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

"Concepts of religion may now be goals of science and engineering."
- Bart Kosko

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
NASA 'Holoports' Doctor Onto Space Station
Six Ships Are Now Docked At The International Space Station!
Vast Cosmic Structures And Spooky Alignments
Superfast Energetic Electron 'Precipitation' Pelts Our Earth!

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

Your Martian Dream Home, Made By Fungi
'... it was the cheapest building material known.'

The Dune Ornithopter, Movie And Book
'The wings were at full spread-rest, their delicate metal interleavings extended.'

100X Improvement In DNA Information Storage
'A record that wouldn't get lost and couldn't be destroyed.'

NASA 'Holoports' Doctor Onto Space Station
Star Trek Voyager Emergency Medical Hologram

Should We Train AIs To Imagine A Future Of Horrific Disasters
'LET ME TELL YOU HOW MUCH I'VE COME TO HATE YOU SINCE I BEGAN TO LIVE.'

Mouth Haptics Invented By Frederik Pohl In 1965, CMU Now Has Prototype
'What he got was indeed a kiss. It was disconcerting. No kissing lips were visible.'

Two Towns Linked By Sculpture Portal In Real Time
'I am the Guardian of Forever.'

3D Printed Robotic Tentacles
'... articulate ropes of steel dangling'

Update: Musk Doubles Down On Optimus Prime Humanoid Robot
'I shall introduce myself. I am R. Daneel Olivaw... I am a robot. Were you not told?'

Elon Musk: Production Of Robotaxis In 2024
'How about the steering wheel... I don't need one.'

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.