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 planet's immune system is doing everything it can. The planet's immune system is doing everything it can."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Null-Suit  
  A device that projects a field of force that acts like a space suit.  

Would you give up a lung in exchange for always having your space suit handy?

They stopped off at Mari's lab. An hour later, Lilo emerged minus her left lung. In its place was a null-suit generator, something she had never used before. It seemed to indicate that she was going to Mercury or Venus, since these were the only places where null-suits were necessary to get by. She curiously fingered the small metal flower below her collarbone, which was the air exhaust valve and control unit of the suit, as Mari explained how to operate it. She had a slight soreness in her neck where Mari had installed the binaural radio and voder that went with the suit...

A null-suit was not easy to get used to. Some of it was merely disconcerting, such as finding yourself wrapped in a mirror that followed every curve of your body at a distance of one to one and a half millimeters. When she looked at herself, what she saw was a distorted picture of the things around her, twisted like a funhouse mirror. But some of it was downright alarming. Lilo had been breathing air for fifty-seven years, and suddenly to stop was not easy.

The suit contained a neural link that suppressed the part of the automatic nervous system that controlled her diaphragm. When the suit was on, the breathing reflex was turned off. But it was not quite that simple. Below even the level where digestion, heartbeat, and breathing are controlled was a primitive ape that was just smart enough to realize she was not breathing, but not smart enough to understand the suit was taking care of it. The result was a near-panic reaction...

... She visualized the irregular metal implant Mari had put in place of her left lung. It contained the nullfield generator, a thirty-hour supply of oxygen, and artificial alveoli that connected with her pulmonary circulation system. The null-suit exchanged oxygen for carbon dioxide, but much more efficiently than her lungs could. The oscillation of her suit's field created a bellows action that forced nearly pure carbon dioxide from the exhaust valve under her collarbone.

From The Ophiuchi Hotline, by John Varley.
Published by Quantum Science Fiction in 1977
Additional resources -

Compare to the personal force shield from Isaac Asimov's 1951 novel Foundation.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Ophiuchi Hotline
  More Ideas and Technology by John Varley
  Tech news articles related to The Ophiuchi Hotline
  Tech news articles related to works by John Varley

Articles related to Space Tech
Space Drones - UK's Effective Space To Launch Rocket Tugs
ELROI Satellite 'License Plate'
Bezos Invites You To New Life In Off-World Colonies
Build Your Own Space Suit For Cheap

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

PAL-V Liberty Flying Helicopter Car
'...lifted themselves to skimming flight upon whirling helicopters."

Space Drones - UK's Effective Space To Launch Rocket Tugs
'Twenty rocket tugs towed it from its Earth hangar out into space.'

DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.'

Ancient Russian Walking Excavator Would Be Perfect RV
I don't need it to go fast, it just needs to amble along.

ELROI Satellite 'License Plate'
Robert Heinlein was thinking about this in 1941.

When Robots Beg For Their Lives
"Just what do you think you're doing... Dave.'

Do You Still Want A Folding Screen Phone?
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled...'

'Snapchat Dysmorphia' Now A Thing, Say Plastic Surgeons
'The program raced up the screen one scan line at a time, subtly smoothing, deleting and coloring.'

Drone Assassin Fails To Kill Venezuelan President
'The spotter descends, and we think it searches the vicinity, looking for the victim's face...'

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.