank Herbert (1965)
Rudy Rucker (1988)
Gene Wolfe (1980)
Ray Cummings (1930)
William Gibson (1999)
James Blish (1957)
Yoshiyuki Tomino (1979)
Edgar Rice Burroughs (1929)
Robert H. Wilson (1931)
Arthur C. Clarke (1978)
Lawrence O'Donnell (1943)
Philip Frances Nowlan (1928)
Nat Schachner (w. AL Zagat) (1931)
John Brunner (1968)
Frank Herbert (1965)
E.E. 'Doc' Smith (1965)
Neal Stephenson (1995)
William Gibson (1988)
John W. Campbell (1930)
Arthur C. Clarke (1956)
Larry Niven (1969)
Larry Niven (w/J. Pournelle) (1974)
Ridley Scott (1982)
Alan E. Nourse (1951)
Jack Williamson (1931)
Alan Nourse (w/Meyer) (1958)
E.E. 'Doc' Smith (1930)
Theodore Sturgeon (1969)
Sid Meier (1999)
Jules Verne (1866)
John Brunner (1975)
Frank Herbert (1965)
Isaac Asimov (1951)
Jack Williamson (1931)
Alfred Bester (1956)
Sigizmund Krzhizhanowsky (1925)
Larry Niven (1970)
Raymond Z. Gallun (1951)
Stephen Baxter (1994)
Larry Niven (1970)
Manly Wade Wellman (1940)
Sid Meier (1999)
Larry Niven (1968)
Bob Shaw (1968)
L. Sprague de Camp (1940)
William Gibson (1999)
Roger Zelazny (1976)
Alastair Reynolds (2005)
Hugo Gernsback (1911)
Bart Kosko (1987)
John W. Campbell (1932)
Robert Heinlein (1939)
John W. Campbell (1939)
Nat Schachner (1941)
Clifford Simak (1963)
Larry Niven (1973)
Philip Frances Nowlan (1928)
Philip Frances Nowlan (1928)

Related Science Fiction in the News

Crystalized Light Created At Princeton
'It will be matter, matter made of light...'- John W. Campbell, 1930.
(re: John W. Campbell, 9/11/2014 )
New Material Is One Molecule Thick
'Hasan always pitched a Gauzy - a one-molecule-layer tent...'- Roger Zelazny, 1966.
(re: Roger Zelazny, 8/20/2014 )
Vantablack Is Blacker Than Your Black
'Well, we have a black coating now thatís ninety-nine percent absorptive...'- Dpc Smith, 1934.
(re: Doc Smith, 7/8/2014 )
Shatterproof Phone Screens Coming Soon
'It was like the pounding of a rock...'-Clifford Simak, 1963.
(re: Clifford Simak, 6/8/2014 )
'Smart Silk' In Quantity
Strongest stuff in the world, stronger than the best steel. Synthetic spider silk...- Robert Heinlein, 1939.
(re: Robert Heinlein, 1/21/2014 )
Home Made Lightsaber?
'Instantly the disk put forth a blue-white beam as thick around as his thumb.'-George Lucas, 1976
(re: George Lucas, 9/26/2013 )
Self-Healing Polymer Works Without Catalyst
'It even had an inter-skin layer of gum that could seal the punctures...'- Raymond Z. Gallun, 1951.
(re: Raymond Z. Gallun, 9/16/2013 )
Filabot Turns Dull Plastic Junk To 3D Printed Shiny
'Whenever Nell's clothes got too small for her, Harv would pitch them into the deke bin and then have the M.C. make new ones.'-Neal Stephenson, 1995.
(re: Neal Stephenson, 1/16/2013 )
Army Wants Black Blacker Than Black
'Well, we have a black coating now thatís ninety-nine percent absorptive...'- Doc Smith, 1940.
(re: Doc Smith, 12/26/2012 )
Military Fabric Like A Smart Second Skin
Now, your dress whites and your NBC suit can be the same outfit.
(re: Isaac Asimov, 11/29/2012 )
Outdoor Testing For Self-Healing Concrete
'I noticed that curious mottled knots were forming, indicating where the room had been strained and healed faultily.'- J.G. Ballard, 1962.
(re: J.G. Ballard, 11/10/2012 )
MIT's New Super Slippery Surface
'The water flowed off those walls without binding tension...' - Frank Herbert, 1965.
(re: Frank Herbert, 10/24/2012 )
Glowing LumiLor-Coated Cycles From Sith CycleWerks
Electroluminescent paint for your motorcycle.
(re: Richard Morgan, 9/17/2012 )
DARPA Seeks Science-Fictional Materials
'A metal that was apparently as light as cork and stronger than steel...' - Edgar Rice Burroughs, 1929.
(re: Edgar Rice Burroughs, 9/15/2012 )
Self-Healing Materials - Microencapsulated or Microvascular
'An inter-skin layer of gum that could seal the punctures...'
(re: Raymond Z. Gallun, 6/11/2012 )
LiquiGlide Coating, Your New Condiment Lubricant
'The water flowed off those walls without binding tension...'
(re: Frank Herbert, 5/21/2012 )
Smart, Self-Healing Hydrogels
Linked chains of polymer molecules... with 'dangling side chain' molecules.
(re: Raymond Z. Gallun, 5/13/2012 )
Designer Materials Possible With Designer Electrons
Science-fictional materials are on the way!
(re: Various, 3/21/2012 )
Carbon Nanotube Knife Like Cheese Slicer
Fascinating development in materials science, predicted by Clarke thirty years ago for sf fans.
(re: Arthur C. Clarke, 2/24/2012 )
Amazonian Fungus Eats Polyurethane
I guess I'd still like to know what the fungus breaks plastic down into.
(re: Michael Crichton, 2/2/2012 )
Self-Healing Batteries
It would be better if our gadgets could simply repair themselves when broken (with video).
(re: J.G. Ballard, 1/25/2012 )
Slippery Liquid Infused Porous Surface
Get the last little bit from containers, thanks to materials science.
(re: Frank Herbert, 11/16/2011 )
NASA's Super-Black Now Even Blacker
'Our material is darn near perfect across multiple wavelength bands, from the ultraviolet to the far infrared.'
(re: E.E. 'Doc Smith, 11/10/2011 )
Worlds First Intelligent Absorbent For Radioactive Contaminants
The material uses titanate nanofiber and nanotube technology.
(re: John W. Campbell, 10/27/2011 )
'Supra B 'Toys Soon Self-Healing
Toy, heal thyself.
(re: J.G. Ballard, 10/21/2011 )
Blacker-Than-Black Corrugated Metamaterials
This idea also fascinates sf authors; can you think of sfnal materials that are darker than black?
(re: E.E. 'Doc Smith, 10/1/2011 )
Super Bainite Armor Steel
'There's a sheet of just plain Nothing between us and it's impenetrable.'
(re: Theodore Sturgeon, 9/15/2011 )
Flexible, Transparent Speakers From Graphene
See through your speakers, someday.
(re: Bruce Sterling, 7/12/2011 )
Accoustic Cloak Achieves Sonic Invisibility
The ultimate achievement in being seen but not heard.
(re: Robert Heinlein, 7/5/2011 )
Invisibility Cloaks Get Bigger
Now you see it; full-size invisibility cloaks are almost within our grasp.
(re: Ray Cummings, 6/11/2011 )
Graphene Paper 10x Stronger Than Steel
This new material is paper-thin and super-strong.
(re: Jules Verne, 4/17/2011 )
Textile Energy Storage
It's a prototype systematic fiber-based electrochemical micro-supercapacitor.
(re: Murray Leinsrer, 1/23/2011 )
Metallic Glass Stronger Than Steel
The new metallic glass is a microalloy featuring palladium.
(re: Various, 1/12/2011 )
Autonomous Adaptive Structure Uses Shape Memory Polymer
Part of an autonomous adaptive structure created at MIT.
(re: J.G. Ballard, 12/10/2010 )
New Black From NASA Uses Nanotubes
This new material is blacker than black paint.
(re: E.E. 'Doc Smith, 12/5/2010 )
'Super Photons' Blob State Matter
Amazing new material reveals once again the quantum nature of light.
(re: John W. Campbell, 11/25/2010 )
Airbus Proposes Invisible Plane
Airbus has a great idea for a transparent fuselage - I wonder where they got that idea?
(re: Various, 10/28/2010 )
Self-Healing Concrete Uses Bacteria For Healing
Is it possible that bacteria in buildings could play the role of your body's osteoblast cells - repairing their minor fractures?
(re: J.G. Ballard, 9/2/2010 )
Ice Formation At Room Temperature Is Possible With New Material
This technology will have a number of practical implications. Busy, busy, busy, says Bokonon.
(re: Kurt Vonnegut, 7/27/2010 )
Mycotectural Buildings Made Of Fungus
Fungus bricks - the building material of the future? It can also be used as packing material to replace non-biodegradeable styrofoam.
(re: Jack Vance, 2/11/2010 )
Liquid Glass Universal Spray-On Protectant
This unique spray-on coating creates a flexible protective barrier that can be used on almost anything.
(re: Clifford Simak, 2/5/2010 )
Sensitile Terrazzo Tiles With Light-Channels
This fascinating floor tile 'device' can redistribute incident light, or make use of fiber optic light channels with LED light.
(re: Richard Morgan, 12/21/2009 )
Shape-Shifting Antennas
Fascinating material science makes Heinlein's magic realism come to life.
(re: Robert Heinlein, 12/2/2009 )
Brine Wells May Swallow Towns
What kind of spaces are we opening up beneath our feet?
(re: Sigizmund Krzhizhanowsky, 11/18/2009 )
Silicon-Silk Electronic Implants
What would you do with implantable electronics that could flex right along with your body?
(re: Paul Di Filippo, 11/4/2009 )
Thermeleon Roof Tiles Change Color To Save Energy
Very clever project could greatly save on heating and cooling costs. I also like the name chosen for the team that developed the material.
(re: Frank Herbert, 10/9/2009 )
Tooth Enamel Secret To Stronger Aircraft
Looking for a new composite to build stronger planes? Smile, aerospace engineers, new materials are on the way.
(re: Dan Simmons, 8/25/2009 )
Self-Healing Metal Coating
Imagine a material that can heal itself when scratched, or become more corrosion-resistant, or become self-lubricating.
(re: J.G. Ballard, 8/10/2009 )
New Transparent Aluminum Somewhat Shortlived
What, another story about transparent aluminum. No really, it is transparent. To ultraviolet lights. For a very short time. But it's pretty cool.
(re: Gene Roddenberry, 7/28/2009 )
InfoChemistry And Self-Folding Origami
DARPA is moving right along on their programmable matter project.
(re: Various, 6/11/2009 )
Silver-Based Epoxy Makes Electronics Thinner
Interesting technique for making memory packages smaller - I'm pretty sure I read about this idea more than thirty years ago.
(re: Niven and Pournelle, 5/20/2009 )
Bendable, Self-Healing Concrete
This engineered cement composite can not only bend, it can heal itself without any intervention from human beings.
(re: Raymond Z. Gallun, 5/6/2009 )
Atomic Layer Deposition Like Wolverine's
This technique could also toughen other biomaterials. Like possibly an X-man's skeleton and claws?
(re: Various, 5/5/2009 )
BAM! It's More Slippery Than Teflon (And Greener)
Remarkable material is super slick and super hard, even in the thinnest coating.
(re: Clifford Simak, 11/26/2008 )
'Plastic Steel': Optically Transparent Plastic Nanocomposites
Sounds pretty close to transparent aluminum to me; and it's available in thin sheets like Visqueen or Mylar.
(re: Various, 11/25/2008 )
Carbon Nanotube Speakers Are Flexible, Transparent
This material could be an enabler for a variety of science fictional ideas, Update: a reader has found a great precursor to the idea of a flexible speaker.
(re: Bruce Sterling, 11/22/2008 )
Buckypaper To Go Commercial Soon
Fascinating material may actually be available soon in commercial quantities as a product for use in aerospace and other industries.
(re: Various, 10/20/2008 )
E-Skin For Robots Stretches Like Yours
Modern science marches on, making robots nicer to the touch.
(re: Various, 8/13/2008 )
Neowater - Like Intracellular Water
Unique process creates a specially structured water that is very similar to intracellular water; this should have both medical and industry applications.
(re: Kurt Vonnegut, 8/6/2008 )
Graphene Is Also Super Strong
One of the most remarkable materials ever discovered, graphene continues to amaze.
(re: Roger Zelazny, 7/20/2008 )
Nanopaper - Paper Tough As Steel
This material sounds like it has a lot of potential; light as paper, with the tensile strength of steel.
(re: Jules Verne, 7/1/2008 )
Two Plastics Merge To Create 'Metal'
Interesting combination of insulators produces a conductor.
(re: Frank Herbert, 6/16/2008 )
Flexible Rigid Biopolymer Inspired By Sea Cucumbers
Researchers look to the humble sea cucumber for help in finding new materials for implantable electrodes.
(re: William Gibson, 6/13/2008 )
Scientist Web-Spinners Could Just Ask Spiderman
I had no idea that detailed information on how Spiderman actually generates his webs was so easily available.
(re: Stan Lee, 5/1/2008 )
Graphene Reveals Fine Structure Constant
This amazing nanofabric is just one atom thick; physicists looking through this material can see one of the most mysterious fundamental constants known to science.
(re: Roger Zelazny, 4/4/2008 )
Metal Prices High Enough For Robot Sacrifice
When will we program robots to recycle themselves?
(re: Various, 3/25/2008 )
Iron Man Dreaming of Biological Fabrication of Circuits
I've always admired the diatoms - they are truly our friends. But now, they might even be able to help us make smaller circuits.
(re: Unknown, 3/8/2008 )
Smart Paint: Electronic Power System Surfaces
Ah, remember those days when the label on a plastic bottle or similar surface was static? Soon, companies will be able to change it even after you buy the product.
(re: Steven Spielberg, 3/5/2008 )
Piezoelectric Zinc Oxide Nanowire Fashions For Spring
When I think of all the energy wasted in the sixties from corduroy pants alone, it makes me weep.
(re: Frank Herbert, 2/16/2008 )
Nanofibers In Unlimited Lengths Now Available
I don't need fibers that are actually unlimited; nanotubes that were long enough to reach the ISS are probably long enough...
(re: Arthur C. Clarke, 2/13/2008 )
3D DNA-Directed Nanoassembly
First instance of three-dimensional self-directed nanoassembly; building materials from the bottom up.
(re: Raymond Z. Gallun, 2/5/2008 )
Carbon Nanotube Blackness Blacker Than Black
Absorbs 99.9 percent of incident light, and good enough for Zaphod Beeblebrox - maybe.
(re: E.E. 'Doc Smith, 1/21/2008 )
Zetix Blast Resistant Fabric Has Other Uses
This amazing material has a very counter-intuitive property; it gets thicker when you stretch it out.
(re: Various, 12/7/2007 )
Plasteel? UM's New Ultrastrong Nanocomposite
Nifty new material built in layers like mother of pearl has the strength, if not the ductility, of steel.
(re: Frank Herbert, 10/5/2007 )
Betavoltaic Battery: 30 Years Of Power
Is it possible to create a small battery that could power a laptop for years?
(re: Robert Heinlein, 10/3/2007 )
Ice-Nine Modeled In Harvard Computer - We're Doomed
Okay, the world probably won't end, but Harvard researchers really do think they have found a way for ice to be solid at room temp.
(re: Kurt Vonnegut, 10/1/2007 )
Geckel Adhesive Has Gecko-Mussel Foot Power
To get the ultimate in stickiness, you must sit at the feet of the masters.
(re: Various, 7/20/2007 )
Richard Palmer, d3o Inventor, O2 X Entrepreneur of the Year
Inventor Richard Palmer gets a bit of recognition for bringing science fiction to life for all of us.
(re: Larry Niven, 7/10/2007 )
Self-Healing Polymer Autonomous Material System
Autonomous materials may be able to heal themselves without high maintenance costs.
(re: J.G. Ballard, 6/13/2007 )
Rhenium Diboride Like Metal, Crystal
Tip for creating latest super-tough material found in Doc Smith.
(re: E.E. 'Doc' Smith, 4/25/2007 )
Kryptonite Discovered By Scientist
Boffins are finally able to identify mysterious mineral.
(re: DC Comics, 4/24/2007 )
Slow Light 'Scenedow' Close At Hand
It looks like a prototype 'scenedow' from Light of Other Days has been created at the University of Rochester.
(re: Bob Shaw, 1/20/2007 )
Shape-Memory Polymers Temperature Morphing
Special polymers perform amazing stunts in response to modest temperature changes.
(re: Various, 11/25/2006 )
d3o Design Competition To Invent The Future
Design your own materials for the future using d3o intelligent molecules, and win cash prizes.
(re: L. Niven, 7/5/2006 )
Namib Desert Beetle-based Dune Dew Collectors
They're not chromoplastic, but this new material could be used in Frank Herbert's dew collectors from Dune.
(re: Frank Herbert, 6/18/2006 )
Metal-like Polymer Developed In South Korea
Who would ever think of flexible, extrudable plastic with the same properties as metal wire? SF authors, that's who.
(re: Niven and Pournelle, 5/9/2006 )
Anti-Adhesive Surfaces Of Plants
The natural world is the source of some of the best 'thinking' in materials science.
(re: Clifford Simak, 1/18/2006 )
New Materials One Atom Thick Extracted With Micromechanical Cleavage
Science fictional materials are created by extracting individual atomic planes from conventional bulk crystals by using a technique called 'micromechanical cleavage'.
(re: Roger Zelazny, 7/21/2005 )
Invisibility Using Plasmonic Covers
Researchers Andrea Alu and Nader Engheta of the University of Pennsylvania have written a paper on how plasmonic resonance effects might be used to render an object invisible.
(re: H.G. Wells, 3/2/2005 )
Water-Repellent 'Bumpy' Glass Mimics Lotus Leaves
The lotus is a good model for a water-repellent surface; they are waxy and covered with tiny bumps that make water roll off. Surfaces like ordinary glass are naturally wettable; when water is poured onto it, its surface tension is reduced so it sprea
(re: Frank Herbert, 1/30/2005 )
Graphene - Nanofabric One Atom Thick
A nanofabric called graphene just one atom thick has been created at The University of Manchester.
(re: Roger Zelazny, 10/23/2004 )
Aluminate Glass: Did Scientists Create Transparent Aluminum?
Scientists at 3M in Minnesota have alloyed aluminum oxide with rare-earth metal oxides to create a strong glass with good optical qualities - it really is transparent alumninum.
(re: N. Meyer/H. Bennett, 8/23/2004 )
Pilkington Activ Glass - The Invisible Squeegee Of Window-Willie
Pilkington Activ glass has a coating of microcrystalline titanium oxide that acts as an "invisible squeegee" to allow the surface to clean itself.
(re: Robert Heinlein, 6/9/2004 )
Diamondoids From Crude Oil Aid Nanotechnology Research
Diamondoids are now being refined from crude oil in sufficient quantities to allow for formal research and development in nanotechnology. Diamondoids are not for jewelry; each one is only .000000000000000001 carat in size.
(re: Neal Stephenson, 5/10/2004 )
Arachnid Adhesion: The Sticky Feet Of Spiders
We've all seen spiders crawl up a glass window, then hang upside down from the ceiling. This study used a scanning electron microscope to find out how they do it - and how humans might make sticky things stickier.
(re: William Gibson, 4/27/2004 )

 

 

 

 

 

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