Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

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

"Science Fiction is speculative fiction in which the author takes as his first postulate the real world as we know it, including all established facts and natural laws."
- Robert Heinlein

Time Dredge  
  A device that scoops up material from the past, and returns it to the present.  

Koch plugged into a wall socket an electric cord running to a heater coil on the tray of instruments. Then he mounted the platform over the pit, threw a switch that caused a deep-green streak to leap to life in the blue cone of radiance pouring down into the excavation, and began to adjust vernier dials carefully. He moved the small knobs delicately for minutes, sweat pouring down his face in his concentration, then relaxed, looking pleased.

“An animal is in the field,” he remarked, turning and looking down at them. “A sacrifice, it is probable. Draw up your chairs, gentlemen. Professor Koch, his show is about to begin. The mad scientist, he will now demonstrate his folly by delving into the dead past in a manner unique. He will bring forth relics and life—life ! —from the past, not with a pick and shovel, but with a dredge. A dredge to probe time.”

“You are aware, gentlemen,” Koch went on, deliberately adopting the air of the lecturer to nonetoo-bright students, “of the concept of simultaneous existence of time, past, present, and future? Then you will not doubt me when I say that every object which has ever occupied this space beneath me is still there, in the past..."

From Time Dredge, by Robert Arthur.
Published by Astounding Science Fiction in 1942
Additional resources -

Philip K. Dick also makes use of this idea in his 1960 story Dr. Futurity:

...on the far side of the room, satin covers on the wide bed. Lush wine-colored drapes. Thick multi-colored carpet which he knew at once had been pilfered from the Middle Eastern past. Someone had used the time dredge to its best advantage, furnishing the apartment in excellent taste.

Parsons has moved forward in time; his hosts do their best to see to his comfort.

"What about a beer?" Helmar said. "We have several beers from your period, all ice cold."

"This is fine," Parsons said...

Loris, seating herself opposite, said, "And we've brought magazines forward. And clothing. And a variety of objects, some of which we can't identify. Chance plays quite a role, as you might guess. The time dredge scoops up more than three tons; we often get mere debris, however, especially in the earlier stages."

The phrase is of course based on the word "dredge," which refers to an excavation device used to scrape a seabed or river bed, usually to keep waterways navigable. It can also be used with the specific purpose of obtaining material, which can be used for land reclamation. Dredging has also played an important role in gold mining.

Dick uses this idea in his 1954 short story The Meddler; he calls it the Dip. See also the time scoop from Dick's 1953 story Paycheck.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Time Dredge
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Arthur
  Tech news articles related to Time Dredge
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Arthur

Articles related to Engineering
Low-Cost Gel Pulls Water From Atmosphere Like Star Wars Vaporator
SpaceX Rocket Quick Reaction Force
Vortex Rings Of Light
Envisioning Starship Earth Travel - In 1930 By Max Valier

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 Science Fiction Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Science Fiction in the News

Festo BionicSwift Bird Robots Described In 1930
'Bird-like robots now descended from the ceiling of the theatre...'

Robotics Jobs In The Food Industry
'The efficient robot waiter of the Sky Club had cleared away the remnants of an epicurean meal.'

Prototype 3D Printer Could Print Arteries In Seconds
'...in the tank the new body and the new mind and memory and life has taken almost instant form.'

China Wants 'Hard Kill' Capability To Counter Starlink Satellites
'pirate three-vee satellites sanded out of orbit...'

Low-Cost Gel Pulls Water From Atmosphere Like Star Wars Vaporator
'The atmosphere yielded its moisture with reluctance. It had to be coaxed down...'

Pixy Flying Selfie Drone From Snap
'It hovered behind him like a large tame bee.'

Smallest Remote-Controlled Walking Robot Crabs
A robot 'as big as a dust grain.'

Pleasure Model Replicants Now Available
'Want a life-companion... sir, I can get you up any style you want.'

Robot Covered In Living Human Skin
'Hey buddy, you got a dead cat in there or what?'

Dall-E 2 Creates Art To Order
'Something different,' she said. 'Maybe a combined Miro and Goya.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

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

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.