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

"The primary attraction [of writing sf] is the sheer pleasure of creating something from whole cloth."
- Dan Simmons

Adam Selene  
  A computer generates a human avatar for itself.  

In the novel, the computer called Mike takes the part of the leader in a lunar revolution - Adam Selene. As a computer, Mike can handle innumerable phone calls about the revolution without danger to the human participants. Eventually, it becomes necessary for Mike to show himself.

"...what's to keep me from showing face, Man? I'm showing a voice this instant... I can show a face the same way."

Was so taken aback I didn't answer... I said, "No, Mike."

"Why not, Man?"

"Because you can't!. Voice you handle beautifully. Involves only a few thousand decisions a second, a slow crawl to you. But to build up a video picture would require, say, ten million decisions every second. Mike, you're so fast I can't even think about it. But you aren't that fast."

Mike said softly, "Want to bet, Man?"

...We waited in silence. Then screen showed neutral gray with a hint of scan lines. Went black again, then a faint light filled middle and congealed into cloudy areas light and dark, ellipsoid. Not a face, but suggestion of face that one sees in cloud patterns...

It cleared a little and reminded me of pictures alleged to be ectoplasm. A ghost of a face.

Suddenly firmed and we saw "Adam Selene."

Was a still picture of a mature man. No background, just a face as if trimmed out of a print...

Then he smiled, moving lips and jaw and touching tongue to lips, a quick gesture...

From The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by GP Putnam in 1966
Additional resources -

As far as I know, this is the first reference to the idea of a computer-generated person that presents a fully animated picture of a human being.

Compare to the Composite Expert System from Twenty Evocations (1984) by Bruce Sterling, Idoru from Idoru (1996) by William Gibson, and synthespian from Nestor Sextone for President (1988) by Jeff Kleiser.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 1 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
  Tech news articles related to The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Heinlein

Adam Selene-related news articles:
  - Facial Expression And Mannerism 'Cloning' By Computer
  - Denise, Your Virtual Assistant
  - Hacker Creates Augmented Reality Anime Girlfriend
  - Actors Reject, Makers Embrace, Posthumous Movie Resurrection
  - BabyX AI Real Enough For You
  - Parents Use AI To See One Last Message From Their Deceased Son

Articles related to Virtual Person
Metaverse Hardware - Run And Flail Like A Maniac, Or Lie Quietly?
Virtual Co-Embodyment - Two People Control One Virtual Body
Sorry, Futurists! Tamagotchi Kids, Virtual Children Already Predicted By SF Writer in 2008
Man's Marriage To Hologram Ruined By Software Glitch

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

'Courier Commons' By Tomorrow Lab, From Karl Schroeder (and Bruce Sterling?)
'The pokkecon rang again. *The coffee’s for him?* Tsuyoshi said.'

Terrifying Robotic Apple Harvester
'... little machines, that went from plant to plant.'

Mechanical Horse Sculpture Gallops In Place
'Rod placed the brain inside the panel... the horse raised its head, wiggled its ears, blinked twice, gave a tentative whinny.'

'Make Sunsets' Tweaks Climate By Atmospheric Alteration
'Pina2bo would have to operate full blast for many years to put as much SO2 into the stratosphere as its namesake had done in a few minutes.'

Eviation Alice Electric Plane First Flight
'A white electric plane approached at great speed...'

Hotels Turn To Robots As Human Workers Regroup
'Chain of hotels that specialized in non-human service.'

Changesite Mineral To Be Mined On Moon By China
'But then... not every bulldozer operator works on the Moon.'

Tongue-Controlled Tong Wearable Mouth Computer
'Griff found the white and pink map distracting and switched it off using his tongue mouse.'

Is It Better To Be Short?
'He was one of the smaller, energy-saving new breed...'

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.