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

"This category [science fiction] excludes rocket ships that make U-turns, serpent men of Neptune that lust after human maidens, and stories by authors who flunked their Boy Scout merit badge tests in descriptive astronomy."
- Robert Heinlein

Martian Print Amoeba  
  An organism able to mimic consumer goods.  

Making even modern manufacturing methods obsolete.

...the greater economic aspects of another extraterrestrial creature, the Martian print amoeba. This august unicellular organism survived by its ability to mimic other life forms - those of its own size, specifically - and although this ability had amused Terran astronauts and UN officials, no one had seen an industrial usage until Virgil Ackerman of [Martian flap bat] guano fame had come upon the scene... he had presented a print amoeba with one of his current mistress' expensive furs; the print amoeba had faithfully mimicked it...
From Now Wait For Last Year, by Philip K. Dick.
Published by Doubleday in 1966
Additional resources -

Unfortunately, when the Martian print amoeba gets bored, it tends to switch back to its real form. So, a method of "fixing" the amoeba was developed:

The answer... consisted of killing the amoeba during its interval of mimicry and then subjecting the cadaver to a bath of fixing-chemicals which had the capacity to lock the amoeba in that final form; the amoeba did not decay and hence could not later on be distinguished from the original.

Dick fans will recognize the Biltong life forms from his 1956 short story Pay for the Printer as well as the autofac nanorobots from his 1955 short story of the same name. All three show PKD's fascination with the seemingly infinite capacity of modern manufacturing, and the fact that the source of this cornucopia is a complete mystery to the average consumer.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Now Wait For Last Year
  More Ideas and Technology by Philip K. Dick
  Tech news articles related to Now Wait For Last Year
  Tech news articles related to works by Philip K. Dick

Articles related to Manufacturing
Archinaut Orbiting Robotic Factory
Digital Construction Platform Robot 3D Prints A Building
3D Print Moon Dust Bricks
Ford Stratasys Infinte Build 3D Printer

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

RFID Chipped Employees Of Three Square Market
'About a third of the people in Manhattan have replaced their Freedom Card with a radio-frequency chip...'

JAXA's Int-Ball Drone To Follow Astronauts In Space Station
'I want you to build me some of those.'

Amazon Patents Annoying Robot That Follows You
'The... machine, being homotropic, headed toward them, still bleating...'

Hand Gestures And Body Poses Control Devices
'He waved his hand... the circuit switched...'

Rovable Robots Crawl Across Your Body
'Most of the crew have the tiny imp ride on their shoulder...'

Sansar Social Virtual Reality Platform In 2017?
'And just as a daydreamer forgets his actual surroundings, and sees other realities...'

Desktopography Makes Virtual Desktops Real
'Ender doodled on his desk, drawing contour maps of mountainous islands and then telling his desk to display them in three dimensions...'

LaWS Laser Can Take Out Rogue Drones
Looks like a weapon for the Runaway squad!

Moon Express Lunar Robot Mining: Shine On, Harvest Moon
'The bulldozer moved through the lunar strip mine... '

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.