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

"As the rate of technological development speeds up, the gap between science fiction and what we’re living now is getting narrower all the time."
- Richard Morgan

Subphoton Search Ray  
  A special ray beam that penetrates into hidden bunkers; images are caught on special film cameras.  

In the story, the WWI scenario of endless opposed trenches is replayed with sci-fi weapons technologies. I'll bet the generals of each army would like to have been able to see what the enemy had in store.

A star shell rose silently into the night, burst soundlessly into a dazzling white illumination...

The pitiless M rays pierced Earth and steel and densest concrete as if they were so much transparent glass, illuminated every nook and cranny of the deepest hidden secrets, etched into shadowed outlines men and guns and bombproof shelters. Tiny cameras, raised swiftly aloft from the dark quiescence of the enemy lines, clicked panorama views on specially activated plates, lowered as swiftly and silently as they had reared into the blue-black sky.

For a full minute, the penetrating rays flooded the landscape; then, with a little puff, the star shell dissolved into the all-embracing night.

From The Shining One, by Nat Schachner.
Published by Astounding Science-Fiction in 1937
Additional resources -

Special ray beams that look inside closed rooms? More of that ridiculous, time-wasting science fiction? See LEXID Sees Through Walls To Next Apartment and LifeReader Senses The Enemy Through Wallsfor a good look at what is being done to reveal "private" spaces. They don't use "M rays," but they're still pretty cool.

Note the interesting analogy to X-ray photographic techniques; one part of the device shines penetrating rays, and the second part captures the resulting image on a photographic plate.

Schachner knew that for every science-fictional offensive technology, there is (or should be) an equal and opposite defensive technology; take a look at the vibration screen from the same story.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Shining One
  More Ideas and Technology by Nat Schachner
  Tech news articles related to The Shining One
  Tech news articles related to works by Nat Schachner

Subphoton Search Ray-related news articles:
  - See Through Walls With Wireless Networks
  - Cell Phones To See Through Walls
  - Range R Lets Police See Into Your House
  - RF-Capture Lets MIT Boffins See Through Walls

Articles related to Surveillance
IJOP Integrated Joint Operations Platform China's Minority Report?
Kuri Robot Roams Your Home, Taking Pictures
Nuclear Drones Could Fly For Years
China's Drone Fleet Flies In Formation

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

Las Vegas Humans Ready To Strike Over Robots
'A worker replaced by a nubot... had to be compensated.'

You'll Regrow That Limb, One Day
'... forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to regrow his lost fingers.'

Elon Musk Seeks To Create 1941 Heinlein Speedster
'The car surged and lifted, clearing its top by a negligible margin.'

Somnox Sleep Robot - Your Sleepytime Cuddlebot
Science fiction authors are serious about sleep, too.

Real-Life Macau or Ghost In The Shell
Art imitates life imitates art.

Has Climate Change Already Been Solved By Aliens?
'I had explained," said Nessus, "that our civilisation was dying in its own waste heat.'

First 3D Printed Human Corneas From Stem Cells
Just what we need! Lots of spare parts.

VirtualHome: Teaching Robots To Do Chores Around The House
'Just what did I want Flexible Frank to do? - any work a human being does around a house.'

Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) Workshop
SF writers have thought about this since the 19th century.

Nanorobots Roam Your Bloodstream, Cleaning It
Too bad they won't have lasers, though...

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.