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"I can remember when the first pulsars were discovered. I was able to go and sit down and listen to graduate students talking about what their theories, to explain what pulsars really were."
- Vernor Vinge

Solar-powered Prefab House  
  A pre-built house that can live off the grid.  

An early mention of this idea.

"The houses are prefabricated units," said Crawford, "and they sell at the flat rate of five hundred dollars a room set up. You can trade in your old home on them at a fantastic trade-in value and the credit terms are liberal much more liberal, I might add, than any sane financing institution would ever countenance. They are heated and air conditioned by a solar plant that tops anything you hear me, _anything_ that we have today. There are many other features, but that gives you a rough idea."

"They sound like a good idea. We've been talking about low-cost housing for a long time now. Maybe this is it."

"They are a good idea," said Crawford. "I would be the last to deny they are. Except that they will ruin the power people. That solar plant supplies it all heat, light, power. When you buy one of them, you don't need to tie up to an electric outlet. And they will put thousands of carpenters and masons and painters out of work and in the carbohydrates lines, too. They eventually will wreck the lumber industry."

From Ring Around the Sun, by Clifford Simak.
Published by Galaxy Science Fiction in 1952
Additional resources -

Listen to the salesman:

"Well, you see, it's this way, sir," the salesman said. "This is what you might call a house that grows. You buy a five room house, say, and in a little while you figure that you want another room, so we come out and redesign the house and make it a six room house."

"Isn't that expensive?" Ann asked.

"Oh, not at all," the salesman said. "It only costs you five hundred dollars for the extra room. That is a flat and standard charge."

"This is a prefabricated house, isn't it?" asked Ann.

"I suppose you would call it that, although it does the house injustice. When you say 'prefabricated' you are thinking of a house that is pre-cut and sort of stuck together. Takes a week or ten days to put it together and then you just have a shell no heating plant, no fireplace, no nothing."

"I'm interested in this extra room angle," said Vickers. "You say that when they want an extra room they just call you up and you come out and stick one on."

The salesman stiffened slightly. "Not _exactly_, sir. We stick nothing on. We _redesign_ your house. At all times, your house is well planned and practical, designed in accordance with the highest scientific and esthetic concepts of what a home should be. In some cases, adding another room means that we have to change the whole house around, rearrange the rooms and such.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Ring Around the Sun
  More Ideas and Technology by Clifford Simak
  Tech news articles related to Ring Around the Sun
  Tech news articles related to works by Clifford Simak

Solar-powered Prefab House-related news articles:
  - Solar-Hydrogen House Is Energy Independent
  - Put MercuryHouseOne Anywhere
  - Self-Deployable Habitat For Extreme Environments
  - Ecocapsule - Simak's Dream Of A Prefab House

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