Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"It was [H.G. Wells'] adolescent fiction, his imaginative stories, that live forever - and yet are not acknowledged in literature classes as being great literature. So to hell with the academics!"
- Greg Bear

Radiant  
  A chip that is injected into the shoulder, providing positioning and information about the subject.  

When Earthman Aile Farr arrived on Iszm, a planet of the Xi Aurigae system, he was naturally treated with great suspicion. Before being allowed to roam the planet, he was first given a radiant, for location and identification.

Eventually the medics, shaking their heads glumly, returned Farr to the outer chamber, where he was met by an Iszic in a tight white and gray uniform, carrying a hypodermic.

Farr drew back. "What's this?"

"A harmless radiant."

"I don't need any."

"It is necessary," said the medic, "for your own protection. Most visitors hire boats and sail out upon the Pheadh. Occasionally there are storms, the boats are blown off course. this radiant will define your position on the master panel."

"I don't want to be protected," said Farr. "I don't want to be a light on a panel."

"Then you must leave Iszm."

Farr submitted, cursing the medic for the length of the needle and the quantity of radiant.

From The Houses of Iszm, by Jack Vance.
Published by Better Publications in 1954
Additional resources -

Upper class Iszic carried special viewers, which would allow them to query the radiant for information:

The Iszic lifted a single-lensed lorgnette on an ebony rod, the viewer habitually carried by high-caste Iszic, an accessory almost as personal as one of their organs. Farr had been viewed many times; it never failed to irritate him... The radiant injected into his shoulder had labeled him. He was now categorized and defined for anyone who cared to look...

The Iszic flourished his viewer. "A privilege to greet a fellow-scientist."

Farr said sourly, "That thing even tells you my occupation?"

The Iszic viewed Farr's right shoulder. "I see you have no criminal record; your intelligence index is 23; your persistence level is Class 4... There is other information."

The use of the radiant as a locating beacon is demonstrated later in the novel, as Farr finally figures out why he cannot elude pursuers:

He looked up at the ceiling of the arcade, imagining the sky beyond. Somewhere, five or ten miles overhead, hung an air-boat. In the air-boat sat an Iszic, with a sensitive viewer and a radio. Everywhere that Farr went, the radiant in his right shoulder sent up a signal. On the viewer screen, Farr was as surreptitious as a lighthouse.
The techically savvy reader will no doubt recognize in Vance's "radiant" today's RFID chip, a small electronic device with a bit of memory to carry information and an antenna to transmit that information to a suitable reader.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Houses of Iszm
  More Ideas and Technology by Jack Vance
  Tech news articles related to The Houses of Iszm
  Tech news articles related to works by Jack Vance

Radiant-related news articles:
  - VeriChip Chairman Proposes RFID Chips For Immigrants
  - VeriMed Implanted RFID Dogtags Studied By Military, VeriChip
  - Human-Injectable Satellite Tracking Chip

Articles related to Surveillance
Use Your Brainwaves As A Password
Largest Micro-Drone Swarm Release Successful
HyperFace Aims To Foil Facial Recognition
Woolim DPRK Surveillance Tablet And Doctorow's 'Schoolbook'

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

More News

Auto-Focus Smart Glasses Have Liquid Lenses
'Hufhuf oil held in static tension by an enclosing force field within a viewing tube...'

Robotic Physician Assistant Has Steady 'Hands'
'You turned the screws below and the prongs moved... with caliper slowness, minuteness and precision.'

Roboy 3DPrinted Humanoid Robot
'A robot child that would be reared within the bosom of a human family...'

Robird Flapping Wing Drones Keep Airports Safe
'Mitch heard a rasping, flacketing buzz, like a big insect...'

3D Printed Fashion - Plastirobes And Transdresses
'... dial a new fashion every day!'

Robotic Lawn Mower Powered By Sun, Arduino
'The mower reached the edge of the lawn, clucked to itself like a contented hen...'

Google Perfects 'Blade Runner-style' Photo Details
'Pull back... stop... enhance 57-19...'

Pokerbot Libratus Learns To Lie (Bluff)
'Lying's a vital part of your psychological defense system - you're naked without it!'

Otto Autonomous Robot Trucks Run Into... Legal Snag
'They were automatic trucks such as are used for making deliveries...'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.